Paul Tripp on the reach of grace and what pastors need today

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~ Psalm 34:18, NIV

by Tami Heim

Paul Tripp’s mission is connecting people to the transforming power of Jesus Christ in everyday life. He’s definitely a sticky pastor—he keeps it real and isn’t one to compromise the message he’s been given. Because of that he’s leading for Christ and making a difference that lasts.

A ministry president, Presbyterian pastor, and seminary professor Paul speaks and preaches around the world. He’s written ten books and his passion for culture, transparency, the church, and pastors are just a few of the reasons Ruth Graham invited Paul to The Cove, in Ashville, North Carolina for a recent mindstorming session on transparency. You don’t want to miss this . . .

Paul Tripp on grace

In a small group, Paul shared three significant revelations from his personal journey. Paul explained that God was zealous about showing him that while he could market grace, he hadn’t learned to personally receive it. Once he accepted that truth, he fully embraced that there wasn’t anything in his life that could be uncovered that was not already covered by the blood of Christ. And finally, Paul shared about the beauty that exists in our brokenness. He concluded we bring true beauty to the pulpit from whatever we’ve been rescued from.

4 barriers to transparency

Paul offered insights about four areas he believes are barriers to transparency in the church today.

  1. Training: Seminaries today are heavy on theology and light on heart help. They don’t provide a safe place for future leaders to deal with the sin in their lives that needs to be confessed.
  2. Hiring: There’s too much emphasis placed on the accomplishments and credentials of an individual when hiring decisions are made in a church. The few charged to make the decisions don’t always dig deep enough to truly know the hearts of those they hire.
  3. Position: Pastors and those in leadership are given an exalted status among the body and with that status comes unrealistic expectations. The fear of falling becomes a major stronghold in the lives of church leaders. They often find themselves carrying their personal burdens alone in order to protect the reputation of the church.
  4. Pastor Support: There is little being done to acknowledge the brokenness in the lives of our pastors. The church isn’t equipped to support, encourage, and accept her leaders in the midst of their struggles. When the church fails to support her pastors, she causes them to miss the beauty God desires them to bring to the pulpit—for His glory.

your pulpit

As a believer you are a member of the body of Christ. You can make a difference by the way you love, pray for, and support your pastor. It’s important to remember your pastor is called to lead—not replace Christ as the head of the church.

And never forget, you too have a pulpit. It’s located in your home, church, work, school, and even your favorite social networks. People all around you are listening to you and watching you—and that’s a good thing. The world is hard, messy, and the weight of it will always try to break you. And when it does, God will rush in to restore and rescue you. But be confident in this: you will always bring the greatest beauty to your pulpit from whatever you’ve been rescued from.

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There’s nothing that can be uncovered about you that isn’t already covered by the blood of Christ. -Paul Tripp #LiveSticky

Have you seen God use someone’s brokenness for His purpose and glory? What did it look like to you?

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