My Backstage Life
Currently, I am being coached by Tony Morgan. He is teaching me, asking great questions, and pushing me to go further with God, ministry, and life overall. Part of my homework assignment this month is to read Replenish by Lance Witt.
Last night, I read a powerful truth that I needed for my own life and it just so happens to line up perfectly with PSM’s weekend message. I will be finishing our sermon series called FIT and this message is centered around “one on one discipleship”.
We all have a front stage and a back stage.
Out front is our public life. It is what everyone sees and knows about. We focus on making it look as good as possible. It is all about doing things. It is important. However, we are killing ourselves softly if we don’t….
consider our back stage.
In the back is our private life. It is our being. Our soul. We put so much effort in the front stage of our life that the back stage is neglected. When we feel negative about our backstage, our answer is often to put more effort into the front stage. We think that doing more, we will solve the brokenness or drought of our soul.
The point here is not to promote or deny one or the other. Our back stage is our root system. Our front stage is our fruit. Back stage is our heart. Front stage is our mouth. Back stage is private. Front stage is public. They balance each other out. Both are needed to reflect the image of God in our life. However, I believe the biggest take away from this line of thought is to respect each and do not let one dominate the other. Most of the people I am around do not have a problem with focusing on their back stage too much. Most are struggling to even consider back stage health.
This is where accountability and discipleship come in. Who is talking to you about you? Who is talking to you about your back stage?
When folks ask you, “How are you doing?”, that question is loaded with ‘front stage’ language. Our immediate response is to skim across the most public and successful parts of our life. When we get to know someone and haven’t seen them in a while, we might say, “How have you been?” This question begins to use ‘back stage’ language. However, most do not give a backstage answer. We continue to give surface answers.
We need one or two people in our lives that we can completely trust with our backstage private life. People that are not quick to judge, but quick to encourage, rebuke, and exhort. A true friend. Someone that actually cares and takes the time to invest.
I have a 4 of these people in my life. However, it is still difficult to be honest with them. It is not because I don’t trust their support or confidentiality. That is not in question. It is difficult because I don’t even want to think of the backstage myself. My natural tendency is cover up the problem within my own mind. I know that unhealthy situations or dryness exists, but instead of processing the thoughts and surrendering to the grace of God, my inclination is to ‘get over it’. I want to ‘push through’ and ‘try harder’. I know that Christians (especially pastors) are not supposed to have issues, so my effort is spent on either covering up or focusing on the front stage.
When I am asked by my closest friends how my life is, it takes me 2 or 3 minutes to wade through the barriers of honest thought and get to the core of my soul health. After stumbling around with discussion for a few minutes, the core of my soul issues come to the top and we talk about it. I leave the conversation feeling stronger, because I have confessed and overcome the temptation to hide the backstage blunders or inklings. The process is not real pretty, but I think it works sufficient. I remember life before these people and it wasn’t healthy. Sometimes, I was completely unable to hide the backstage difficulties and my fruit on the front stage suffered the consequences.
So, who are you talking to about the back stage?
When you sit in a congregation on Sunday, you are surrounded by a lot of other people needing back stage conversations. They are longing for people to ask about them. The difficulty is that that kind of relationship is difficult to begin with a ‘cold call’. Church leaders knows this, so they create other venues to break up the crowd into smaller venues. Small groups, social events, work days, mission trips, the list goes on and on. Each of these events might have another more obvious purpose, however, under the surface is a GREAT opportunity for you to rub shoulders with others and create relationships that get deeper. At some point, you ask, “So, how is it with your soul?” and then you sit and wait.
More to come…
See you Sunday!