Healthy Disclosure

Sharing the right amount of information – what a chore.  Today we use the acronym TMI when someone begins to share too much information.  We tell others “I don’t know what is happening anymore” when not enough information is being shared.  It is the communication conundrum we live in especially as a community of faith.

There are two levels of responsiblity at play – first is the recipient’s responsibility to actively listen/read whatever is presented in the communication vehicles an organization uses.  For instance our church uses a weekly electronic newsletter, printed worship bulletin and inserts, PowerPoint announcement slides, table-top tripods, Connection Corner, verbal announcements, Facebook, website, and in a couple of weeks a pre-recorded public service announcement that will be used before worship and posted on social media.  Now it may sound like a good mix of print, verbal, and electronic and yet we still have folks who are uninformed or more like under-informed.  If we miss communicating something important to you then that is our fault.  If you choose to not read or listen then…I’m just saying.

The second level of responsibility is ours – the church’s.  We have a duty to share with you appropriate information at the appropriate time.  It is called healthy disclosure.  This is what we are striving for – to improve each time we share information.  To improve on the quality of the information as well as the timeliness.  Do we always get it right?  Obviously not but we are constantly striving for improvement.  For instance – Sunday Matt shared with you that he is dating someone.  Many of you had suspicions, a lot of you may have been curious or guessing about it, and others of you, it confirmed what you knew deep down inside.  Whatever the case it was the right time for Matt to reveal, disclose this to you.  It was the healthy thing for us to do.

Human nature – in the absence of clear and timely communication, we have a tendency to make stuff up.  Often it is froth with error and misinformation; speculation that can lead to gossip, rumors, and division.  Bluntly – we don’t need that and it is not an appropriate activity for a disciple of Jesus Christ.  So Matt “outed” himself.

My missive today is two-part – to talk about disclosure which I have done.  Second to share with you my thoughts about Matt and dating.  Matt has my full support – make no mistake – 150%!  He has been and continues to be a young man of high standards, good moral character, and a person with solid Christian ethics.  I know that he has carefully thought through the implications of this decision and frankly I rejoice with the two of them in their new-found relationship.  Each of you will make up your own mind about this; some of you will be ok with it and others will be skeptical.  That is okay but that does not mean that you have to share your opinion.  It might not be the right time for healthy disclosure of what you think and feel.  The best question to ask yourself is this – what is my motivation for speaking up?

I choose to manage toward the positives of this situation – I live in the hope, blessing and love of Christ and pray that God will bless this relationship.  I am aware of the potential negatives – believe me because I have tried to guess all the things that could be said to Matt and me.  But I choose not to dwell on them.

As a faith community you deserved to know the basics – it was time for healthy disclosure.  What I would ask of you now is this – your prayers for them asking that God might bless and keep them.  And I would ask that you reserve your opinion for now.  Let’s see how things go and pray for the very best.

I hope this is something that we can all at least prayerfully support if we are not able to affirm verbally.  I hope you will join me in expecting the best from God and each other.

Thanks for your time and blessings for the journey!

About Jim Hoffman

Pastor, teacher, leader, novice blogger, wanna be author and Christian conversationalist. Passionate about environmental architecture - creating spaces where people can foster new or growing relationships with each other and God. Currently leads a faith community on Ward Parkway in Kansas City and happily married to Margaret. Blessed with four adult children and two grandsons.
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2 Responses to Healthy Disclosure

  1. preachinmoose says:

    For clarification I’m dating Brooke if any language caused you to have other suspicions!

  2. Jim says:

    Thanks Matt for helping to clarify my blog about clear communication!

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