I have been a Christian, according to the Biblical definition (John 3:16), since 1983. I have been in the ministry since 1996. In that time span, I have been deluged with words like, liberal, conservative, moderate, pastor-led, purpose-driven, program-driven, evengelistic, charismatic, evangelical, right wing, left wing, and on and on it goes. In all of this, I have made a decision...to just be real.
When I would tell people I am a pastor, right away, the whole mood of the conversation would change. Suddenly, they would be nervous and try to censor themselves. What I discovered is that many believers enjoy seeing the heathen fumble at the mouth in their presence. I didn't like it. I wanted people to know that they could be themself around me, and that I was not someone that needed to be impressed. When people saw my tattoo, my earring, my hairstyle, my pickup truck, my imperfect kids, etc., they began to realize that I was real and easy to talk to. From the pulpit, I'm told, I spoke TO people, and not OVER them.
For this I have been removed from two pastorates and a marriage.