I keeps it real

Let my life be true.

That sums up my relational strategy with friends, co-workers, and family.

I keeps it real.

There’s a tendency among ministry folks to put a happy face on everything. Or worse yet to try to put a leadership face on everything. While I appreciate the desire to try to put on a tough exterior the fakeness they exude often makes the insecurity and deep hurt bubble to the surface even more.

In order to keep it real you don’t have to wear your heart on your sleeve. Don’t misread that. But somewhere you need to take off that tough exterior to reveal the scared, goofy kid you are.

Let’s face it– No one in leadership deserves to be there. None of us is more qualified than anyone else. God often puts us in situations where we are in way, often WAY over our heads. While we shouldn’t try to lead from a position of fear… we can’t hide behind our defense mechanisms all the time. Instead, we need to lead from a place of security in who we are and who God wants us to be.

Keeping it real isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s shows you understand you are in the shadow of the Great leader.

Longevity tip: Find a group of friends who you can keeps it real with.

Taking it a step further: I’d love to see a movement of young leaders who commit to one another, “I keeps it real.”

In a world full of fakes the people are dying for Christian leaders who keep it real.

By Adam McLane

Kristen and Adam live in Ahwahnee, California.


  1. I want to be living the life I’m inviting my students to live. As one who is constantly promoting the value of transparency and authenticity, I have to embody those values before I can preach them. It just doesn’t work too well or look too good when we TELL our students what it looks like to be faithful to Jesus, yet we spend most of our energy trying to impress our Twitter followers. Wow, that was easy to say, but I still suck at it…crap. I’m off to go “keeps it real.”

  2. So much wisdom in this comment, Jon. Thanks for that. It’s a gift.

    And next time we get together, maybe we need to find a location where people keep it a little less real. Just sayin’.

  3. I affirm you keeping it real through everything over the last 5-6 years we’ve known each other. Nothing but love for your authenticity.

  4. i have noticed, for me, that keeping it real mean I am continually evaluating heart. As soon as I stop letting some spiritual cleaning continue, I begin to worry about the “fun” and not the important basics of what we do and what our goals are. I am guilty of keeping it fun because I felt more comfortable there in the past, but recently, keeping it real (in my own heart as well as leading others to do the same) has bore more fruit and the fruit has been longer lasting and effective.

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