This enjoyable book calls leaders to let go of the masks they wear. Well written by a youth worker for fellow youth workers, Pinocchio vs. the Real Boy brings ready application to everyone in ministry. Author Marv Nelson was a youth pastor in the church I am part of, and is now on a youth ministry team doing great things in a downtown Pittsburgh church, which I recently visited. I am convinced he walks his talk.
Here are some of my favorite lines form what the subtitle describes as a “guide to authenticity”:
- “God desires that we, and those under our care, become real, authentic, open and honest people”.(page 5) In too many cases, “ the church has become a Petri dish for fake people” (page 6)
- “What does the phrase ‘be real’ even mean?… It means being 100% honest with every aspect of your life. It means no fake persons with others, God or even yourself. When we get real, we lay it all out there – the good, the bad, and the ugly for God to see. The great thing about God is that He already knows all our junk; He just wants you to be real about it…. True confession is an act of shedding the wooden Pinocchio and allowing people a peak at the flesh and blood Pinocchio that truly exists”. (pages 32-33)
- “The truth of the gospel is that God accepts you as you are but loves you too much to keep you that way! That’s why being real, being authentic with the sin in your heart is so key- so we can be who God has ultimately planned us to be!” (page 35)
Consistent with his message, Marv tells some great personal stories of his journey toward becoming more authentic. Spend some time with these 153 fast-moving pages, and then pass it on to your favorite youth worker.