I recently had someone tell me how shocked she was that a particular couple was no longer together because everything looked so good on Facebook. Are you laughing too?

It is so easy to portray things to be one way when they are another. I can especially testify to this in the church. We put on our “Sunday best”, carry our big Bible, use all the Christian lingo, pray out loud based on something we heard from someone else, and everyone thinks we are spiritual. The truth is that we know how to play the game. Some of the most godly people I know are those who look like they would dismember you. 
I was trained to look and act a certain way because “that’s what good preachers do”. Then my life was torn apart, and a counselor got all up in my business. He told me that I needed to be authentic. I warned him that the authentic I was feeling at that time was not “what good church people (especially pastors) say”. He still encouraged me to be real because I would never move past the anger if I continued to fake my way through what was supposed to be the healing process.

I feel like everyone’s life has become a reality tv show. We parade our lives on social media with pictures of us going into debt with purchases we can’t afford, smiling with people we don’t like, and making people envious of lives that are completely fake.

Is there a place where you can be yourself without fear? You should be able to be who you truly are with your faith family. The sad thing I hear is that many people do not affiliate with a church because they cannot be real about their addictions or struggles. 

In the near future, Overcomers Church (the church God called me to plant in January) will have an online presence. I can guarantee that it will be a different experience. We are not trying to be like any other church. We just want to be a safe place where people can learn, grow, and serve. We are praying that our online ministry will be a way for people to reconnect with a faith family who have experienced hurt in the institutionalized church.

If I can be of help to you, please contact me. You can find my contact info on the blog page. It’s time to take off the mask, trash it, and be the person God designed you to be without fear.

Author: Matthew Winters (The Comeback Pastor)

Born and raised in Portsmouth, VA, I eventually landed in upstate SC because when God calls I move. I gave my life to Christ in 1987 and surrendered to the call to ministry in 1997. I am a three-time graduate from Liberty University and Theological Seminary: BS in Religion (2003), the MA in Religion (Leadership concentration - 2006), and the Master of Divinity (Pastoral Ministries - 2013). I have served as a worship leader and senior pastor in Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia since 1996. After experiencing a divorce, God graciously gave me my wife, Jennifer, whom I married in September 2015. Between the two of us, we have 6 children. I am the Lead/Founding Pastor of Overcomers Church in Walhalla, SC, a church plant that is helping those who have been overcome by life to become Overcomers in Christ. Jennifer and I both love people and long to see them enter into a relationship with Christ and walk in the power of His Spirit. I pray that these thoughts I share will challenge and inspire you to greater heights and deeper depths for the glory of Christ.

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