Adventurer and T.V. host Bear Grylls is a firm believer that the church is a place for honesty and caring for hurting people.
"[The church] is a place to have doubts and questions," says Grylls in a recent interview with the Christian Post. "Look at the early Church. It was a roomful of people eating and drinking and doubting and struggling and arguing."
The author of Soul Fuel, a Christian devotional, Grylls has released a new book titled Mind Fuel.
"Probably most of the people in the congregation have substance abuse, and probably most of their congregations struggle with porn and all that sort of stuff. What a relief it is when a pastor can stand up and go, 'Welcome to the hospital, folks. Here we go. I'm just standing alongside you on the road, failing our way through, but reaching out of desperation for life and love and redemption. Let's look outwards, and love other people, and we’re in it together.'"
The Connections podcast: real life, real faith
Grylls is a former Special Forces soldier. He has impressive physical feats under his belt including climbing Mount Everest.
"We're so conditioned to only talk about the good stuff when it's working, but actually, it's in the struggles and in the things that go wrong that we build connections," Grylls says. "When we have connections with people, we share their strengths. A problem shared is a problem halved."
Grylls starred in the T.V. series Man vs. Wild as well as hosted the National Geographic Channel series, Running Wild with Bear Grylls. While many of the episodes portray a man alone, he has his team with him. He's also quite vocal about the importance of faith.
"I think we neglect our spirituality at our own peril. If you've got that connection to the Almighty, everything else is window dressing. Spirituality is such a key part of a survivor's toolbox. I say, arguably, it's the number one thing. If you get that right, everything else is bearable and possible, and achievable."
Pointing to Biblical figures, Grylls shares how King David and Daniel relied on their faith.
"The solution is always found in connection with the Almighty. There's always struggle, there's always hardship, but there's always faith, and faith always wins. Faith conquers everything. In terms of preparing us for life and keeping us mentally strong, faith is always key."
The adventurer brought home the point that life, including a Christian life, isn't always neat and tidy but rather often raw and messy.
"Look at Jesus with His band of guys who He shared everything with, the good, the bad and the struggles. They were always brutally honest. They were unchurched; they weren’t smiley and nice. It was raw, it was real, it was painful, it was honest, it was angry, it was jealous, it was all of these things. But it was spoken and it was shared and there was an incredible community, and in a way, that is Church."
Grylls and his wife Shara have three boys together. The couple believes in letting children make mistakes to learn from them and at the same time know they have loving arms waiting to embrace them after.
"I think that speaks again to the church culture that can often be very judgy very harsh, very full of rules very unforgiving, and ironically, very lacking in freedom. And they wonder why so many kids have these epic spiritual journeys, and it can take them a lifetime if at all, to come back to the light because shedding off the heavy stuff is hard work. It’s especially hard in that church culture that has rules and regulations and performance and masks.