If you’re in ministry, and you’ve toyed with the idea of wearing jeans with an untucked shirt when you preach, growing a goatee or chin patch, or maybe getting a hip new set of spectacles, this article by Mike McKinley is a must read.
Even if you haven’t considered any of the above, this piece is great fun.
What an encouraging word! What a freeing thing to read that the best thing to do is believe the gospel is the power of God unto salvation, relax and be yourself, and love people.
I’m not sure which quote is better:
“As the resident cool guy on the 9Marks docket (which is roughly like being the ladies’ man at a Star Trek convention—)”
or in reference to christian rap
“this youth worker, a slightly pudgy white guy of about 28 years, put the effort back ten years in five excruciating minutes. I later came to find that this well-meaning man hadn’t written this material himself (thank heavens!) but that it was later recorded as part of a song called “Addicted to Love” by a man named Carman.”
These are instant classic quotes!! 🙂
Mike did a great job writing this article. It amazes me how many church leaders, in an effort to figure out the cultural context thing, forget that just because somebody dresses trendy doesn’t mean that Christ isn’t central in their lives. It also doesn’t mean that they’ve got it all figured out either and people should follow their leadership because they are trendy.
Mark’s last paragraph in the article says it best:
“be who God made you to be. If you lean hipster, run with it. Be a hipster to the glory of God. If you lean in another direction, that’s great too. But Christ must be central to all who will pursue the calling of a pastor. That means putting to death our pride and scorn for others who are not like us. That means evangelizing across the boundaries of taste and preference. In the long run, it might even mean that we’re not cool.”
Thanks for posting this, Jim!
What if “being yourself” is having a goatee and wearing jeans and an untucked shirt? Insinuating that wearing a tie is better than not means that the power of the gospel is buttressed by that apparel, which seems like the very thing he is arguing against. Does one have to wear a jacket and tie for the gospel to work?
Also, clothing is a form of language. If someone intentionally uses spoken language (illustrations) to connect with a particular audience, why would dressing in a certain way be any different?
(I think of ministering the gospel to an unreached people group where not wearing tribal dress would be a total disconnect.)
Thanks for your note. I quote McKinley:
“The conclusion of the matter is this: be who God made you to be. If you lean hipster, run with it. Be a hipster to the glory of God. If you lean in another direction, that’s great too. But Christ must be central to all who will pursue the calling of a pastor. That means putting to death our pride and scorn for others who are not like us. That means evangelizing across the boundaries of taste and preference. In the long run, it might even mean that we’re not cool.”
On the unreached tribe thing, I have friends who have gone to an unreached tribe, and the pictures they send back indicate that my friends are dressing just as they would here at home if they were on a camping trip, meanwhile the natives are, well, let’s just say that they have to crop some pictures.
So I don’t think that missionaries who go to unreached places think it part of their outreach to dress, or undress, like the natives.
For the Gospel,
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