An Exercise in Body-Building, Part 1

I had an epiphany the other day–a piece of wisdom struck me with great force–and I decided to make a change in my life.

The epiphany: it is more important to me to attract new people to our community of faith gathered in the name of Jesus Christ than that I wear long, dangly earrings.

Wearing these ear decorations represents a choice I made years ago about how to be myself in the world. And were I not a pastor of a church that seeks to grow and become all God calls us to be, I would probably still be wearing then.

But it is clear to me that my personal style proves to be too high a hurdle for many visitors to get over when deciding whether to become part of the community in faith known as MCC Richmond. It’s hard enough for some folks just to walk in the door without immediately asking them to deal with the pastor’s uncommon appearance.

So, I have chosen to stop wearing earrings at church or on other occasions when I am representing the church.

Same pastor, different look

No one asked me to do this. And not everyone agrees (I certainly appreciate the personal support, and also recognize that some fear we may become too homogenized).

The apostle Paul wrote,  “‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things are beneficial. ‘All things are lawful,’ but not all things build up.” (1 Corinthians 10)

I am here to build up the Body of Christ. For me, as pastor, fashion statements, even personal identity statements, pale in comparison.