In style but out of touch (with God)


People are funny, fickle creatures who spend much of their time building themselves up by tearing others down.

“Never been accused, or been confused with a model on a cover page.
Never could’ve been a superstar in the NBA.
Can’t run that fast, never could breakdance, can’t jump a building in a single bound.
Anticipate, can’t wait till I hear that sound.

“The sky splits, I’m moving, I let it freely take me.
This must be the moment, God picked to rearrange me.”
(Robert Herdman; Brian Kotzur; William McGinnis; Carlos Pennell; Mark Stuart)

Do you realize that you are most likely not a “10” in the eyes of the world?

  • It’s doubtful you will be People Magazine’s Sexiest Man of the Year
  • It’s doubtful that you will make Maxim’s Hot 100
  • You may never appear on the cover of Forbes
  • Oprah (especially since this is the last year of her show)is probably not going to pick your book for her book club.
  • You may never own or even drive a Ferrari, Bentley, Bugatti or Rolls Royce (even though you sowed that $1,000 seed 🙂 )
  • Martha Stewart may never ask you to make a craft for her
  • Donald Trump probably won’t tell you, “you’re fired” because he will most likely will never say, “you’re hired”
  • You may not win American Idol, be the Next Top Model, or even be the Biggest Loser
  • I know your mother told you that you could be a doctor, lawyer, astronaut or even President of the United States; keep working hard it could happen.
  • You may have been convinced that you were headed for the NFL, NBA or MLB, and would have made it (except for that one thing that wasn’t your fault)
  • None of these things may ever happen

Life will go on.  God’s love will remain.

However, you may not be able to sit on the front row at church.

  • What if you don’t dye your hair?  Can people in ministry have gray hair?
  • What if you are over 35 and you have wrinkles on your face?  Is it OK for you not to inject Botox?
  • What if your 10% tithe is only $3,000 per year?
  • What if you’ve got your father’s lack of a hair-line or your mother’s over-sized thighs?
  • What if you couldn’t be the avatar for Brother Wonderful or Sister Spiritual in your local congregation?
  • Could you honestly lift your hands in church without a manicure?

Do these disqualify you for service in the eyes of God or only in the eyes of man?

Does your church have a look?

  • I ‘ve seen the Tommy Bahama Christians
  • I’ve seen the every Sunday’s Easter Christians
  • I’ve seen the khakis and polo Christians
  • I’ve seen the $300 denim Christians
  • I’ve seen the Grand Ole Opry Christians
  • I’ve seen the board room Christians
  • I’ve seen the night club Christians
  • I’ve also seen more of some than I want to remember

Look around and take notice of how many of the women in your congregation style their hair like “Sister Pastor”.  Notice how many of the men begin to adopt the style of the pastor.  Check the watches and pens (do it, I dare you).

Is there anything wrong with that?  Nope.  It only becomes wrong when those who have not molded themselves into the image of the house are marginalized because they do not present continuity of branding to the community at large.  I don’t want to meddle in your stuff; but I do want you to obey the Bible.

I am a secular marketing executive.  I understand the art of buying and selling,  It’s what God uses to feed my family.  If you’ve seen me you know He feeds me well 🙂 .

I know how to target market people for my clients.  I help them find the right people, who make the right amount of money, who have a specific taste in things and who are the most likely to buy their product or service.  I have peers (such a hard word for me to say) who make their living consulting with churches and ministries on targeting their ideal member (read donor).

God has one specific demographic in mind for the population of His church and ultimately heaven: humans.

The Bible has much to say about outward appearances and the conditions of the heart.

“But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7)

“You judge by appearances.  If any of you think you are the only ones who belong to Christ, then think again. We belong to Christ as much as you do.” (2 Corinthians 10:7)

Don’t judge by appearances. Judge by what is right.”  (John 7:24)

“My dear brothers and sisters, how can you claim to have faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ if you favor some people over others? For example, suppose someone comes into your meeting dressed in fancy clothes and expensive jewelry, and another comes in who is poor and dressed in dirty clothes. If you give special attention and a good seat to the rich person, but you say to the poor one, “You can stand over there, or else sit on the floor”—well, doesn’t this discrimination show that your judgments are guided by evil motives?  Listen to me, dear brothers and sisters. Hasn’t God chosen the poor in this world to be rich in faith? Aren’t they the ones who will inherit the Kingdom he promised to those who love him? But you dishonor the poor! Isn’t it the rich who oppress you and drag you into court? Aren’t they the ones who slander Jesus Christ, whose noble name you bear? Yes indeed, it is good when you obey the royal law as found in the Scriptures: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you favor some people over others, you are committing a sin. You are guilty of breaking the law.”  (James 2:1-9)

Most people don’t fit into an ideal category, but many are trying to.  God wants you to be like Jesus.

In a perfect world all Christians should bathe, brush their teeth, comb their hair, shine their shoes, iron their clothes and smell nice.  (As a pastor, these were my physical requirement for service in the church).  Even more important they would be filled with the Holy Ghost, pray, read the Bible, witness their faith, tithe and give offering and live right.  Ask any pastor and they will tell you that you can’t always get what you want.

The contents of our heart and the fruit in our lives should be how we are judged in the eyes of the church.  If we as a church are going to look for anything in our volunteers and staff members we should be looking for Jesus.

Your size, shape, color and style are welcome in the Kingdom of God.  He has called us out of every nation, kindred, tribe and tongue into one body of which He (Jesus) is the head.

The time has come to embrace people with the love of God.  The love of God does not want to provide an extreme makeover for the flesh; Jesus wants to crucify your flesh.  The love of God recreates a dead human spirit and infuses it with the life of God.

Stop looking at people and start loving them.

“I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I have a dream that the men and women Christ died for on the cross would be welcome in all of our churches.

Selah.

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