During a conversation with a youth ministry friend the other day, we were lamenting the growing level of shallowness in our youth ministry and church world. The conversation – not surprisingly – included some dialogue about Thomas Bergler’s upcoming new release, The Juvenilization of American Christianity. We got talking about our (the church’s) growing concern with style over substance, our love affair with relevance, the watering-down of the Gospel, and the unintended short- and long-term consequences all this will have on our faith and our culture.
In the midst of our conversation, my friend asked, “Hey, have you seen Ed Young’s new site, pastorfashion.com?” “Really. No. Are you kidding me?!?” It was one of those moments when I had to ask my friend a few times over if he was serious or if he was messing with me. He was serious. He also said he wasn’t sure if the site was serious or satirical.
Later that night, I went to pastorfashion.com. Yep. It exists. It’s out there. Not only is it out there, but it’s out there. . . really out there. I can’t tell if it’s serious or not. I had a couple of friends who are familiar with Ed Young give it a look. They can’t figure out if it’s serious or not. I can’t tell if it’s brilliant or horrifying.
Here’s one of the videos posted on the site.
So. . . what do you think? If it’s serious, shame on us. We’re in big trouble folks. And if it’s satirical, shame on us again. Why? Because it satirizes a reality many of us have seen unfolding in many corners of the church as pastors hire fashion and image consultants, as pastors have themselves made over, and as pastors/churches spend a growing amount of time cultivating style at the expense of deep substance.
Look. . . there’s not enough make-up in the world to fix me. The good news is that it’s not about me. I’ve been called to be a sign-post pointing to the King, the King’s Gospel, and the King’s Cross. If someone’s eyes land on me and they don’t move on. . . maybe I need to check myself to see if I’m the reason.
Lots of issues here to think about. What do you think?