The Bearded Leader. / by Dan Case

When I first saw this last year I thought is was funny and pretty accurate. As I have had opportunity to travel to some regional ministry conferences you get to see may of these facial hair styles in person. The definitions they provide here seem to fit well with the leadership styles projected. Personally I like to think I fall somewhere in between the Neo-Reformed & Spurgeon. 

The sad part about this is that these categories exist at all. The Christian faith is built on the idea of unity through Jesus, this shows we have developed the exact opposite of that. Our culture has such a hard time defining a "Christian" because there is a dozen different concepts on what it means to really be one. A short drive just about anywhere in the city of the Columbus shows this to be true, on opposite sides of the street you will see 3 or 4 different churches that are all "Christian." That is strange isn't it? How is someone who is not Christian figure out how to be a Christian? Where does the process even start? Do you just shop churches like you would a grocery store? Compare the services and goods and see which one fits best? Many people do that and they can be left feeling put off by the idea of church. Is that really all this is? As a church leader it is frustrating to feel the need to out do other churches so people will come to my church. Is our website as nice? Is our services as good? Do we have better music? Do our kids programs stand out from the rest?

To be honest it makes me sick to my stomach. The truth is in the 10 or so years I have been involved in ministry I have never been a part of a growing church. Most of my church experience has left me with battle scars. It's been hard on my wife, made me move more times that I've wanted too, broken up friendships, & given me anxiety. So why even bother with it right? I don't know if I will always be employed by the church (I struggle with that a lot) but I WILL always be part of the church and here is why: 1. It's the Bride of Christ, although sometimes it looks like a toothless wild gypsy throwing hubcaps from the top a trailer, it's still His beautiful bride. 2. It's part of the redemption plan to bring Jesus to a lost and dying world.

I believe in the church, I believe it can still be what it was meant to be. I am thankful to be a part of a church (Eastland Christian Church) that is trying to figure it out. We still make mistakes and miss the mark, but we are giving it our best shot. We try to follow the Bible and allow Jesus to be the center of all we do. I'm also thankful for the leadership team at ECC and their willingness to seek truth together. 

Hopefully one day churches can join together and be the compass that our culture needs. Until then use this facial hair guide to give you an idea of what you might be in for the next time you visit a church. Ever encounter any of these characters? Would love to hear about it.