Sunday, January 24, 2016

It's Time to Look Like a Pastor

When our family first came to Guatemala nearly three years ago, I sat at an outdoor bistro with Kellie and the kids in Antigua. Two young Guatemalan men approached us and one of them said, "You look like a pastor." I sat there with earrings in my ears and tattoos on my arms, thinking, "I do not look like a pastor!"

He explained to my perplexed face that we had met on Facebook and we'd been friends for some time. He and I laugh even to this day each time we see each other... about the day he startled me in Antigua.

As our mission gains further clarity and direction, I find myself frequently serving as a pastor not only for Journey Church, but also in uniting rural pastors and in the leading of mission teams. This week I realized both through experience and through discussion with trusted brothers that in order to reach the culture... I need to physically reflect the culture. 

And so... let the Chapin make-over commence. The earrings are locked away for US visits, and the attire of a pastor replaces shorts, t-shirts, and the flare of a bow-tie. Khaki pants, button up shirts, even suits on Sunday will be a more frequent choice in my wardrobe. 

But... it has to be more than clothes. I've noticed lately that my growing beard seemed to freak out the villages. Children would tug on it and call me a goat. It's hard to spread the message of Christ if people think I'm a goat-man, a bum, or a gang-member.

So... here's my quick transformation today that freaked out my kids, made Sophie our intern scream, and caused our guard to refuse me entry to our own property... because he did not recognize me. 


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