While working on an earlier post about Doug Pagitt being axed from the upcoming Wired2Grow conference in North Carolina, I couldn’t help being reminded of something I’d noticed before: the “preacher” uniform has really changed, at least in some circles.
There was a time when you could recognize a preacher because he was the only one wearing a suit or tie when coming through the check-out line at the grocery store. More than once, I’ve had tellers ask if I was a preacher. “You just look like one,” they’d say, and I’d wonder why.
Nowadays, however, the look has changed. Rick Warren led the revolution by adopting Hawaiian shirts and a goatee as proper pulpit attire, and countless would-be-Saddlebackians followed suit (or, lack of suit).
Among emergents, the combination of a shaved head and beard or goatee has also become popular. Brian McLaren (below),despite the gray in his beard, was a primary trendsetter.
Indeed, it’s hard to find an emerging/emergent spokesperson who doesn’t sport facial hair, a T-shirt, and a pair of jeans with at least one hole in them. Pagitt (at top) has the requisite goatee, as does Ed Stetzer , a church planter turned consultant who often critiques the movement (and whose goatee is usually more well-behaved than in the picture at right).
Mark Driscoll, whose criticism of Pagitt contributed to his persona-non-grata status in North Carolina, also likes the scruffy beard look, though photos on the Internet suggest that it comes and goes.
And, Rick McKinley (right), who will apparently have to dialogue with himself at what is now Wired1Grow, features a championship goatee.
I don’t intend any of this to be critical of those who prefer the shaggy-faced look. But, I couldn’t resist a chuckle while running through some photos from Jordan as I prepared for an Old Testament class — and remembered why we call it a “goatee.”
Professor of Old Testament at Campbell University Divinity School in Buies Creek, North Carolina, and the Contributing Editor and Curriculum Writer at Good Faith Media.