22Mar '14

The Makeup-Free Church

This week lots of women have been posting ‘no makeup selfies’ and encouraging each other to donate to charity, and that’s great. I’ve been wondering though what it would be like if our churches went makeup-free as well. I don’t mean eyeliner and foundation and lipstick and blusher. I mean, what if we stopped caring so much about the branding and the PR, the ‘image’, the putting-on-a-performance┬ámakeup that we spend so long over?

What if it wasn’t about every church having its own carbon-copy programme, branding everything as ‘connect’ this or ‘x-ite youth’ that, what if it wasn’t making sure we looked so good in the spotlight? What would Church look like tomorrow if we stopped growing ‘one church, X locations’ empires and lived for the Kingdom? What if leaders stopped being CEOs and started being shepherds again? What if we didn’t all try to make our churches up to be mini-versions of ‘celebrity’ megachurches? What if every sermon series didn’t need its own trailer? What if we stopped revelling in the uniquely identical ‘cultures’ that characterise the modern christianish *sub*culture and tried to find an authentic, makeup-free way to live corporately and individually as sincere followers of Jesus?

I’m not setting out to offend here, or to single out any particular church. I’m just saying… the Bride of Christ is beautiful…. and she doesn’t need any makeup.

About an hour after I wrote that, I added this as a comment. I’m adding it to the original post now so that it’s included if anyone else shares it:

Hey everyone, I’d just like to publicly repent of the negativity I can perceive in what I’ve written above, having re-read it. There is I think a kernel of truth in some of what I said (and I’m not trying to half-apologise here) but it definitely needed deeper consideration of the message and the method in which I said it. I am a poet, and my facility with words can sometimes mean that something I say “sounds good” without necessarily “being” good. On balance the potential for being misunderstood, as well as un-dealt-with carnality on my part, probably outweighs whatever benefit might have come from what I was trying to say. I’m not going to delete it, because I don’t believe that’s the best way to behave in social media, but I will let it and this apology stand. I hope (and am sure) that you will respond graciously.

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