After dinner this past Wednesday night we took down the Christmas decorations in the church. For that reason we had a shorter devotion than usual. I happened to have a toboggan on as I led the devotion time. A few people said something about it during the evening. One person even asked me if it was necessary for me to have it on. During the devotion, I told everyone that I felt my job as the pastor was to help them grow as followers of Jesus to the point that they could carry out the mission of the church without me. One way for me to do that is to pave the way for outsiders who may come to church. I told them that if my toboggan bothered them, then I did need to wear it. As they learn to accept that, they will be more accepting of young people who come into the church who also wear a toboggan or hat. It’s the same reason I wear blue jeans sometimes for Sunday morning worship.
We should not dilute the Gospel to make it appealing to outsiders. As a matter of fact, Kyle Idleman in Not a Fan writes, “I found that when Jesus had a large crowd, He would most often preach a message that was likely to cause them to leave.” If the Gospel offends people, so be it. It always has and it always will. However, if people are offended by blue jeans, ball caps, and toboggans, that is a problem. Whether we wear hats or blue jeans is not going to matter one bit in eternity. Whether we are willing to accept people in hats and blue jeans may matter in eternity, especially if the church drives them away from Jesus over something so insignificant.