Prophetic Thursday: Becoming Less Hip

Welcome to the first ever Prophetic Thursday here at the blog.  Every Thursday I will peer down the pike and try to give you a heads up on what to expect within Christianity in the near and not so near future.  Can I predict how long I will keep this series going? No.  Can you stone me if these predictions don’t come to pass? No. Do I offer any guarantees?  Um…no.  But I think it will be fun, which is good enough reason for me.

Becoming Less Hip

I’ve never worn corduroy pants because I’m afraid the friction caused by my less than slender legs rubbing together would start a fire in an area that must remain flame-free.  Being overweight is also one of the reasons that I have never tried to wear skinny jeans.  The other reason I have stayed away from skinny jeans is because I am not hip enough to pull it off.  Unless you think someone who played the mellophone in a marching band is hip.  Or owning every Weird Al Yankovic album ever recorded.  Or having at least ten t-shirts featuring cartoon characters.  Or greeting everyone you see by saying “howdy.”

I’m not hip and that’s okay because your hip pastor will soon start becoming just like me.  There’s a backlash brewing against hipster Christianity; an assault on awesomeness, if you will. 

You could partially blame Brett McCracken’s book Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide.  You could partially blame John Piper for being both colossally uncool and immensely popular among the preaching populace.  You could also blame age and the presence of children.  It’s awfully hard to maintain an acceptable level of hipness while watching a steady stream of children’s programming.  Street cred decreases as Sesame Street cred soars.

Just don’t blame me.  I’m here to perform a public service.  I’m here to give you a few ways to know if your pastor is beginning to slide down the slippery slope that will lead him to become Mr. Rogers minus the Neighborhood of Make-Believe.

1.  Monitor his mane.  This is the easiest way to spot a pastor in chic-to-geek transition.  If the faux-hawk is flattened and the use of hair product plummets, beware.  Having hair that looks less like Adam Lambert’s and more like Alan Alda’s is a clue that the transition is under way.

2.  Gauge his grooming.   Two distinct eyebrows are nice but unnecessary for those who are leaving the hipster lifestyle.  So are fingernails that would make hand models jealous.  And if you look at your pastor’s nose and it looks like a spider is about to crawl out, you can be sure that the conversion is complete.

3.  Consider his clothing.  If you like having a pastor who wears graphic t-shirts, Diesel jeans, and Chuck Taylors please prepare yourself.  Those styles will soon be replaced by dress shirts, khakis, and shoes from St. John’s Bay.  Picture your high school history teacher or politicians when they try to look like regular people.  Your pastor will soon look just like this.

4.  Listen to his language.  You might grown used to hearing him declare that his wife is hottt or that he just “beasted” this or that, but his vocabulary is about to undergo an over-haul.  Get ready to hear him use slang that was popular twenty years ago and for his pop-culture references to be just at old.  “This passage reminds me of that Joey character from the popular sitcom Blossom.”  Also, prepare for more Greek and Hebrew words.  THEY ARE COMING!

I hope this helps. 

And when you see your pastor ditch trendy clothes for a cardigan and penny loafers remember that you heard it here first.

(Which warning signs did I miss?  Has this started happening to your pastor? Share away!)

69 thoughts on “Prophetic Thursday: Becoming Less Hip

  1. Two words: Not yet. Two more words: Hope not. If it does happen two more words: stun me. Why? I have no hair so gel/no gel is out. As for grooming my nails: I don’t do girly things. Clothing: I wear jeans and will wear a “dress shirt” at times, even khakis. St. Johns are out of my pay range. Won’t declare that in public & she doesn’t believe me in private. I never used “beasted.” (not even sure what that means unless its man-talk for dominated). Oh, I didn’t watch Blossom. But I am waiting for Groovy to come back. 🙂 And they/anyone doesn’t have to worry about me wearing a cardigan or penny loafers. Can’t wait for more Matt.

    • You’re probably like me, Bill, and are already collosally un-hip, so this doesn’t really apply to us. This is in regard to the hip pastors who will become more like us in the not too distant future 🙂

    • Now, now – let’s not hit the organist too hard – we’re always hip to an organ fund and playing an instrument with that many controls is definately more hip than is generally thought. Of course you have an organist point of view here…… always get lots of queries as folks pass the console on Sunday mornings when I’m playing.

        • Lol! Depends on the situation of course……… but probably a little to flashy. Seriously, I’m in my 40s and should be into all the current trends but never have been – I definately default towards the more traditional approach to things but then I’m an organist – not ashamed of that but lets just say coming from an sbc background….. they are not as friendly to the organ as they once were. So on the hip thing…… guess I’m not hip in that respect but that’s ok….. makes things more interesting and fun at times!

  2. My friend and I were just talking about this. I went to a conference where everyone was ultra trendy. I said that my area of America is about 5 years behind. He said that he thinks this is becoming a trend thanks to guys like John Piper and Matt Chandler. Interesting.

  3. I think you’re underestimating the power of vanity. I’m mostly kidding but my teaching pastor has been getting increasingly hip as he ages. Part of it might be increased salary but that’s off the records for now 😉

  4. My pastor is toeing the line. He uses hair product and uses the word “crush” all the time. As in, “T, you crushed that teaching dude.” But he doesn’t wear skinny jeans or Chuck Taylors. He dresses pretty normally, albeit casually. And he uses Greek and Hebrew words all the time.

    You can’t put him in a box. I love that about him.

    • You know, what’s interesting is that “dude” has stuck around. It seems to be timeless, right alongside “man”. It always jars me slightly, however, when anyone uses “dude” when talking to a girl. Doubly so when a girl uses “dude” when talking to another girl.

      And now I am hearing Cody from Step by Step. “Dudes and Dudettes” I shall be in my corner over here singing the Step by Step theme if you need me.

  5. “politicians when they try to look like regular people”

    Bwahahaha! That is absolutely fantastic, right there.

    I think you need to check out what they’re listening to musically as well (I can’t think of any alliteration here). Sufjan today? That might be George Beverly Shea tomorrow. Watch for it.

  6. Brilliant! This is the perfect anti-thesis to Jon Acuff’s post on the metrosexual worship leader (an autographed picture of which I have hanging in my cubicle).

    Seriously am still laughing. Great stuff!!

    • Ha–I actually e-mailed him something similar to this a while back as a guest post. Apparently it was rejected 😦 Glad you enjoyed it.
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  7. I have 6 kids and often show up to church with spit-up on my shoulder, one shoe untied, carrying a diaper bag. The cool train left the station a long time ago.

  8. Hillarious! I’m not a preacher, but it describes me! I’d add that as my children are now out of toddler-hood, my pop culture references come more from Dora the Explorer than anything hip.

  9. Matt, I do happen across your blog from time to time and do find many interesting perspectives – very enjoyable. Actually grew up in east Knox county, went to Carter H.S. (class ’81) and Mt. Harmony was my home church. Attended and was an assistant organist at Chilhowee Hills during the late 80s thru 2001 when I went back to Mt. Harmony to be organist from 2001 – 2009. Do mostly fill in (substitute) organ playing – most recently at South Knoxville Baptist. Work full time for the PD (records) and part time as a rep for the Reuter Organ Company out of Lawrence, KS.
    So, now you know where the organ thing comes in…..

    • Cool thanks for sharing. And for coming by the site. Good to know that a few local folks are reading. Keep on keepin’ on with serving God.
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

      • You are most welcome…… I do enjoy ribbing folks on the organ stuff though – always good for an interesting comment or laugh. No I was never really trendy or hip – have a great dislike for jeans (doesn’t get more anti-hip than that – lol) and
        never wore them in school – usually casual business (less coat tie) was the type of clothing that I wore and still do since I work in an office at the full time and then visiting churches on the part time so when I’m at home it’s sweats and tee shirt or similar and the New Balance shoes (maybe a little trendy there) if outside and the house slippers (not so trendy) or barefoot inside. Always had weight issues so the real trendy/hip clothing didn’t look good on me anyway and they don’t make that clothing for anyone except fashion model skinny. Workin on the weight issue but will probably always be a little off hip! Great post and discussion!

  10. I’m more than a little hurt from reading this list. I’ve never stopped using Joey from Blossom references. Whoa! I’m wondering if that means I was never hip. 😦

  11. I am currently in the low end of the 200 club (205) and there is no way I am going to attempt skinny jeans. Honestly even when I weighed 175 I hated wearing clothes that are tight on my body. I do wear Rob Bell style glasses, and put product in my hair, but I don’t own skinny jeans, no fancy chuck taylors, and I never wear a scarf and a short sleeve t-shirt at the same time.

  12. my pastor is pretty cool (say it like the Miley Cyrus show character on SNL) and he’s got a band and a show and that’s…. pretty cool.

    but he’s more geeky/preppy cool and wears sweater vests and stuff, but has the product and the scruff and the t-shirts to Council meetings down.

    He scored a 70 on Jon Acuff’s metrosexual scale, but he’s young yet, it’ll happen.

    • Glad to find someone else who knows about the Miley Cyrus Show skit on SNL. I’ve mentioned it a few times and gotten strange looks. O
      Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

  13. There are some unique pastors out there that skip being hip altogether. And not to their credit, in my opinion.

    I visited a church where the 27 year old HEAD pastor wore a full suit, slicked his gorgeous hair back like he was competing with a 50’s sitcom, and used phrases like “soda pop drinks” and the “young folks” with their “alcoholic beverages”.

    Generational fail.

  14. Ha ha! Love this:

    “Or having at least ten t-shirts featuring cartoon characters. Or greeting everyone you see by saying ‘howdy.'”

    That’s classic SeekingPastor right there! 🙂

    For me, the sign I’m getting less hip by the minute is when my five year-old steps out of the car when I take her to school and says, “Just drop me off here, Dad. I’ll walk the rest of the way.” :-/

  15. How about when the pastor shops at the Presbyterian supply store, gets him some ecclesial robes, and starts wearing them all the time because “it makes me look cool like Obi Wan?”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s