Summary: Do you really know yourself and why you are speading the message?
You must also know the entreater. While it is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit to get people to listen and respond. We are the package for the message. This is why prosperity preachers must wear expensive suits, Rolexs and have jets and multi-million dollar homes. For them to hawk their message, they must look the part. Would you buy a stock tip or a book on “How I Achieved My Wealth” from a man dressed in rags standing in front of a cardboard box that is obviously his home?
If the world knows how to package junk in a box so pretty that you will buy it and then use media to even make you like the junk you bought we have to be careful how we package the message. Man does look on the outside while God looks on the heart. Yet, we do not have to do the slick packaging of Madison Avenue or the televangelists.
Our outward attire can be really quite simple. For many, many years a pastor wore a black suit and tie with a white shirt and black socks and shoes. I am not much of a clothes horse so that is a fine outfit for me. If I had my way, I would have twelve white Western shirts, twelve pair of black Western pants and no ties unless they were bolos. I would have two pairs of Cowboy boots and a pair of sneakers. Casual dress would be black jeans and a t-shirt or Western shirt of some color. I would live in a sweat suit around the house. I am a simple man.
Some of us require more of a variety, but simple should be the rule regardless of style. You want to have people’s attention focused on what you are saying, not your regalia. I have ministered to plenty of people who would have been turned off if I were in a suit. Old people would be turned off if I did not wear one. Come in all dressed to the nines and many will think you are flaunting your wealth or you are vain. Even rich corporate types have scaled down. Simple is always good.
Part of knowing yourself as the entreater is how you responded to that. If that raised your cockles a bit then you might be a bit vain or have a self-image that needs to be supported or bolstered by attire. You have to be less like the World and more like the Master if you are going to properly package the message.
Jesus would not have stood out in the crowd of His day. He would not have adopted the attire of a hippie, grunger, punker, or even the typical attire of a Rabbi though He was called one. He earned that title by His character and the content of the message. His appearance had little to do with it. Isaiah said there was nothing that would be very noticeable about Him so the pictures of the blue-eyed, light skinned, Nazarite who had not performed his vow are far off from the usual appearance of a Jewish man of the time. Paul became all things to all men that by all means he could win some, but he would not have put on black lipstick or wore a Mohawk. He spoke to the Jews from the Law and to the Gentiles without the Law. That is the point of his meaning. He spoke so they understood, not dress as they were dressed or immersed himself in their Gentile culture.