- Jim Townsley
- May 5, 2013
Every mother has nagged (encouraged) her children to brush their teeth. I'm sure you were told to brush your teeth after every meal. Why is it so important? If you don't brush your teeth frequently you will have cavities and if you have enough cavities you could lose your teeth. Church planters need their teeth not only for eating, but for appearance sake. A congregation does not want to watch a preacher who is missing his teeth. There are several matters that preachers must be concerned about related to personal appearance and hygiene.
Brushing you teeth can help freshen your breath. When you have bad breath you are the only one who doesn't know it, while everyone else if offended by it. Not only should you brush your teeth, but you should use mouthwash. Every preacher needs a good wife that will tell him when his breath is bad. Breath mints, drinking adequate water, green tea, and various other pocket variety of cures can be helpful. Fasting or eating spicy food can contribute to bad breath. Become aware of this important aspect of ministering to people.
Other matters of personal appearance are equally important. Shine you shoes and when they are worn out replace them. Keep a brush in your car and office so that you can clean them up if needed. I have two pair of shoes. One pair I wear only to church and special occasions, while I have another pair that are less formal and adequate for general use or visitation.
Keep your clothes clean and neat. Your clothes and those of your wife send a message to your people. Are you giving them the impression that God is able to provide for every dedicated Christian or are you telling them they will have to have second best to be a Christian. Clothes can be expensive, but sometimes great quality clothes can be found at a goodwill for budget conscious families, so that your appearance and that of your family is given high consideration. Keep your shoes shined, your shirts clean, your slacks pressed, and your face shaved. It is important to take the time to present yourself properly to your community.
Care should be taken to watch your diet. Being overweight is not a sin, but overeating and a lack of discipline is sinful. Getting adequate exercise and eating properly can be a real challenge. Starting a church requires walking all day for several days in a row and will provide exercise. Climbing the stairs at the hospital rather than taking the elevator is a simple way to get more exercise without spending extra time to do it. Parking your car farther away from a store entrance and walking farther to get in is another easy answer to the exercise issue.
Preachers need not look like body builders and their wives' need not look like models. However not caring for your body speaks a sermon to your people that you don't want to send. Some of these issues can easily be forgotten during a time of great business in starting a church. Yet, you don't want to dispirit people before they have the opportunity to hear your message.
Keep you appearance attractive as well as your meeting place, your home, and your car. If your members recognize that you take care of the things God has given you they will more likely trust you to care for them. After you have enjoyed a wonderful meal your wife has prepared and before you head out to reach souls, brush your teeth.