In Praise of Fat Pastors (Sort Of)

When Paul warns in Philippians 3:19 against those whose god is their belly, it’s just as applicable a warning today about the Crossfit junkie as it is the chocoholic.

The pursuit of the appearance of having it all together is not new. We might have the most advanced whitewash, but you can’t really improve a tomb.

I don’t think you even need me to list all the evidences that American evangelicalism is obsessed with image, with cool, with seeming impressive.

What we need are men (and women) who will lead the way in rejecting the Photoshopping of our faith.

And wouldn’t it be a huge relief, wouldn’t we all just kinda exhale in relief, if we were led in this way to stop sucking in our guts? Our stomach might increase, but wouldn’t we actually decrease in the right ways?

Wouldn’t that kind of freedom to breathe—the freedom to simply be ourselves—be a fruit of the gospel?

So no, I am not advocating gluttony here, just a Christward self-disregard, a godly un-self-consciousness.

I am praying for an increase in the tribe of self-forgetful pastors—if not all-out dorky ones—with platforms thrust upon them genuinely “aw shucks”-wise, men who will love not their images even unto death. Men who at least are not obsessed with the camera catching their good sides.

Give me a fat guy in the pulpit so long as he preaches not himself and not the law but the glorious gospel. And if you’ve got a pastor with washboard abs who does that—well, that’s OK too, I guess.

He had no form or majesty that we should look at him,
and no beauty that we should desire him.

Isaiah 53:2  

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Jared C. Wilson
Jared C. Wilson is the Director of Content Strategy for Midwestern Seminary, managing editor of For The Church, Director of the Pastoral Training Center at Liberty Baptist Church, and author of numerous books, including Gospel Wakefulness, The Pastor’s Justification, The Prodigal Church, The Imperfect Disciple, and Supernatural Power for Everyday People. A frequent preacher and speaker at churches and conferences, you can visit him online at jaredcwilson.com or follow him on Twitter.