The Naked Pastor and the Great Commission

Sam Rainer

September 16, 2007

I was recently posed a simple question: “What makes a church innovative in fulfilling the Great Commission?” Innovation is making creative changes or introducing a new perspective on something already firmly established.

The Great Commission is established in Matthew 28, right before Christ ascends into heaven, leaving the disciples to continue the good news message of great hope and security. Since Scripture is the incarnate Word, unchanging as God is unchanging, how does one innovate on the gospel?

Obviously, the message itself doesn’t change – rather the mode, means, and ways of communication change. Scripture is sufficient; no other additions or subtractions to the gospel are necessary. Indeed, such changes are heresy. But the way we spread the gospel must be contextualized to the culture. You’ll never reach anyone without going and telling – couch potato Christians will never be great soul winners. Additionally, you’ll find difficulty in reaching people for Christ without first connecting with them – you must somehow communicate validly to them the unchanging gospel message. Whatever barriers exist (language, culture, etc), they must first be broken.

So when I came across this church, which is broadcasting their pastor’s every move for five weeks straight (24-hours a day), it got my attention. They call the undertaking “my naked pastor.” This nakedness, or transparency according to them, is to demonstrate how we all live in a fishbowl. Their goal? To reveal that the more transparent people are, the more God does amazing things through them. Without a doubt, it’s an innovative way to spark a connection between people, the church, and God. But what do you think? Does a stunt like this break down barriers or put up new ones? How could it help further the gospel message?

5 comments on “The Naked Pastor and the Great Commission”

  1. Tboss says:

    I think there needs to be a balance, but you should think about doing it.

  2. Sam Rainer says:

    Tboss – though the idea intrigues me, I think I’ll pass.

  3. Josh H says:

    One of those things from the name I’m not sure I want to investigate…and those that would probably aren’t thinking about exploring the gospel message, so the answer is probably that it doesn’t. “My Naked Pastor” – uh, no.

  4. Sam Rainer says:

    Josh H – good point. Just because something is innovative doesn’t mean that it will reach people. And sometimes the means and mode can distract from the actual message. Jesus, however, would do unexpected (even shocking) things to further his message. The mere fact that he called a tax collector and dined with sinners turned heads (Mark 2:13-17). No doubt, this stunt pushes the envolope. The question is, does it push it too far? I believe the answer depends upon the culture that you are trying to reach.

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