I’ve never heard of a “ponytail” being used for the kingdom. But in the case of Mick… it’s the truth.
Mick was nothing like I expected when I was introduced to the senior pastor at this small town Nebraskan church. Mick was wearing jeans, Converse and a t-shirt with Einstein’s face when he met me at the church on Saturday night.
It only took listening to a few people in the congregation before I immediately deduced how much Mick meant to this church.
“Mick has helped make this church the ‘go to’ place in this community when someone is hurting,” Stan McNabb shared. Stan is a volunteer youth worker in the church. “If someone is in the hospital fighting for their life, it doesn’t matter if they go to this church. The family wants to talk with Mick.”
When Mick finished his masters degree at Denver Seminary, he was offered a pastorship at the small EV Free church in the middle of nowhere Nebraska. Mick moved out there with his wife and kids and immediately got a reputation in the community—the new pastor with the ponytail.
If you live in a small town you understand. Word gets around fast. Everybody knows everybody. When Mick walked into the Dollar General and people got a glimpse of the ponytail, he could almost hear the whispers, “That must be him.”
Big city pastors probably don’t know what it’s like to have the word “Hey! It’s me, the new pastor!” tattooed on your forehead. For Mick, he found that it opened up some incredible doors for conversations. But it also created some serious accountability.
Think about this.
How big a tip do you leave Katy, the waitress in the one diner who has probably served the entire town their breakfast at one time or another?
What films are you renting at the video counter at the gas stop? (Yeah, no Blockbuster Video in this town)
Are you patient when Janet, the town gossip, corners you and talks your ear off for half an hour?
A few years ago the community suffered a series of tragedies. Mick immediately made himself available to the families. It wasn’t long before people knew, the guy with the ponytail is a good listener. If you want to go to a church where everyone is accepted, go to the church with the ponytailed pastor.
Mick doesn’t have the ponytail anymore. He was loosing too much hair on top and didn’t want to do the “Phil Collins.” But Mick doesn’t need the ponytail any longer. Everyone knows who he is. He’s the guy that leaves Katy a nice tip every time.
What about you?
What if you had “I’m a follower of Jesus” tattood on your forehead? Would it make a difference how you lived?
What would the people in your town say about you?