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Missional Haircuts

March 20, 2012

Suburban chain haircut shops have no idea how to sculpt a decent faux hawk.  Last time I walked into one in my neighborhood, and the lady actually had no idea what a faux hawk was.  For some reason I still let her try to figure it out.  Never again.  Now I insist on driving into the city to the folks at the Uptown Great Clips.  Sure, it’s still a Great Clips, but these people know what they’re doing.  Best haircuts I’ve ever had.  Well, except for the one I got in Turkey, but that was for completely different reasons (two words: flaming q-tip).

After a wait of about 10 minutes (less than the estimated 20 – bonus points for you, Uptown Great Clips), I met Christy (not her real name), the stylist who would be crafting this month’s “mo-faux.”  After a brief “my head is your canvas” conversation, she asked the inevitable question:  “So, what do you do?”  I had two options: 1) Give some brief copout answer about how I “work with youth;” or 2) Say, “I’m a missionary.”  To be honest, I love throwing the phrase “I’m a missionary” out there, because most people have no idea what to do with it.  It usually leads to an awkward conversation in which they say “Church just isn’t my thing.”  But, sometimes, it leads to a good conversation.  So I went with it.

After a short pause, she timidly asked, “Uh, so, what does a missionary do, exactly?”

“Oh man!  This is my chance!  I can totally hit her over the head with the Gospel!  She’s going to fall on her knees, invite Christ into her life, and start preaching right here!  The whole salon is going to start speaking in tongues, weep, and heal each other!  We’ll open up an EBC Uptown campus, and we’ll all have to move on to another city, because all of Minneapolis will be saved!”

Nope.

Here’s the thing: Christy’s question wasn’t some sort of strategic opportunity.  Her life isn’t an object just waiting to be shoveled into a group of converts, or a “church member waiting to happen.”  No, Christy is a person.  She has hopes, dreams, and even a daughter to look after.  So, I could be like the typical Bible-thumpers on TV she flips past every Sunday morning, speaking condemnation, or I could begin to get to know her, as a person.

I briefly explained what I do, being clear on the fact that I love Jesus, but I didn’t dwell on it.  I asked her about her life, what she enjoys doing when not cooped up at work on a beautiful day.  She lit up and started telling me about her day off last week, when she and her daughter took their bikes out of storage and rode them all day long in the sunshine.  She longs to travel, but just can’t find the time or money.  She likes work, but loves her family and daughter so much more.

I would have completely missed out on this relational opportunity had I just focused on the opportunity to smack her across the face with the Bible.  I wouldn’t have been let in on a little piece of Christy’s life.

And here’s the thing – the next time I’m there, there’s a relational foundation to build upon.  I can ask her how her daughter is doing, and show her a Christian who isn’t so focused on himself to not care about her life.  One day, perhaps 10 haircuts down the road, I pray I’ll be able to share the full Gospel with her.  Perhaps she can join me at church along with her boyfriend and daughter.  That’s what I’m praying for.

Who knew a haircut could be such a big deal?

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. April permalink
    March 20, 2012 2:36 pm

    AND.. you got a haircut out of the deal 🙂

    • thebassoflife permalink*
      March 20, 2012 3:06 pm

      Haha, indeed I did.

  2. March 21, 2012 10:45 am

    What a great story. I agree with you 100% and that the relationship you build with her is extremely important and will be a tool God will use at some point. Way to set an example for us all.

  3. Beth permalink
    March 21, 2012 9:19 pm

    I’m a proud Mom…

  4. Faith permalink
    October 10, 2012 4:17 pm

    Wow that was an awesome story! I’m proud of you brother!

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