I was going try and mimic this cover of the most recent Wired with Jenna Fischer of The Office and Blades of Glory, but do it with me in the pic.   But since I figured it would give most readers nightmares, I thought better of it . . . you’re welcome.

WIRED is one of my favorite mags and I am always finding interesting things that may or may not offer reflections upon my role as pastor.  I usually find the articles fitting into one of three areas:

  1. Wow, I wonder if that would translate to the church?
  2. Duh, we’ve been doing that for years.
  3. Funny, witty, inappropriate, but still funny, witty . . .

This past issue has an article, The See-Through CEO by Clive Thompson which may offer some interesting nudges for pastors as we too try to be a more authentic, transparent and “naked in a good way” presence in the world.

A few snippets offer some interesting fodder for reflection.

On the results of a shift in how much was shared about the realities, good and bad of his business.
Like some crazed convert, he trumpeted his epiphany: “I honestly believe that if Redfin were stripped absolutely bare for all the world to see, naked and humiliated in the sunlight, more people would do business with us.” Follow me, he urged.

One the practicalities of transparency
All of which explains why the cult of transparency has so many high tech converts these days. Transparency is a judo move. Your customers are going to poke around in your business anyway, and your workers are going to blab about internal info – so why not make it work for you by turning everyone into a  partner in the process and inviting them to do so?

On the cultural realities of having a public presence
Some of this isn’t even about business; it’s a cultural shift, a redrawing of the lines between what’s private and what’s public. A generation has grown up blogging, posting a daily phonecam picture on Flickr and listing its geographic position in real time on Dodgeball and Google Maps. For them, authenticity comes from online exposure. It’s hard to trust anyone who doesn’t list their dreams and fears on Facebook.

So here are my quick rules for being an effective and authentic “Naked” – or “nude” for you artsies out there – pastor…

  1. BE REAL // Get out there and develop an authentic internet profile, REAL pictures, REAL name, REAL experiences, etc.  For instance, while for ranters, anonymous snarky names might be helpful, eventually you loose your longterm pastoral credibility if your name is something too obtuse.  One question would be, “Would I be comfortable introducing myself with this as my middle name?”  Let’s see . . .
    • Bruce “BadAssPastor” Reyes-Chow
    • Bruce “TurnOrBurn” Reyes-Chow
    • Bruce “TotallyLikeSpiritual” Reyes-Chow
    • Bruce “I-Love-Jesus-Yes-I-Do-I-Love-Jesus-How-Bout-You!” Reyes-Chow
  2. BE APPROPRIATE // Only share what you are willing to say or should be saying from the pulpit, to leadership, with members, to visitors etc.  Yes there is context to consider, but any whiff of secrecy or clique-building will come back to bite ya in the booty.
  3. BE CONSISTENT // I have found that the cynical and critical nature of most of the folks that come to MBCC create a sense of pending doom when it comes of interpersonal interaction.   Somewhere in the back of their mind they are waiting for the image/persona to break down.  Can this community REALLY be what their website portrays . . . is Bruce really who he is on his blog, over coffee, on Sunday’s . . . are there REALLY people like me here . . . can this REALLY be a REAL community?

The essence of being real, transparent, authentic and yes, one more time, naked, is that one is confident enough in who God has made and is making them to be to be able to put it all out there: warts, beauty, flab, creativity, doubt, security, and on and on.

Blog on naked pastors, blog on!

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