A while back I read a blog post about a couple that interviewed for a ministry position. They would have been working with folks in a ragged and rough neighborhood where the woman had once been a homeless teen. It would be a tough ministry and brought back all sorts of not-so-pleasant memories. After some interviews and a visit, the couple was hired, and made plans to move. Then, just before moving, but after they had made all sorts of changes including closing out their lease and telling their children they’d be leaving friends, they were told not to come. Apparently they didn’t “look” holy enough to be on the staff of this church because they had tattoos.
One of my acquaintances was helping a church as interim worship leader. After a brief time he was asked to cover up his tattoos because he might offend someone in the congregation. The ironic thing was that he was doing significant favors for the church, giving up significant concerts he could have done, in places that embraced him as the great musician and person he was in Christ. And he was given far less compensation than he would have received elsewhere. He certainly was open to doing what was needed to minister, but it was amazing that his tats were more of a concern than his heart of service. I was somewhat embarrassed by the church.
Note well: Christians will almost always do ministry to people poorly when they get more concerned with the exterior rather than the heart.
By the way, I have no tattoos, and never will. I do, however, have some truly extraordinary sin you can’t see. I’m so glad for the saving and amazing grace of God!