“Dutch” is a mentally challenged man that lives at Impact! Church. Each day you can find him sitting near the front doors greeting people and inviting them to church. At night he sleeps in our sanctuary. We provide him with meals, clothes, basic hygiene and medical care. We do this because “Dutch” has no family, doesn’t really like living in homeless shelters and has “adopted” Impact! Church as his family. He considers me his pastor and I am honored to call him friend.
Recently I took on a new role in “Dutch’s” life – I became his barber. A few months back he announced that his hair was getting too long and he was “starting to look like a hippie”. He stated that he was too shaggy to be an effective greeter for Impact! Church and needed a haircut. I offered to take him to the barber, but instead he announced that I would be his new “stylist”. He handed me a pair of scissors and said, “Get after it…I have people to greet.” Luckily there was a set of nice electric hair trimmers and some better scissors around the office. Like we do quite often, I went to some videos online for basic skills training. After my crash course in YouTube hair styling I went to work on “Dutch”. It took me about an hour to get everything correct before his hair started looking good. Apparently “Dutch” was quite pleased with the results because he started telling other homeless people that Impact! Church had “professional barbers that gave out free haircuts”. Before the day was over I had cut hair for several other men in the neighborhood.
Since that day I have cut “Dutch’s” hair 3 more times. Why am I cutting hair for a homeless man? Because he is a part of the Impact! Church flock – I shepherd that flock – and sometimes the shepherd has to shear the sheep – literally. In essence it is Pastoring 101. The 30-45 minutes I get to spend with “Dutch” cutting his hair is quality time with one of my church members. We talk, joke around, laugh a lot and discuss the Bible. It has been one of the best forms of discipleship I have ever used.
Click here for more information about Impact! Church and our ministry to the impoverished, inner-city Parker Street community of Lakeland, Florida.