Facial hair seems to be having a moment. It’s at the heart of movements like “Movember” bringing awareness to disease.
It’s also the subject of a one of a kind devotional from Jared Brock & Aaron Alford called Bearded Gospel Men: The Epic Quest for Manliness and Godliness. They shine a lighthearted spotlight on the intersection of faith and facial hair with daily looks at the lives of men whose faith was even greater than their often ample beards.
Jared Brock digs into the tale of his favorite profile in the book – Charles Monroe Sheldon.
“He’s easily my favorite! Charles Monroe Sheldon was the one who originally invented the term ‘What Would Jesus Do!’ One hundred and so years ago, before it became this bracelet campaign. You know! I’m sure you had one like I did.”
But there was so much more to Sheldon than a famous phrase.
“So basically Charles Moore Sheldon was the son of a preacher. His dad had planted one hundred churches in ten years. He grew up in this passionate family, and he got gripped by the gospel early. He became a pastor, and he was trying to figure out a way to get young people to come to the service. So he wrote this story called In His Steps. Basically it was a multi-part preaching series on what would happen if a guy lived his whole life always asking the question, ‘What would Jesus do?'”
“This was unheard of at the time. This was so radical. A publisher said, ‘We love this story. We want to publish it.’ The problem was when they published the book they accidentally messed up the copyright, and it fell into the public domain. And over sixty publishers – including a bunch of Christian publishers – all stole a book on being like Jesus! And they printed it, and it sold over thirty million copies. It’s still one of the top one hundred books of all time. And Sheldon barely saw a cent from it, but he kept going. He just kept writing books. He kept preaching the gospel.”
Sheldon was always on the lookout for fresh ways to share his faith.
“There was one point where a local newspaperman said, ‘You know what – take over my newspaper for a week. Run it the way you think Jesus would! So he goes into the masthead for the paper and lists everyone on staff – including the janitor.”
“He decides that he’s not going to run any ads for cigarettes or alcohol or pharmaceuticals. And he’s only going to have positive stories. That week the readership went from less than twenty thousand subscribers to over three hundred, eighty seven thousand.”
Jared Brock co-authors the one of a kind new devotional, Bearded Gospel Men: The Epic Quest for Manliness and Godliness with his friend Aaron Alford.On the Road with Jared Brock