Ladies and gentlemen- it is my pleasure to present to you, May’s Beard of The Month winner, Pastor Joe Thorn. Joe is the Lead Pastor of Redeemer Fellowship in St. Charles, IL, as well as a husband, and father of four. He blogs at joethorn.net, and is the author of “Note To Self.”
One of the things that I find most intriguing about Joe, is that he is the creator of one of my new favorite websites, beardedgospelmen.com. So in a nutshell- Joe is basically my hero. Keep reading, and I think you’ll see why…
Getting to know your beard
Approximate age of your beard: I started growing the beard in July of 2011. So, it’s about 9 months old as I’m typing this up. He’s still just a pup.
Beard style/category: Full beard/long beard.
Food most often found stuck in your beard: I avoid the messy stuff. No more Wings from BW3. For some reason oatmeal always hangs around for a visit, and now that I’m growing out the ‘stache, frothy drinks will add highlights there as well.
Your bearded lifestyle
What inspired you to grow your beard? Most of my heroes in the faith had great beards. John Knox is certainly at the top of that list as a short man (like your’s truly) who was used of God to herald the gospel with boldness.
How do you avoid the summer temptation to shave your beard? It’s not a temptation. I even run 3-5 miles in the warm weather with it. It’s not any worse than no beard, and in fact it might be a little better with it! Seriously, check out those cultures in desert regions. A lot of men in such places are sporting beastly beards. They know what they’re doing.
What is the most unique comment you’ve received regarding your beard? I went to pick up some donuts at a local shop, and the moment I stepped in the door the long haired kid behind the counter said, “DUDE! Sweet beard!” I said, “Thanks, man.” Then he said, “It’s like all the hair on your head slid off onto your face!” This was, of course, followed by a typical “stoner giggle.”
What does your wife think of your beard? (Question added by Joe) She is an amazing woman. She would prefer me to be clean shaven, but she says this looks good. She’s happy to let me grow it out.
A day in the life of your beard
Describe the daily maintenance of your beard: After a shower I put a small dab of light pomade in my beard, running it through with my fingers, and then combing it through. That’s it.
How do people typically react to your beard? Early on when things were starting to look a little crazy I got a few jokes. But at this point I only get compliments, often from complete strangers, many of whom are unbearded themselves.
How do you defend yourself against beard enviers? I try to turn them from enviers into pogonotrophers. If they can’t grow a full beard, they can probably rock a ‘stache, or a goatee.
Your beard’s uniqueness
How would you say your beard matches your personality? It’s a synthesis of sobriety and silliness. I view the beard as a mark of masculinity, but it’s also a lot of fun. I don’t take my beard too seriously. But I do take being a man seriously.
What about your beard are you most proud of? The truth is, I have always wanted to grow a beard, but I never thought I could. So discovering that I can pull it off has been a pleasure! I’m not proud of my beard, just thankful for it.
How has your beard in particular served as an inspiration to others? I think it’s fair to say yes. I followed the lead of bearded men in our church, and others have since followed my lead. beardedgospelmen.com seems to be encouraging men to get their beard on.
Chime in: How has Joe’s gospel beard inspired you?