A recent service at Hillsong NYC featured a group of people on stage dressed as local celebrities, including a youth pastor who wore short shorts along with a guitar and a cowboy hat, resembling the popular “Naked Cowboy” who can be found in the city wearing nothing but briefs and a guitar. However, the real Naked Cowboy took issue with the portrayal of his likeness and added that he was offended that someone would dress like that in a church.
Why this story matters for church leaders:
Although Brian Houston and Hillsong NYC leaders disavow any involvement in the “Naked Cowboy” imitator at Hillsong NYC, they have had to manage the fallout from the incident.
- Who Plans Events? The naked cowboy imitator was allegedly not part of rehearsals, so how do church leaders train staff to keep a close eye on who goes on stage and when during events?
- Images Tell Stories: The video of the naked cowboy imitator on stage at Hillsong provided more than enough evidence for the public to condemn Hillsong, regardless of the back story or context.
- Copyright Laws: Church leaders need to educate all staff and volunteers about copyright laws. If the youth pastor involved had known copyright laws, he may have reconsidered appearing on stage.
Strange as this event was, how can you use it to better prepare your staff for the unexpected?
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