Think you’re a rebel? A rabble-rouser? A one-man wrecking crew that takes on the ills of society and fights for everything good, noble, and true?

Great. Start by brushing your teeth and putting on pants.

I’m serious. In two decades of church ministry I’ve seen it all—every version of the anti-establishment hero from the back-to-red-letter leader to the Acts-chapter-2 communist. Heck, I’ve BEEN every kind of Jesus-rebel you could imagine. But the thing that sticks with me most is the genuine surprise worn by the majority of self-proclaimed change agents. They all have this one thing in common, this one question they simply cannot answer:

Why is no one following me?

Honestly? Because you’re a mess.

You can’t heal the world in sweatpants. You can’t take on contemporary Pharisseeism with corn in your teeth. You want to be the next Billy Sunday? Jonathan Edwards? GK Chesterton? Start by not quitting your job.

If you think I’m being unduly harsh, then please understand—this is all advice I would give my younger self. I’d have gone much further much faster if I had realized the first rebellion Christ calls us to begin is against self-aggrandizement.