I remember having these conversations in seminary, and beyond. Can I get the older generations to respect me when I have this baby face? For many, the answer is to grow the beard. I myself have been a bearded wonder for many a season, mostly as my winter face-coat.
For the majority of my time as a music and worship minister, I was the youngest or near youngest in the room during the adult choir practices I was leading. And I have to say, there was a noticable uptick on the respect-o-meter when my face was covered in bearded awesomeness. I've sported the hipster goatee since I was in high school, but when things needed to get serious, full on Grizzly Adams was in order.
Yes, for me, conducting Britten needed a beard.
As I've crossed into my 30s, I've experimented and have recently gone clean shaven. It hurts my heart sometimes, but I do it, and things have been fine. The thick-rimmed glasses help immensely.
Then, this last Sunday I visited the college class (one of my young adult small groups at church) for the first time. I introduced myself to many of the students at the start of class. One of the students came in a little late, so she hadn't met me yet. She'd also been away at school, so she had no idea who I was.
The leader introduced me a bit later, and the convo went something like this:
"Have you met Jarrod?"Epic. The blessings of a baby face.
"No I haven't! Did you just start school at UTA?"
So what now? Maybe the answer lies here, in this amazingly thorough and scholarly researched infographic from Out of Ur: