So... what? Am I supposed to dress emo, comb my hair across my forehead and try to be cool so I can reach the next generation? (See Part I and Part II.)
Authenticity is about being who you are, where you are. Not trying to be something. It's just being... the very person that you are and are becoming.
My question is... who are you? Really.
I think we spend the first 15-20 years of our lives trying to figure that out and when we find a genre we like, we adopt it. Oh, I'm a rock-climbing, tree-hugging, nature lover. Oh, I'm a 1980's, big-hair band loving mother of three children. Yeah, I'm a wanna-be thug who only wears FUBU and bling-bling, and drops the r's.
Yeah, well if you are called to reach people for Christ, then you just cut your playing field down drastically. Honestly, is that really who you are? More importantly, is that who God designed you to be? Being authentic may not mean being who you think you are today. If we all took off the images that we have unconsciously subscribed to, and be real, vulnerable, truthful, open... authentic... I think we would all be a lot more relevant.
Don't stereotype yourself. Don't box yourself in like that. If you are called to lead people, to reach people for Christ, then don't cut off half the people that God intended for you to reach. If you are part of a worship team, then you are called to reach people... and chances are, you are one of the first people that your visitors see.
Be known for your love. Be approachable. Learn to love the culture of the people you are trying to reach.