Okay, most churches, at this point in time, don’t really have a dress code, which I see as being totally fine. Having the ability to view many different services online weekly, while being marooned due to the pandemic, has made me aware of something amazing. Wow, we are all over the place with Sunday Go To Meeting attire. Should we be concerned? I don’t think so, being consumed with what other folks are wearing is one way for us to pass judgement, which has gone on for centuries. (2.If a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3.and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4.have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? JAMES 2:2-4) If we are still of the mindset that everyone has to dress in their finest attire before attending our service, we might want to step back and take a breath.
Being in the “Senior Generation”, a Baby Boomer, I have seen styles change throughout my lifetime in all aspects of living. Remembering my days in school, I can recall when we were first allowed to wear our shirts outside of our pants. Yes, we had really arrived, truly freewheeling. There are some who believe society had taken a turn for the worse when these types of rules were relaxed. Church seemed to be the place, at that time, where we were still supposed to dress to impress. At least it was that way at my church.
As a youngster, I had a Sunday School teacher once tell me, “it is not important what you wear to church, as long as it is clean”. Those words have stuck with me to this day, and all through the years I have been reminded each time I head to a church service, Clean Clothes. It’s amazing how we are so impressionable as young ones, and what we carry throughout our lives. My teacher was actually trying to get across to us, we present our clean selves to God, this will prepare us for his message. That makes sense to me, similar to clean hands, clean heart.
I am glad that most of us have moved to the place where we are not overly concerned with the type of dress in our sanctuary, as long as it covers our bodies of course. Suits with tie, pullovers, t-shirts, shorts, slacks, jeans, ripped jeans, yes, ripped jeans, all present in today’s church. I will say, some in my age group still choose to wear a jacket, shirt and tie. Even though I am part of that generation, with the exception of a couple of job interviews, I haven’t worn a tie since the late 1980’s, so I am not one of them. I would be more of a jeans type of guy. After-all, change has also happened in the workplace over the years. Most companies have adopted business casual, or some, just plain casual.
We see so many pastors today also wearing casual wear, many with jeans on the platform. This depends largely on the church, the culture and tradition and sometimes just how the service is presented. Currently, we are faced with situations where adjustments are being made to get congregations together, and still be able to social distance. These cases where services are being held outside, we find it necessary to dress accordingly, and God’s word is still being heard just as well. So, even churches where dress has been more formal may find a need to change, it’s all good. My earlier post (A Building Is Not The Church), speaks directly to this.
Please don’t misunderstand my message here, if you or your church wants to continue in traditional types of dress, that is also your prerogative, no negative view or thoughts here. Times do change, styles change, we all change but that doesn’t mean we change what is being preached, God’s word is still the same. (The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8) So let’s not worry about what our neighbor is wearing to a church service, we are there to Honor God and to enjoy the fellowship, not to impress each other. Part of Unity in Christ means, accepting each other as we are, and that also covers how we choose to dress. Smile, God loves us all.
Share your thoughts and feelings here. Let’s chime-in!