Have you ever thought about how you dress for church? Is dressing up reverent and dressing casually irreverent? Is your choice of dress a deliberate decision or are you just following a tradition, expectation, or mandate even?
I remember as a young minister being admonished and later rebuked for not dressing like a minister. I always wore slacks and a dress shirt but, once a minister, I was expected to add a tie and a sports jacket. Even better, a suit would be nice, and an expensive one would be best.
Some say it’s a part of worship. Some say we should honor God with our best presentation or appearance. They argue that we should look different than the world. Some go as far as to put restrictions on what is and is not acceptable. The church of my childhood forbade men to have long hair and required women to keep long hair or keep their hair covered. They still do. Some restrict jewelry and make-up. Is there really a biblical basis for such a mandate?
On the other side, pastors preaching in jeans and polo shirts seem to be on the rise. I recently went to a conference and some of the presenters even had flip-flops on. They argue that being you is important. Further, they say that a person’s dress has very little, if anything at all, to do with their reverence and worship of God. Arguments here and here seem to run even deeper, claiming negative socio-economical implications and irrelevance to the culture are just some of the results of the “Sunday best” mentality.
Is “Sunday best” dressing out of place for church today? How are the poor or less fashionable to feel about all of this? What about the leaders of your church? Do you expect them to “dress the part?” Are we dressing to impress others, God, or ourselves? Think about it and let’s talk. Responses here please.