I caused quite a stir this past Sunday. I showed up dressed so different that a few people hardly recognized me. I wore a tie this week.
To set the record straight this is not the first time I have tied up for church. In my previous pastorate in Oklahoma, I served in a much more traditional church. At that church I wore a suit and tie every week. At my current pastorate in Pasadena, we are very casual church. As a Pastor I have always attempted to dress to match the culture of my church.
I have seen both sides of the casual/traditional church dress debate. I love that a casual church opens its doors so any person can come as they are. I have seen in the traditional church how the way you dress can become an obstacle for non believers.
So, why did I wear a tie?
I believe that the way you dress at church will affect the way you approach God when you are there. Here are 6 ideas to chew on in regards to putting on your Sunday best.
The way you dress prepares your heart for worship.
When I go out to eat with my wife, I can tell you it becomes a special occasion when I dress up for her. My attitude and attention are different when I choose to dress up for a special occasion.
When I come to church dressed down my encounter with God in worship becomes a normal commonplace experience. I never want worship to be normal. I want my attitude and attention to be pointed upward to make worship with my church the most important part of my week.
The way you dress establishes (for teachers and pastors) the authority of your message.
The simple truth is people who dress well are taken seriously. When you dress poorly you loose credibility. When you are teaching and preaching the Word of God do you really want people to doubt your credibility?
The way you dress builds the environment for corporate worship.
If the whole of a church enters casually then the whole of your church will worship casually. When the whole of the church comes ready to meet the king it will be reflected in their worship.
The way you dress will either draw attention to you or to God.
There is a temptation in dressing up and dressing down of doing it disruptively. When you dress immodestly people will be looking at your business and not towards worship. If you make dressing a competition, who are you trying to impress?
The way you dress should be relevant to the church you attend.
I have said that we need to dress up for worship. I have not said we need to wear suits, ties or ball gowns. For a farmer dressing up might be putting on his best pair of jeans. In my community, few wear suits. That is not our Sunday best. In Pasadena it may be a golf shirt and jeans.
The way you dress communicates to outsiders the value of your faith.
I wouldn’t trust a banker wearing sweatpants with my money. I wouldn’t trust a doctor in cargo shorts and flip flops with my health. Why? Their clothes speak to the value of their work. What we wear to worship communicates how much we value worship.
The way you dress doesn’t matter as much as who you are inside.
So after spending a whole blog talking about looking your best for Sunday morning let me conclude by telling you that God cares far more about your heart than he does your clothes. You can dress up as much as you want, but if your heart is not right all your work is in vain.
For me, putting on a set of dress slacks and button down shirt helps to get my attitude focused on meeting Jesus. That said, in church every one is welcome. If you have on flip flops and shorts you are welcome. If you wear a sports jersey and sagging pants you are welcome. I’m going to dress up simply because it helps me to worship. I’m not going to judge what you wear.
Do you agree with me? Do you disagree with me? I would love your thoughts.