Growing up in a non-denominational church it really didn’t matter how people dressed. On any given Sunday, you could see jeans, skirts, dresses, shorts, or even sweatpants. But that’s also not to say others didn’t wear their “Sunday’s best”. There were those who were always dressed to the “nines” and wore their big hats and three-piece suits.
But there’s a difference between being casual and sloppy, and one pastor takes an issue with the latter.
Rev. John DeBonville, pastor at the Church of the Good Shepard in Massachusetts, doesn’t think people should be so relaxed in their church attire.
It’s like some people decided to stop mowing the lawn and then decided to come to church,” says DeBonville.
DeBonville doesn’t want to see baggy jeans, flip-flops or the like in his congregation.
But What Would Jesus Wear, seems to be the question many are now asking. Would Jesus care what you wore to church? I guess that depends on which version of the bible you’re reading.
Shouldn’t people have that same reverential attitude when they show up at church to meet God, some ask? After all, doesn’t your dress reveal the importance you attach to an occasion?
That sentiment, however, is seen as hopelessly old school in many popular megachurches across America. Casual Fridays has morphed into casual Sundays.
And many of the popular megachurch pastors are middle-aged men who bound onto the stage each Sunday dressed in skinny jeans, untucked Banana Republic shirts, and backed by in-house Christian rock bands. They’ve perfected a “seeker-friendly” approach to church that gets rid of the old formal worship style with its stuffy dress codes.
But there’s a danger in making people too comfortable in their clothes on Sunday morning, says Constance M. Cherry, an international lecturer on worship and a hymn writer.
Some churches have embraced a business-oriented “the customer is always right” approach to worship that places individual comfort at the center of Sunday service, says Cherry, author of“Worship Architect: A Blueprint for Designing Culturally Relevant and Biblically Faithful Services.”
“Many young people and boomers judge the value of worship service based on personal satisfaction,” Cherry says. “If I get to wear flip-flops to Wal-Mart, then I get to wear flip-flops to church. If I get to carry coffee to work, I get to carry coffee to church. They’re being told that come as you are means that God wants you to be comfortable.”
My grandmother, who transitioned from a Pentecostal church to non-denominational late in life, took issue to those who didn’t put on their best clothes for Jesus. It would irk me to no end that she would force me at times to wear stockings and a dress on a Sunday that wasn’t Easter. I’m of the belief as long as you’re clean and presentable, that it shouldn’t matter how you dress at church. Even though I’ve long given up on going to church, best believe if I was to walk in on any random Sunday, I will be casual.
Clutchettes, do you think it would matter to Jesus what a person wore to church? Be it casual or to the “nines”?