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Jeans in church

December 31, 2006

Mensjeans

Today was a historic day…I led worship in jeans from the platform at Sunset Pres.

May not seem like a big deal to you…but it is to me.  It’s a big deal because I have always believed that God looks at my heart, not my outward appearance, and that when He talks about offering Him my best it has far more to do with my actions and thoughts then my slacks or hair color.  And since I’m way more comfortable in jeans personally then in dress pants, it was a good day.

Starting in January jeans will be acceptable platform wear in the 11am service.  The 9am service will still be a little more formal, and I get that.  For some people what jeans symbolize to them would be distracting in worship, and the last thing any of us want who serve at Sunset is to be a distraction in worship. 

As if this even needs prompting…do you have thoughts on dress codes at churches?? (all opinions valid!!)

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9 comments

  1. I LOVE LOVE LOVE jeans. I get that people want to bring their best on Sunday… but for the non-churched (that’s who we’re reaching, right???), it’s so intimidating to have to show up in their best clothes. It becomes a show.

    I’m excited for the change. I think stop putting so much emphasis on the outside and more on the authenticity of our INSIDES, amazing things will happen.

    Great service today, btw. I was brought to tears. That hasn’t happened in awhile.


  2. Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed a trend recently at Sunset that may signal our congregation is already moving toward a more “casual” dress code.

    For example, one Sunday I thought it was going to be Prayer & Healing, and I usually go forward to pray with people. So, with that in mind, I chose a long skirt, so as to not embarrass myself when sitting facing the congregation.

    It turned out not to be, which was fine. However, it got me thinking about my skirt, and the fact I didn’t have to wear that particular skirt….I know, I know that exact “focusing on the outside and not the inside” is what you guys have already mentioned….Don’t Judge me, just bear with me. My point is coming.

    That, in turn, made me look at the women around me, out of curiosity, and I kid you not, EVERY woman I saw was wearing pants. There was not another skirt in sight, except for one woman who turned out to be serving Communion.

    Now, if it’s icy or bitter cold outside, wearing a nice pair of pants to church is fine. When I was growing up, that was the only time we could wear pants to church…Granted I grew up in the South where the culture was definitely different, but to me it just seems disrespectful somehow. Like you couldn’t be bothered. What’s next? Not combing your hair or showering?

    Sorry, you asked 🙂


  3. Interestingly enough, I’ve noticed a trend recently at Sunset that may signal our congregation is already moving toward a more “casual” dress code.

    For example, one Sunday I thought it was going to be Prayer & Healing, and I usually go forward to pray with people. So, with that in mind, I chose a long skirt, so as to not embarrass myself when sitting facing the congregation.

    It turned out not to be, which was fine. However, it got me thinking about my skirt, and the fact I didn’t have to wear that particular skirt….I know, I know that exact “focusing on the outside and not the inside” is what you guys have already mentioned….Don’t Judge me, just bear with me. My point is coming.

    That, in turn, made me look at the women around me, out of curiosity, and I kid you not, EVERY woman I saw was wearing pants. There was not another skirt in sight, except for one woman who turned out to be serving Communion.

    Now, if it’s icy or bitter cold outside, wearing a nice pair of pants to church is fine. When I was growing up, that was the only time we could wear pants to church…Granted I grew up in the South where the culture was definitely different, but to me it just seems disrespectful somehow. Like you couldn’t be bothered. What’s next? Not combing your hair or showering?

    Sorry, you asked 🙂


  4. I personally think I look good regardless..Jeans or not (don’t believe me? Ask my mom)

    But as I’ve recently increased my Jeans collection (five new jeans total…you can never have enough Jeans), I happily welcome the change although people can’t see my nice jeans behind the piano anyway.


  5. Much like Kristin I grew up in a church culture where not wearing your Sunday best was equal to not respecting God. If I wasn’t dressed up completely I would get busted by my parents and looked down upon by the old people in the church.

    I’ve come to realize that was a very unhealthy way to grow up. That is not what a relationship with Christ is like. In fact, given His history of how he mingled in the NT, I’m guessing Christ would rather hang out with slobs and the not-so-well-dressed than with the people that I grew up emulating.

    This is a great move, I’m happy for it. It doesn’t mean you are going to be sloppy on the platform, it means you are going to be real.

    Like JClay I cried in the service a little bit yesterday, and that is pretty rare for me as well. It was near the end…singing…and I was just overwhelmed.


  6. Much like Kristin I grew up in a church culture where not wearing your Sunday best was equal to not respecting God. If I wasn’t dressed up completely I would get busted by my parents and looked down upon by the old people in the church.

    I’ve come to realize that was a very unhealthy way to grow up. That is not what a relationship with Christ is like. In fact, given His history of how he mingled in the NT, I’m guessing Christ would rather hang out with slobs and the not-so-well-dressed than with the people that I grew up emulating.

    This is a great move, I’m happy for it. It doesn’t mean you are going to be sloppy on the platform, it means you are going to be real.

    Like JClay I cried in the service a little bit yesterday, and that is pretty rare for me as well. It was near the end…singing…and I was just overwhelmed.


  7. My parents were southern presbyterians, so you bet I grew up wearing a tie.

    Today I’m all about dressing to make our guests feel comfortable.

    If I’m at home, I have taken to wearing “lounge wear” – shorts, pajamas, sweats, “Shan” pants. Typically more casual than I feel comfortable wearing in public most of the time.

    I have a bunch of friends who attend a growing local church and they have *never* seen the pastor in anything but shorts. He does so because he doesn’t want to put up a barrier for visitors.

    But I have noticed a strange thing – many times a nonbeliever will get a strong need to seek God because of some experience. When they do, they often think they *must* come to church in a suit and tie, because they feel that God is in the house and they feel compelled to show him respect. They want to encounter the holy in a serious way. I kind of wonder if they would feel more out of place in a very casual environment. (“Do these people really have God here? Seems like they don’t respect him much.”)

    So I kind of wonder if these clothing hangups we have are just that – hangups. I wonder if they really reflect openness to guests or ratgher are an attempt to be something we are not.

    Of course, I am all about trying to make a culture shift if it will reach more people. So I’ll wear my new Christmas PJ’s this Sunday. 🙂

    Dave


  8. I remember having to wear a suit to usher. I hated it. I could not wait to not have to wear a suit to church. When we left CB, soon after I got rid of my suits, and did not even own a sport coat, until Princess Alsey, became Queen Allison. Now, over 20 yrs later, it is a little stuffy for me, when everyone up front, is dressed up. I like casual much better. Come as you are, means you don’t dress up, at least I think that is what my son in law says. And while I am at it, I really do not care for the “King James Prayers.” Coming out of Portland Christian, Central Bible, and MSB and Dallas Seminary influence, that is all I heard, and I felt very inadiquate, to this day. Some of my most favorite and meaningful prayers from others, were very short, and from the heart.


  9. Never answered to a blog before, and wouldn’t you know this is the subject that would press me into expressing a point of view. JEANS ON THE STAGE ON A SUNDAY: just typing these words have made my hands clamy a bit …. well – it did. I like jeans. I’ll probably wear nice jeans to a 2nd service from time to time. Do dockers or casual slacks apply to 2nd service now? I don’t recall Billy Graham wearing jeans as he preached to millions of people and yet the response by christians and non-christians alike was most favorable to God. We’re likely to dress better than jeans when we’re interviewing for a job, our daily job, meeting someone for dinner at a restaurant,, meeting a client at work or for entertainment. I hope we don’t error on the side of looking sloppy in a building of which we all have had a hand in building so beautiful and with much thought from architects, designers, etc. We could have just built a big old metal out-building and called it a church. But we didn’t. I’ve always believed that if you hold a position or perform a function where others will look to you for advice or wisdom or authority, then you ought to look like you might be able to handle it well. I’ll be dressing more casual for the 2nd service …. Yes, I will pack another set of clothing with the deliberate thought toward looking casual yet tasteful. See you all on Sunday!



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