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A conversation about appropriate attire for worship leading

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  • A conversation about appropriate attire for worship leading

    Since the early 90's, I've led worship at churches with a blended or contemporary worship style. In general, my choice of what to wear has always been khakis and a button down or maybe a golf shirt. From time to time, if the mood strikes, I might even put on a coat and tie. but that was rare...until recently.
    At my new church (we have a blended style of worship), my pastor has strong feelings about what a person in leadership should wear on the stage on Sunday mornings. So, as a result our pastor, myself (worship leader), and our student minister are always in a coat and tie while almost all of the other people in the building are in khakis or jeans.
    Since I'm still kind of new here, I haven't discussed the subject with our pastor much. But I'm beginning to think that I should. To me, we just seem very out of touch with the people worshiping with us because we are dressed so differently.
    I know our pastor feels that we are showing God respect by dressing up a little more. (He recently walked in the office after attending a pastors conference and couldn't believe the main speaker didn't wear a coat and tie.) But I feel like God knows me better than that and is not impressed because I put on a tie.

    So my question is this... Have you ever been in a similar situation where you saw someone change their stance on this subject? How should I approach it? or should I even try?

  • #2
    Hi Shawn,

    I've been through almost the same situation not too long ago. About 2 years ago, our church got a new head pastor. I was one of the leaders in our church (I wasn't a praise band leader back then), so I worked a lot with my new pastor. Unlike our previous pastor, we all dressed in whatever we wanted. Our new pastor on the other hand is very traditional and asked our leadership team and the praise band to always wear a collared shirt and tie for Sundays. I did not agree with that rule and it made me upset. I thought and prayed about it and sought out guidance from a mentor. In the end, I decided to wear the collared shirt and tie... not because I agreed with him that a leader should wear a shirt and tie, but simply to honor my pastor as my leader, which I believe honored God.

    Over a span of a year, something happened with my pastor's opinion about our attire requirements. I'm not sure what triggered him to do this, but one day he told us that we don't need to wear ties anymore. But, he still asked us to wear collared shirts. So, today, as a praise band leader, I usually wear a polo and jeans; and he is fine with it. If I had to guess, he may have been influenced by our church's culture on attire.

    I may be wrong, but my suggestion to you is to trust God that he put your pastor there as your leader and follow him on this matter. I know how you feel, but I feel like God would be most honored by you obeying your pastor in this matter. May God lead you to make the right choice brother.

    Aaron

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    • #3
      So...you're saying my normal worship leader attire wouldn't qualify???!!!

      dave at rock d bay.jpg
      The Posse Band live performance tracks can be heard by CLICKING HERE

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      • #4
        Duned - LOVE IT!

        HAHA - seriously, in my opinion, it's not something God Himself is concerned with (unless it's crossed the line into being sensual or too revealing, etc., and causing people to stumble, which even THAT is going to be argued) ... but it's about YOUR local church's culture and honoring the requests of the leadership, even if you don't necessarily agree.
        Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
        blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

        Please check out my piano/instrumental music at:
        www.soundcloud.com/FredMcKinnonMusic
        www.youtube.com/c/FredMcKinnonMusic

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        • #5
          Originally posted by DunedinDragon View Post
          So...you're saying my normal worship leader attire wouldn't qualify???!!!

          [ATTACH=CONFIG]665[/ATTACH]
          I have the same guitar!

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          • #6
            Bro, should have asked about this before you took the job.

            My guess is, you'll never be able to change your pastor's opinion about this, so either figure out how to rock that suit and tie, or get your resume out there.

            Nate
            Last edited by milepost13; 10-23-2014, 11:06 AM.
            Practical Worship

            Please Pray For My Wife

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            • #7
              As Duned demonstrates, every place is a little different. He has a 'biker church', so him wearing a jacket and tie would be like putting a saddle on a sow (or a hog yuck yuck....).

              It sounds like your pastor is a little more old-school, and that isn't a bad thing. Even in this day and age, many businesses professionals are still required to wear dress slacks & ties. Interestingly enough, the latest information I've seen on trends for church indicate a preference shift in young adults and families towards a more traditional/formal church service- a big driver for that is the contemporary churches they grew up in are too casual. So who knows- we may see more of this.

              In our church, the guidelines for the morning service are basically "business casual" bare minimum- dress pants/ khakis, polo (prefer button down shirt and tie, but no jacket), dress shoes. Ladies it's dress slacks/skirt/dress (fingertip length), nylons preferred for skirt/dress. Tops must pass 'bend over test' and cover undergarments. Sleeveless is ok as long as everything's covered. Form fitting attire (including skinny jeans, leggings and "jeggings") is also frowned on. The last part has more to do with the teens on the team. Basically it's a judgment call. If one of the teens wants to wear leggings with a long shirt, that's usually ok.

              For the evening service, it's a little more casual- jeans are ok but no holes or stains, not baggy, etc. No shorts (but capris are ok) Collared shirt (for the ladies- same requirements for tops). No tennis shoes or flip-flops, sandals are ok if dressy.

              The rationale is- we are in a position of leadership, we should present ourselves as leaders. Part of it is the congregation- most dress a step above jeans & T-shirt, so the pastor likes us to set the example about dressing in a way that shows a level of respect and reverence. The evening service is a little different, about half attend and it's a little more relaxed. However, the expectation to still be 'neat' is in place.

              Now the church i was in 7 years ago, it was a 'theme' for the week. The worship leader (who was the pastor's wife) would send out an e-mail with the set list and the 'colors' for the week. For example, this time of year would very likely be 'autumn' theme- yellow, orange, red, brown, etc. and people were "strongly encouraged" to dress accordingly. The first church I was at when I moved 12 years ago had an elder who took it upon himself to designate the worship team was going to wear black pants and a white shirt, and after a service one day, informed us as such. Thankfully the pastor shut him down pretty quick.

              So, every place is different.
              If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Mike on Bass View Post
                As Duned demonstrates, every place is a little different. He has a 'biker church', so him wearing a jacket and tie would be like putting a saddle on a sow (or a hog yuck yuck....).
                Actually, you'll get a kick out of this. A bunch of us from church are going on a cruise next month. I had an old tuxedo from years past so for the formal dinner night I'm cutting off the sleeves and having a Salvation Saloon patch sewn onto the back. I think that should make my fashion statement pretty well don't ya think????
                The Posse Band live performance tracks can be heard by CLICKING HERE

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                • #9
                  awesome! that would rock- almost be a Billy Gibbons motif going on
                  If we want to go places we haven't been, we will have to do things we haven't done.

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