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  • PULPIT and TEACHER dress codes

    Just wondering what you think.

    Is it OK for a Pastor to place certain requirements on the people who serve as Sunday School teachers or stand behind the pulpit during service (such as special singers). Such as dress codes.

    At my home church, women are to where dresses or skirts while teaching or singing behind the pulpit. Men are to where button up shirts. No t-shirts or shorts. We do this to give those positions the dignity they deserve.

    Let me know what you think.

    Taddy

  • #2
    I've attended a church like that- and Idon't agree with it. However, the Pastor and church leadership have the right to make those kinds of decisions.

    If the people involved object, perhaps a meeting with the pastor is in order?

    It is a hard question, becuase just like a place of employment having a uniform or dress code, I beleive a church can too. As long as it doesn't cross over into legalism, like everyone has to dress the same way all of the time.

    Alaina

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by taddy View Post
      Just wondering what you think.

      Is it OK for a Pastor to place certain requirements on the people who serve as Sunday School teachers or stand behind the pulpit during service (such as special singers). Such as dress codes.

      At my home church, women are to where dresses or skirts while teaching or singing behind the pulpit. Men are to where button up shirts. No t-shirts or shorts. We do this to give those positions the dignity they deserve.

      Let me know what you think.

      Taddy
      I serve in a parachurch organization where the leaders are required to dress appropriately. Only recently was the ban on slacks lifted for women leaders, but we still have standards about what kind of pants are allowed. No jeans, for instance. I understand the necessity for the requirement, having been embarrassed by what I see some women wear in front of the congregation. I think it is much more respectful to dress according to what honors the Lord, not what you would wear to go out to play. People show more respect in clothing at weddings, why not at church.

      But I'd be wondering and watching to see what other rules get laid down. If this is all coming from the pastor, he might be a bit too controlling.
      Blessings,

      Road Warrior


      Proverbs 4:23
      23 Guard your heart above all else,
      for it determines the course of your life.

      Comment


      • #4
        Our pastor asks that if you are going to be onstage (singing, playing the piano, etc) that you wear a dress or skirt (if you're a girl, of course). Also, if you are a sunday school teacher, you are to wear a dress or skirt. I don't mind this at all and it has been overlooked if someone has to play the piano at the last second and didn't know it. I try to wear a dress or skirt to church everytime, anyway, in case I have to play, but there have been occasions where I haven't.

        For a while, our guy in charge of offering was asking that the men wear a button up shirt with a pocket if they were going to take up offering because he had these little badges that said "usher" to go in the pocket. I thought it was silly, but it didn't matter really.

        I think it's the heart behind the rules that matter. I think that our Pastor has asked that of us so that no visitors that come to our church get offended as there are quite a few people stop in sometimes that believe that women should always be in a dress. Of course, we aren't always all in skirts or dresses, but those on stage are.

        So I guess my answer is that it is okay for a pastor to ask that of his people.
        Mommy to Brooke, Braden and Bristol

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by taddy View Post
          Just wondering what you think.

          Is it OK for a Pastor to place certain requirements on the people who serve as Sunday School teachers or stand behind the pulpit during service (such as special singers). Such as dress codes.

          At my home church, women are to where dresses or skirts while teaching or singing behind the pulpit. Men are to where button up shirts. No t-shirts or shorts. We do this to give those positions the dignity they deserve.

          Let me know what you think.

          Taddy
          I would be very concerned if a pastor was dictating a dress code over and above a requirement to dress modestly. You don't want leaders hanging out of loose-fitting clothes leading their charges to distraction and temptation, but beyond that I say people should dress as they see fit.

          There's also the issue of how welcoming the church is to a newcomer. The person seeking Christ won't necessarily turn up wearing neatly pressed clothes and is likely to feel completely out of place among people dressed in their finest clothes.

          Christ himself associated with the lowest of the low - tax collectors and "sinners". When I read this:

          Luk 18:10 Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican.
          Luk 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican.
          Luk 18:12 I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess.
          Luk 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
          Luk 18:14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
          I sometimes find myself wondering whether the insistence on an outer dress code is being more like the Pharisee than the publican.
          24 August 2013 - I've decided to take a break from a number of internet forums, including this one, for my own reasons.
          I expect to be back at some time in the future, although at present don't know when that will be.
          I've been here just a few days shy of six years, and those six years have been greatly blessed.

          ---

          1Jn 4:1 NKJV Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.
          1Th 5:21-22 NKJV Test all things; hold fast what is good. (22) Abstain from every form of evil.



          Comment


          • #6
            I think this would stem more from old standing traditions than anything else. I go to Bob Jones University, where the girls are all expected to wear skirts and dresses and the boys are all expected to where buttoned-up shirts and ties every day of the week. I don't necessarily agree with this, but I do see why some people would see it as a gesture of modesty and respect towards God.
            Lord bless and keep you,
            Courtney

            Christ says, "Give me your all. I don't want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work; I want you. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it." - C.S. Lewis

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by HisBlood View Post
              I think this would stem more from old standing traditions than anything else. I go to Bob Jones University, where the girls are all expected to wear skirts and dresses and the boys are all expected to where buttoned-up shirts and ties every day of the week. I don't necessarily agree with this, but I do see why some people would see it as a gesture of modesty and respect towards God.
              Yes, I think this is true. Employers for example, want their employees to come to work looking a certain way, sending a message by their appearance that they are serious and professional in what they do. I have recently become aware (by virtue of having teenage grandchildren) that kids in school send messages to one another by the way they dress. A certain kind of shoe says, "I'm a skater!" (Skateboarder) Another style, all black, says, "I'm emo." Flat one-sided bangs goes along with that style.

              So I think that what we wear, how we wear our hair, is sending signals. Do we look like the rest of the world, or does our appearance send a message that glorifies the Lord?

              Traveling in a Mediterranean country a few years ago, my hubby and I realized that the street hucksters knew we were Americans before we ever opened our mouths. They could tell by our clothing, hair style, and the way we carried ourselves.

              Being a Christian leader is about a lot more than how we dress, but how we dress sends the first message.
              Blessings,

              Road Warrior


              Proverbs 4:23
              23 Guard your heart above all else,
              for it determines the course of your life.

              Comment


              • #8
                I guess we're pretty relaxed at the church I pastor.

                This past Sunday I wore slacks, a dress shirt & sweater. That's as "dressed down" as I ever am. Normally I wear slacks, shirt & tie - and often wear a suit. I don't carp & holler about it, but that's just the standard I've decided to maintain.

                On the other hand, a high school boy read our opening Scripture on Sunday. He was wearing jeans and a T-shirt. Though it would have been nice to see him wearing slacks, dress shirt and tie, I doubt he even owns those things. He's a "jock". Plus, I'd MUCH rather see him on the platform reading aloud from the Bible, than to not have him do this.

                One of our elders - a youth leader - always wears shorts (though they're not just gym shorts). While I might like to see him a little more dressed up than that, he does a fantastic job with the kids - and that's what is important.

                I guess what I'm saying is that what you look like is less important than why you're there, and what's in your heart. But I say that admitting that I'd rather see people dressed up a little more...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by jeffreys View Post
                  I guess we're pretty relaxed at the church I pastor.

                  I guess what I'm saying is that what you look like is less important than why you're there, and what's in your heart. But I say that admitting that I'd rather see people dressed up a little more...
                  I agree. When I'm just attending, I wear pants, it's more comfortable. If I'm teaching, I dress up a bit.
                  Blessings,

                  Road Warrior


                  Proverbs 4:23
                  23 Guard your heart above all else,
                  for it determines the course of your life.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by taddy View Post
                    Just wondering what you think.

                    Is it OK for a Pastor to place certain requirements on the people who serve as Sunday School teachers or stand behind the pulpit during service (such as special singers). Such as dress codes.

                    At my home church, women are to where dresses or skirts while teaching or singing behind the pulpit. Men are to where button up shirts. No t-shirts or shorts. We do this to give those positions the dignity they deserve.

                    Let me know what you think.

                    Taddy
                    I really dont think it matters what a person wears while teaching or preaching,for the simple reason i have seen God do tremendous things no mattter what i am wearing, whether it be on the street,( in shorts, and a cut off tee) or behind the pulpit,( in a pair of slacks and a shirt.) although i agree nothing distracting should be worn in a service, for the simple fact of not causing someone to stumble. I mean the pharisees dressed up for church. I just cannot see the apostle Paul worrying about such matters. But if someones feels they need to dress up then that is fine with me. I just dont agree with people pushing their own opinions or "codes of conduct" on people with no biblical backing.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by cross crusader View Post
                      I really dont think it matters what a person wears while teaching or preaching,for the simple reason i have seen God do tremendous things no mattter what i am wearing, whether it be on the street,( in shorts, and a cut off tee) or behind the pulpit,( in a pair of slacks and a shirt.) although i agree nothing distracting should be worn in a service, for the simple fact of not causing someone to stumble. I mean the pharisees dressed up for church. I just cannot see the apostle Paul worrying about such matters. But if someones feels they need to dress up then that is fine with me. I just dont agree with people pushing their own opinions or "codes of conduct" on people with no biblical backing.
                      I think your point about "not distracting" is very good and valid.

                      It's one thing to have a beautiful woman standing up front reading Scripture. It's an entirely different thing if that same woman is wearing provocative or "too revealing" clothing.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        At my former church, I was on the worship team. We all wore the same outfit. The *church* paid for our outfits. We just gave out sizes and such. I think we only had one pant outfit, it was in a hideous burgundy color (ok the whole outfit was ugly lol). If the suits were always to the ground. I'm 5'3, and short people look awful in long skirts! I had all mine hemmed, so I didn't have to roll the waistband. I did just made them about 3" above the ankle. I had most of the suit tops tailored as well.

                        Did I mind it? nah. I didn't have to be concerned about what I was wearing every Sunday. I loved that part. All in all it wasn't bad. For Wednesday nite service, we could wear anything, but sweats or shorts.

                        All leadership always looked their best. They wore pantsuits, skirt suits or dresses. All the men wore suits, shirt and tie. Or at least a jacket and matching pants and a shirt underneath.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you. For the record, I believe the pastor has the right to enforce a dress code for workers, as long as he/she does NOT enforce it people's private lives. It is legalism when AND ONLY WHEN you do it because you think it will save you. If you do it, knowing it has nothing to do with our salvation, it is not legalism.

                          TADDY

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I would be very concerned if a pastor was dictating a dress code over and above a requirement to dress modestly. You don't want leaders hanging out of loose-fitting clothes leading their charges to distraction and temptation, but beyond that I say people should dress as they see fit.

                            There's also the issue of how welcoming the church is to a newcomer. The person seeking Christ won't necessarily turn up wearing neatly pressed clothes and is likely to feel completely out of place among people dressed in their finest clothes.
                            I totally agree. Requiring women working with the children at church to wear dresses or skirts IRKS me. If it was me leaving my child with a Sunday school teacher always wearing something that nice, all it would say to me is "this teacher is hands off and uptight." Not the way I would want my children to be taught about Christ, and I definitely wouldn't want any nursery workers wearing elegant clothes (I've certainly been thrown up on in the nursery before). Jeans allow me to be on the floor interacting with little ones, loving them and keeping them safe, and they allow me to get messy in Sunday school doing hands-on projects with kids that help them remember Bible stories better.

                            Clothing makes a first impression, sure, but which impression are we hoping newcomers will take home with them? I would hope an impression of eternal things (loving, warm, friendly, helpful, connected...) would be more important.
                            "In the multitude of my thoughts within me, thy comforts delight my soul." Psalm 94:19

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Loved View Post
                              I totally agree. Requiring women working with the children at church to wear dresses or skirts IRKS me. If it was me leaving my child with a Sunday school teacher always wearing something that nice, all it would say to me is "this teacher is hands off and uptight." Not the way I would want my children to be taught about Christ, and I definitely wouldn't want any nursery workers wearing elegant clothes (I've certainly been thrown up on in the nursery before). Jeans allow me to be on the floor interacting with little ones, loving them and keeping them safe, and they allow me to get messy in Sunday school doing hands-on projects with kids that help them remember Bible stories better.

                              Clothing makes a first impression, sure, but which impression are we hoping newcomers will take home with them? I would hope an impression of eternal things (loving, warm, friendly, helpful, connected...) would be more important.
                              Allow me to play Devil's Advocate here for a minute...

                              Would it be appropriate for a pastor - or director of children's ministries - to mandate that all nursery workers dress in a way that assures us there will be no front, or rear, cleavage popping out? And to keep in mind that you'll be bending over constantly...


                              It seems to me that people aren't necessarily on the same page, concerning what is and is not appropriate dress in every situation. In addition, some people may not even be aware of the fact that when they're sitting cross-legged on the floor, playing with a kid, that their entire butt-crack is showing. And the person who has to say something about it is always the bad guy.

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