Clothing and Church
I love living where I do. I am loving living in California and discovering all the new aspects of West Coast culture. I've never had more fun in my life. But I do get confused once in a while. We were invited to visit a church (before we came to Santa Barbara) and were told to not dress Midwestern, but casual. For me that meant khaki pants and an open-at-the collar buttoned down long sleeve shirt. Martha, ever the proper Southern lady wore a dress.
At church, we stuck out like sore thumbs. Our friends were in jeans and cargo pants, flip-flops and sandal. It was really casual. Good worship, but casual dress. We were invited to go out for dinner with a group that night. So we went back to the hotel to get it "right" this time. I put on jeans and a nice, dark t-shirt and Martha wore pants and a pullover. At the restaurant, the guys were in slacks and blazers and the women were all in formal dresses! What did I miss? Why was church less formal than dinner? I did not get the memo.
A good article in Christianity Today by a woman, Tracey Bianchi, addresses this whole realm of dressing for worship in today's culture. I certainly want our church to welcome anyone as they are. But what are your thoughts about how pastors and leaders should dress? What is distracting? What's just cultural and regional (I came from a culture where robes were normal) and what is being biblically sensitive?