How important is it to you that your pastor has a good fashion sense? Does it matter to you whether or not you can trust your pastor's fashion advice on top of his spiritual leadership? Ed Young of Fellowship Church in Texas recently launched a website called PastorFashion.com. My first reaction was is this website for real or is it meant to be satire? If it's a joke it does a good job making fun of the reality that this is the type of thing that a Christian pastor might do. Unfortunately Young's statement, “It’s not just about fashion, it’s about looking presentable as we present the timeless message of Christ. It’s about having a healthy self-esteem, which starts with God. That’s why we’re doing this,” leads me to believe that this is not satire.
I may be a bad judge of the importance of this because I honestly care very little about my fashion; my wife or my mom buys every piece of clothing I have. I occasionally influence my wardrobe as I add more graphic tees into the mix. Many pastors have incredible impact on culture as they use their unique gifts in films, books, the arts, and even clothing design. But how important is it to have a fashionable pastor in the pulpit?
"Pastors aren’t typically known for their fashion. Most people don’t think of the runway leading up to the pulpit. But why not?! Why can’t the men and women of God set the standard for the rest of the world in fashion as well as faith? That’s why we’re launching PastorFashion.com. We want to set the trends." - Ed Young
Clothes or Doctrine
As pastors shepherd their congregations, certainly some clothing choices can distract from the preaching, but how important is it for the pastor to be on the cutting edge of fashion? As you prepare to preach for the weekend services, I think that the pastor should put their heart and soul into properly handling the scriptures in their sermons. I do not think a pastors outfit should have any role as a pastor prepares for how to communicate the Gospel.
We certainly need pastors that want to lead the culture. But the culture doesn't need more fashionable pastors, the culture needs pastors who are boldly sharing the transforming message of Christ, which in turns leads to a church of people that value the same thing. What value does being well-dressed have when it comes to the law convicting a hearer of their sin and the Gospel setting the guilt of the hearer free. If your tie isn't skinny enough, is it going to be more difficult for the doctrine of justification to be communicated? If your collar makes your face look too long, are people going to ignore salvation by grace through faith?
"Let your wife worry about your clothes. Buy books and study. We don't need any more well-dressed, hip, funny, heretics. Who cares how you say it if what you're saying is wrong." - Matt Chandler, Pastor at The Village Church
Dress well and dress appropriately. But the moment you are more worried about how people will look at your fashion choices instead of how they will hear the scriptures, you are in a dangerous place. It doesn't matter if your pastor can make it onto the list of the top 100 sexiest men, if they are preaching heresy.
What do you think, is the site satire or serious? How much should a pastor care about being seen as fashionable?