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Discussion in 'Pastoral Ministries' started by computerjunkie, Mar 8, 2006.
Does your church have a dress code for staff?
yes, to some degree. They aren't wearing uniforms, but they do have some standards that they need to follow.
Could you share some of the standards? For instance, does your dress code for staff allow denim (shirts, skirts or jackets), jeans, capri's or flip-flops? Do you allow men (or women) to wear shirts that are not tucked in?
here's some answers...
Denim, jeans capri's: yes.
Flip-flops: no one wears them. (might raise eyebrows, I don't know)
Tucked-in shirts: we don't care.
Sunday morning services (2, 3 soon): Pastor--tie & slacks (sometimes suit); worship leader--tie & slacks (sometimes suit); other staff--slacks & golf shirt or shirt & tie.
Sunday evening: Pastor--golf shirt & slacks (sometimes shirt & tie); worship leader--golf shirt & slacks; other staff: slacks or good jeans (and a shirt, duh).
Wed. nite: youth pastor--jeans & t-shirt or sweatshirt (trendier than other times); pastor--usually golf shirt & slacks, other staff--jeans or slacks & shirt.
As you can tell, we're more relaxed than some. Also, no one here "pushes the envelope" past what the pastor or the members are comfortable with. It's really not an issue here.
What brings up your request...complaining members, or a staff person "pushing the envelope?"
I'm the pastor of a small country church, and I've basically been told to wear whatever I want.
I generally wear a suit for Sunday mornings, and I wear a collared shirt with jeans for all other meetings.
being a southern boy, I laugh every time I hear "collared shirt." Sounds like you got one made out of some greens..."Does this collard shirt clash with my turnip pants?"
Or maybe I'm just weird...
I don't believe that it is as detailed as all that, but they should be wearing a suit and tie to all church services. Right now we only have two staff members (including the pastor) that have an actual office in the church, and keep pretty regular hours. Im assuming you are talking about pastoral staff? They wear regular, every day clothes just like everyone else when it isn't a church service time. They are all men who have personal standards of neatness and appropriateness, as well.
Dress standards extend to the pastoral staff's immediate families as well......in that the staff member needs to be on board with the church's teachings on modesty about women's apparel as well.
No dress code where I am at. I generally wear a shirt and tie on Sunday mornings. A dress shirt and dress pants on Sunday night. Wed night I wear a golf shirt and a nice pair of jeans or dress pants.
I would have to say that our church staff dress standards are the same as what bapmom describes with her church. My husband always wears suit and tie for church and during the week he wears a dress shirt and black slacks. The same goes for the assistant pastors as well.
I would have to agree with bapmom's statement, "They are all men who have personal standards of neatness and appropriateness, as well."
I hear you and agree.
Kinda like the only thing allowed to come and adore Christ at Christmas is: let us.
A little fatback might help with the collared shirt and turnip pants if they clash.
That being said, for health reasons, I can only wear athletic type shoes. (Specifically, I prefer Reebok or Asic walking or running shoes, as they fit well, and are lightweight.) Dress shoes are not an option, although I've been considering going to an all black athletic shoe, if I can find one that works well with my brace.
I am expected to at least have clean, untorn, and unfaded jeans. I prefer to have khakis or some other dress pants, but custom tailoring is outrageous, especially here in Alaska. (Hey, during break up or blizzards, rubber boots and Carharts are quite acceptable church wear, and a 4WD is a necessity even in town. Last year, I saw a car mired up to its axles in mud on one of the main roads in town.) If anyone knows of any place that I can affordably order 42 x 38 khakis, please let me know. (44 x 38 will work.)
I wear a button down shirt (or a button up shirt, depending upon perspective) and a tie (usually a bolo) on Sunday mornings. I will wear a jacket when the weather is not so cold that I have to wear a heavy coat, or so warm that I will melt in the jacket. On Sunday evenings, I will wear a golf shirt (or sometimes the button down shirt if I feel like it). On Wednesdays, I will usually wear a new, clean t-shirt that I wore to work, as I usually go to church straight from work. I will wear shorts for clean up days at church, until someone shows me in the Bible where knee-length shorts are not permitted for heavy, hot work.
Oh, and long-sleeve shirts are not an option, because XX Talls still come about 3 inches short of my wrists. (Besides that, they're hot and uncomfortable; I've never seen a Scripture that says, "You may only wear that which makes you miserable.")
My opinion is that whatever works in your field of labor, as long as it is modest, is okay.
Hope of Glory, I have to warn you, though. Whatever you do, don't allow those shorts to get above the knee.
Thanks for all the feedback! Let me explain a little further.
I am on staff at a large church in the area. We have about 40-50 staff people who work in the offices during the week. (That includes ministerial as well as support staff.)
The issue came up when we updated our personnel policy handbook recently. We have had one in the past, but it hadn't been updated in several years and most people didn't have a copy of it anyway.
The new handbook has a section for dress code (the old one didn't), and it has caused quite a stir, to say the least. There seems to be quite a variation among our staff in what is considered "personal standards of neatness and appropriateness", and the new handbook is simply trying to define some acceptable standards. The standards are no more or less than what would be expected in a business office.
What's been so interesting is that nobody seems to have noticed we've added another paid holiday, and we've enhanced some other employee benefits...the big issue being discussed is the dress code. And it's mostly the younger staff people that are having an "issue" with it.
We'll probably find that dress codes will vary widely, depending on one's geography and setting. A traditional churched setting in the Southeast will be quite different than a "pioneer mission" setting in the rural Northwest...
Overall, I think a wise church will understand these things...
If you have multiple staff, each staff person may deal with a different "audience." A youth pastor attending a football game in a suit would look silly. A pastor doing a funeral in jeans would look out of place. Know your audience.
As to dress codes for "office hours," I guess I fall back on "submitting to one another in love" as my overriding principle. Staff members should realize that going from jeans to khakis in a work environment probably isn't worth a big fuss...on the other hand, the church should extend grace, especially if the new code replaces something more relaxed and involves the purchase of new clothes by the staff member. And there are often mitigating circumstances--if I'm taking a group of kids to an amusement park, I'm going to show up at church that day in shorts and a t-shirt. Is that proper business attire? No, but it is proper for the realm to which I am going. I think that Satan just loves causing division with little issues like this...and he's just as happy using a legalist, or a rebel, to accomplish that.
Oh, the joys of a larger church...it would be so easy, except for the people...
It is funny how if those same staff people were working in a secular office setting they would most likely have some sort of dress code or standard placed on them, and they would think nothing of it. But we tend to rebel against the idea that a church staff ought to look professional while on duty in the office.
I think its a good idea to represent your church and God well by having some kind of across the board standard for office personnel during work.
When I pastored MorningStar Fellowship, I told my Deacons and my Treasurer that they were to dress in a manner that, if Christ were to return that day, wouln not be a disgrace in our Lord's eyes.
I left it at that.
Guess what? They all dressed up, but moderately. It was not always ties for the men, and I did not expect them to wear a tie. In the 8 years I pastored, I only wore a tie on a couple occasions.
We all dressed in a way that our clothes were no sloppy, our shirts did not portray worldly junk, pants were not wrinkled, shoes not scruffy.
Dress code? Just let them know Jesus could return any moment.
If I wore a tie to every service of the church, people would actually come up to me and ask me why I was dressing up so much. Even the older, most traditional people in the church wear jeans a significant amount of the time. One man never wears jeans at church, but I don't think he ever wears them anywhere else.
If I wore a three-piece suit to the church services when these working men come in with camo jackets and jeans, I fear I would seem aloof.
As far as Sunday morning goes, however,I recognize that there are visitors who dress up a bit more and who might expect the pastor to be more dressed up. Also, the average church member is slightly more dressed up for Sunday morning. Therefore, I generally wear a suit.
This is slightly off-topic, but I think perhaps there is a trend these days for the pastor to look pretty much like the congregation........and I think its a worry they have that they don't need to have, for the most part.
At my church there's two different sets of people when it comes to how we dress. There's a group who tend to dress up a bit more for the services, conservative, certainly not rich or made-up to any extreme, but nice and put-together. Then there's another group that comes in pretty much looking like they slept on the street....we have some pretty rough, inner city people who come quite regularly. Btw, the groups are not divided other than what they wear....we are all friends with each other.
But our pastor wears a suit and tie at every service, regardless of what anyone else is wearing. And interestingly enough, no one thinks he's stuffy or aloof at all. But thats because he isn't. He stands at the door and shakes hands after the service. He goes around and shakes hands during the hand-shaking time in the service....sometimes we have to sing an extra verse to give him time to get back to the platform.
I just think there's too much fear sometimes of looking a little different. It doesn't put people off nearly as much as is feared these days. In fact, I think the people want to be able to look at their pastor as someone who presents himself well as the church's earthly leader and their representative.
I think you are right here. And it goes both ways. Different does not just mean wearing a suit at each service. It means the Pastor needs to dress in an appropriate manner considering his congregation and area of service, and not worry what others think.
If that means a suit at every service, then great. He should do that and not worry what others think.
If that means a dress shirt and khaki pants at each service, then great. He should do that and not worry what others think.
Be yourself and serve the Lord.
I guess I was just rambling a bit. Im certainly not trying to disparage pastors who choose not to wear a suit to every service.