Minister's Image in Public

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by drfuss, Jul 18, 2007.

  1. drfuss

    drfuss
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    How important do you think it is for a pastor to make sure he is dressed the part in public when performing non-pastoral functions.

    For instance, I knew a now-deceased pastor who, while doing painting or plumbing at home, would remove his work clothes and dress up in a coat and tie to go to the hardware store to get needed extra material. He said he must always present himself properly when in public. Another amusing thing he would do is to dress up in a coat and tie when going to the doctor for a physical knowing he had to undress when he got there.

    What prompted this thread is the following. We have a minister neighbor who lives in the next apartment building who (on the hottest days), wears his coat to and from his car. He takes his coat off upon entering his car. The amusing part is that when he comes home in the hot evenings, he puts on his coat upon exiting the car and then struts into the building.

    Do ministers realize how amused people get when they perform like that?
     
  2. Hardsheller

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    Did Jesus wear dress clothes or casual clothes during his three year ministry?
     
  3. dan e.

    dan e.
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    Corporate ministry.
     
  4. Tom Bryant

    Tom Bryant
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    I was trained by both Tennessee Temple and by wtaching various pastors to always wear a tie and jacket when doing church pastoral type work. But when I moved to Florida, my pastor told me that during the week, the only thing a tie was good for was wipiong off the sweat. :laugh: So we wore dress shirts or short sleeved shirts with the church's logo on it.

    Now I very rarely wear a tie. In our area, even the bankers are business casual.
     
  5. av1611jim

    av1611jim
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    My grandfather was a Nazarene preacher. From the OOOOOOLD school! Everywhere he went he was in a coat and tie. He believed that he ought to "look the part" as it were. I can tell you only from my own experience that everywhere he went, folks greeted him in a most respectful manner. OTOH, my father was not a minister. He was a salesman who wore a coat and tie for work only. It seemed to me that he did not garner the same respect when he was in casual clothes..

    In my own experience, I wear a coat and tie to church. After church if I stop somewhere for gas, groceries or whatever, it seems like folks are more 'courteous' or 'respectful' to me when in my coat and tie as compared to when I am not.

    You interpret these experiences however you like, but for me it seems that this world still respects a man who presents himself in a "decent" manner. I am NOT saying jeans and a t-shirt are indecent. But there IS a marked difference in image between coat and tie vs jeans and t-shirt.
     
  6. corndogggy

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    Some people are just like that. It's not limited to ministers at all. I'm surrounded by people who do this every day. It's usually corporate officers and the people aspiring to be.
     
  7. StefanM

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    In hot weather: which is likely to get more negative attention?

    1) A sweat-drenched white dress shirt and tie, stench and all

    or

    2) A short-sleeved shirt
     
  8. av1611jim

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    In cold weather which is likely to get more attention? Are you saying someone in a short sleeve shirt isn't likely to be sweat drenched in hot weather? Got news for you!
     
  9. StefanM

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    They aren't AS likely. I know there have been many times when I was breaking a hefty sweat in a suit until I changed into a short-sleeved shirt sans tie.

    I think that a minister should wear something decent. I don't even care about a suit and tie except for on obviously formal occassions (weddings, funerals).
     
  10. TCGreek

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    As a pastor I respect the dress style of others, but I would not impose any style on anyone. Hey, the weather might!

    As long as the pastor is presentable and does not cause anyone to stumble into sin.:thumbs:
     
  11. npetreley

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    Can we get a ranking of how beneficial the clothes are to your Christian witness? How about:

    Expensive Perfectly Fitted Tuxedo: Excellent Christian witness
    Rented Tuxedo: Very Good ++
    Armani Suit: Very Good
    Business Suit: Very Good --
    Cheap Suit: Good
    Cotton Checkered Suit: Average ++
    Polyesther Checkered Suit: Average
    Leisure Suit: Average --

    [...]

    T-Shirt and Cutoff Jeans: Satanic --
     
  12. StefanM

    StefanM
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    I'm not sure npetreley... a leisure suit might cause me to stumble!
     
  13. npetreley

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    If you don't get the pants length fitted to you they can all cause you to stumble. ;)
     
  14. Hopeful

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    I think this is another one of those issues where common sense prevails, since there is nothing explicit in scripture to determine whether a suit and tie is "right"...those particular items of clothing weren't exactly in vogue in Jesus' day.

    I personally am COMPLETELY distracted by a man in a suit who is obviously miserably hot and uncomfortable! I don't have a clue what they're saying or doing other than sweating and being miserable! Likewise, if it's cold outside and he's standing there shivering in a t-shirt. I don't glean anything from the "take up your cross" admonition that says you have to wear uncomfortable clothing while you are doing the Lord's work. In fact, OVERdressing can be as distracting as UNDERdressing, if all the observer is doing is spending their time sizing up what you are wearing!

    I say, dress appropriately for the situation and for "the person"....that is, if YOU are personally "Not appropriately dressed" in your own mind withOUT that suit and tie, then you should certainly wear it. On the other hand, if you are the type of man who chafes at a buttoned down collar when it's 95 degrees outside, please do NOT wear that suit and tie. And, if you're in Home Depot buying more paving stones for your garden project, why, pastor, I find it QUITE okay to see you in your work clothes. In fact, if you're in that suit and tie trying to haul out some timber or something, you're just going to mess up that suit--and then you aren't being a good steward of your possessions! (Well, IMHO anyway.)

    :wavey:
     
  15. drfuss

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    Here are some laymen's perspectives.

    When some laymen see a minister inappropriately dressed up, the impression is this fellow has a need to be recognized as a minister. He does not want to deal with people on an equal basis, but needs his minister status so he can relate to others on a minister/layman basis.

    I hope no one is offended by this, but many layman enjoy observing this and find this both interesting and amusing.
     
  16. dan e.

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    Exactly right. All about the need for status.
     
  17. saturneptune

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    You should audition as Ward Cleaver on the next Leave It to Beaver.
     
  18. PastorSBC1303

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    Very rarely if ever do I wear suits. I have no desire to "look the part." I wear nice, clean clothes. I want to get to know people without them worrying about "my status."
     
  19. av1611jim

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    It is obvious you are the stand-in for Bart Simpson.:laugh:
     
  20. saturneptune

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    I am rolling on the floor. That was a good one, much better than my comment. My complements and touche. :laugh:
     

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