How Pastors Should Dress in the Pulpit

Discussion in 'Preaching' started by sdesocio, Jan 27, 2011.

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  1. sdesocio

    sdesocio Puritan Board Freshman

    I've noticed that several times there have been discussions of how a pastor should dress in the pulpit (including talk of Robes and suits and more casual attire). While I've chimed in a few times, I've boiled down a lot of the different pros and cons that people have made on this site and others, and finally written something about the topic. I thought I would share that article on here in hopes of unpacking the the subject even more.

    Why is the Pastor Wearing That?! (A Examination of Dress in the Pulpit)
  2. rbcbob

    rbcbob Puritan Board Graduate

    Thanks for the thought provoking link.
  3. Pergamum

    Pergamum Ordinary Guy (TM)

    Nice little article.
  4. sdesocio

    sdesocio Puritan Board Freshman

  5. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I think pastors should dress at home before they get to church, not in the pulpit.

    Seriously though, that's an interesting little article, with a hilarious photo at the start. Worth clicking just for that. And for extra credit, name the five pastors pictured as examples of the various forms of dress.
  6. MarieP

    MarieP Puritan Board Senior

    You forgot the "jacket and tie but the jacket's taken off a little into the sermon" look. And the tie underneath the sweater-vest look.
  7. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    There are actually 6 (the guy with the rainbow robe at the beginning). I can only get 3 of the remaining 5 (the same 5 everybody else on the PB can get).
  8. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    That is why the robe is the great equalizer. You can wear 2-5 underneath.
  9. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    who was the casual one?
  10. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

    I noticed that clericals weren't mentioned, which may just be because Reformed folks in the US don't do them (though I have been to one or two PCA churches where the pastor wore them).
  11. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    If you run your mouse over the photos, you will see the name of the pastor in the URL line.

    I can't believe I missed #2. Ironically, I thought the pulpit/lectern looked familiar (and it was), but I had only seen the pastor w/o a suit and didn't recognize him. Also interesting that his predecessor wore a robe and he does not.
  12. Rich Koster

    Rich Koster Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Good read. I get quite irritated when I hear someone go on a " a Christian must dress like this " rant.
  13. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    who in the world is Darrin Patrick?
  14. Jack K

    Jack K Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I couldn't get #4. I wasn't quite sure about #2, but guessed correctly.
  15. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    I suppose it doesn't hurt that #1, 2, 3, and 5 would be somewhere in the reformed camp. I'm not sure if that applies to # 4.
  16. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    I guess that's why I have no clue who he is.
  17. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    He was interviewed by John Piper, he went to Covenant Seminary, and his book is featured on the Gospel Coalition website, so I'd say there is a good probability that he is reformed.
  18. Jeff Kerr

    Jeff Kerr Puritan Board Freshman

    Darrin Patrick is pastor of The Journey - an Acts 29 church in St. Louis, MO.
  19. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    I knew who #2 was and thought it very interesting to see how he was dressed in light of his predecessor as well. I actually didn't know him by face, but by the unique pulpit.
  20. Philip

    Philip Puritan Board Graduate

  21. FenderPriest

    FenderPriest Puritan Board Junior

  22. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Senior

    I will only make one comment, but I hope you pastors take it to heart.

    You have no idea how selfish and wrong it seems to a lot of women and mothers who go to church in the summer, when it is boiling hot, and the pastor is dressed for Antarctica in long black sleeves or a robe over his clothes, and he sets the air conditioning to his personal comfort zone. The kids have on short sleeves and light clothes, and maybe Mom is in a light cotton/rayon dress, or thin skirt and top, and everybody is chilly and whispering how cold it is. I've been in churches over the years where the pastor looks like he is ready to go climb Everest and the kids are freezing. I remember summer Sundays where I'd grab a couple sweaters just in case, and I'd sit there freezing because the little girls nearby begged to wear them.

    Please, if it is hot summer, set the air conditioning for people in normal short sleeve shirts, and then plan your own dress accordingly. Some of us would rather see you in shorts and T shirts than have you turn the sanctuary into a refrigerator just so you can wear all your long sleeved black duds. It just makes you look selfish and insensitive.
  23. Edward

    Edward Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm surprised that he wears a suit. I would have though he would have been more casual.

    ---------- Post added at 07:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 07:35 PM ----------

    I favor cold air conditioning to encourage modesty in dress. And low ceiling fans, to keep hands from waving in the air.
  24. Damon Rambo

    Damon Rambo Puritan Board Sophomore

    Darrin Patrick is indeed reformed, depending on how you use that word. He is reformed ala Matt Chandelier, John Piper, etc., NOT reformed in terms of the WCF...
  25. Marrow Man

    Marrow Man Drunk with Powder

    Lynnie, I've been known to endure rather sweltering temperatures in the summer time. I've even been known to take off the jacket because I've gotten overheated. But there are a couple of amusing anecdotes that your post brings to mind:

    1) Last summer I finally discovered exactly why I got so hot during the service. Someone had closed all the vents (in the ceiling) that were located in the pulpit area. So, for the last three summers while I've been at this church, I've basically been operating with zero A/C in the immediate area.

    2) Last Sunday evening, one of our congregants brought in a space heater for him and his wife. I asked why and he said it was freezing in the sanctuary that morning. I asked why he didn't say anything and that we could have turned up the heat, and he said that I complained recently at how hot I had gotten during a service. So, that whole pastoral insensitivity thing can apparently occur during the winter months as well. ;)
  26. Scottish Lass

    Scottish Lass Puritan Board Doctor

    Lynnie, I flip my wardrobe---I wear my lighter clothes in the winter because I find the sanctuary too hot (to please our thin-blooded older congregation) and I get chilled with any AC blowing on me, so that's when I layer up.
  27. Jerusalem Blade

    Jerusalem Blade Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    Given my druthers I would dress as I would if I knew persecution was coming during the service or right after and we had to head for the mountains and wilderness. However, I would get too much flack from my fashion advisor for that to be worthwhile, and so I dress close to the "business casual" style, unless asked to preach in a more formal church (with a tie), and there I would conform.
  28. Moireach

    Moireach Puritan Board Freshman

    The collar didn't get a mention?
  29. C. M. Sheffield

    C. M. Sheffield Puritan Board Junior

    I would have labelled the fourth style as the "I-haven't-learned-to-shave-or comb-my-hear Style." I dress casually throughout the week. But would't go out of the house looking like that.
  30. Backwoods Presbyterian

    Backwoods Presbyterian Puritan Board Doctor

    I may be old and grumpy but I have never understood how the "I look like I just rolled out bed and left the car shop" look is cool.
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