Last week a young Harare prophet and founder of Jesus Generation Ministries Prophet Edd Branson caused a near tabloid frenzy when he appeared to a church service donning an outfit that looks like a police uniform.
The prophet who is renowned for his’ forensic prophesies’ that apparently defy logic earning him the name The Specialist from his followers has since been dubbed an officer prophet.
Despite the acclaim this costume brought him or possibly meant to his congregation, it has sparked debate on whether it matters how the preacher dresses.
Well, clothing says a lot about a person, right? Isn’t it important that a preacher is communicating the right thing by the way that he dresses?
According to the Christian, etiquette pastors have to dress to inspire confidence–and not look like they’d been out hitchhiking all night. It’s important to note that it doesn’t imply that they should wear the uniform of the previous generation–a coat and tie–but merely to dress one step in front of most of the men in the church, whatever that means.
Growing up there was a time when what the clergy dresses wasn’t an issue.
Nowadays preachers entering the pulpit wearing t-shirts that stretch to cover their paunch is ubiquitous. Some even put on ripped skinny jeans. We’re talking trendy, some serious uber style. Oh, and the facial hair. Hairstyles range from the just-woke-up look held in place with spiking glue, the faux-hawk, the Pastor Chris-wannabes, and the bald guys.
Just look at them you can tell they have it together. Very cool. Their styles are notable enough to get them interviews from local media, not to ask them about their fast-growing church or his evangelical faith, but for their fashion.
Although some of us couldn’t help but wonder if they have any idea how ridiculous some of them looks, some in the congregation actually take pride in it. They say the object is to make the outsider comfortable on entering the Lord’s House. They say the preacher is making a statement against the overemphasis of the previous generation on externals, on dressing up for a church.
Now, if you want to incite a holy reaction against your hypocrisy and superficiality, say something about how the preacher is dressed. You’re not even saying he should wear a coat and tie, but only that he should dress up a little. It’s no surprise that you will get responses like the emphasis on clothing is why I don’t go to church anymore, God doesn’t look on the outward appearance, only the heart matters or a suit and tie would turn off the people we’re trying to reach, and forth.
Actually, we don’t have anything against these tieless preachers. At one point the call for pastors to dress down was well-intentioned, we will grant. The casual look in the pulpit was a reaction against the emphasis on fashionable clothing, as people donned persona for Sunday church different from who we were during the week.
But that trend has flat run in the ditch. The time has come to reverse the trend. We urge preachers to turn up the dial a notch, to dress a little better than the sloppy hitchhiking model they’ve been giving the Lord’s people. No one is suggesting they overdress. Just dial it up a notch.
It’s time for the preachers to look and act like the adults in the room. Quit following the kids and start showing them proper respect for the Lord’s house, the Lord’s service, and the worship of the Lord. No one likes criticism and no pastor enjoys hearing that he was the subject of discussion around a family’s dinner table.
Sometimes guiding a church requires one to do things in a certain show of professionalism. Pastors are not to be trendsetters, just as much as they are not to be blindly following the fashion trends. The pastor’s role is the shepherd, not fashion leader. He should take a modesty check on his wardrobe lest we would venture to suggest that maybe his sense of fashion is keener than his sense of pastoral propriety.
Watch the video of Prophet Edd Branson dressed like a policeman here: