How should a pastor’s wife dress? How do you think a pastor’s wife should dress?
Writing on her Beauty Tips for Ministers blog in 2007, Victoria Weinstein aka PeaceBang noted something pretty interesting about clerical dressing. She argues for responsible, well-dressed clergy in order to convey respect for other people.
Her philosophy is that “if we do not project an image intentionally, we will project one unconsciously.”
Another cleric Rev. Bluejeans who wears jeans so that he can relate to common people argued that “If I could wave a magic wand, I’d institute mandatory casual dress at every church in the country.”
“The entire thrust of the life and teachings of Jesus is away from religiosity and toward an interior life of faith . . . whatever he wore was low-key enough that fit in just fine with lepers, prostitutes, and a ragtag bunch of fishermen from the Galilee. And then there’s that whole “life is more than food, the body more than clothes…consider the lilies of the field” thing,” wrote Rev. Bluejeans.
Church Leadership Conversationist Andy Rowell, however, argued that emerging church pastors intentionally try to convey an image with their Sunday costume.
“[Emerging church pastors typically] . . . plan and prepare like crazy late into the night with the most talented people they can find (musicians, technical folks, presenters, set designers, chefs). When it is event time, they put on their jeans (frayed and faded when purchased), mess up their hair, stick on their tight t-shirt, have a coffee in their hand, and saunter into the room as if they didn’t have a care in the world. When people are amazed at the profundity and power of what they experience, the pastor just shrugs and tells them, “I guess it worked. It just happened.”
Various people in the Christian community were agitated by these lines, hence Rowell had to explain:
“People agree that we should spend more time caring about people than picking out our wardrobe. However, there is a range of responses about how seriously to take image management. On the one side, there are people who think that church leaders should simply “be themselves.” Your green plaid jacket may initially repel people but eventually people will be won over by your sincerity.
These people suggest that trying to do “what’s cool” is bound to backfire because cool changes so quickly and people will be turned off by what they perceive to be “fakeness.” Furthermore, promoting a certain image will subtly communicate to people that cool people are more welcome in the community. They contend that Jesus and Paul were truth-conscious not image-conscious.
On the other side, we have heard from an image consultant and many other pragmatic voices. They have argued that we have no choice but to project an image. We might as well be aware of what we are communicating. They argue that some people are naturals at fitting into their surroundings but most need a spouse (or an image consultant) to help them pick out what to wear.
They would probably advocate researching your target group and trying to take small steps towards a more attractive image. They would admit that what is “appropriate” (perhaps a better word than “cool”) changes. And so this target image will probably continue to evolve and so you will probably have to keep changing your image to fit. They would contend that Jesus and Paul were certainly truth-conscious but were also image-conscious in adapting their outreach to their hearers.”
That was twelve years ago.
Interestingly, fast forward to 2019 clerical dressing is still a hot topic of discussion everywhere.
Just under a year ago, a 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 hugely renowned for his forensic prophesies that apparently defy logic earning him the name The Specialist from his followers have since been dubbed an officer prophet.
Despite the acclaim this costume brought him or possibly meant to his congregation, it sparked a 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 they dress?
Fascinatingly, Kenyan female pastor Shantelle Jepchumba had been given the business by the digitally savvy folks over her latest stunt.
The Glorious Heaven Ministries pastor in Kimwarer who happens to be pregnant showed up at her parish wearing a body-hugging, revealing black dress to preach during a church service. The dress had a cut that virtually reached up to her womanhood.
The baby bump made the cut in her dress more obvious.
Her hippy way of dressing has caused her and her attire to go viral, and this has landed her on the receiving end of social media’ wrath.
While some people were firmly against what she wore saying that she was setting a bad example to the congregant, others thought there was nothing wrong with her choice of dressing.
“Waah,,,, all fake,, how do you go to church dressed that way,, on the pulpit,” says one social media user Maria Ondiso.
Anas lawan hussaini says:
“End Time pastor.”
Nnabugwu Eunice says:
“This is not a decent dressing at all, let alone wearing it in d church by a pastor. God have mercy.”
“This is the end time that’s all. How can she wore this to church.”
“Well it’s all about dress sense. People should just learn to dress as occasion demands.”
“That is very bad of a pastor.”
However, some people have defended her saying that Reverent Shantelle should not be answerable to anyone concerning her dress code, as choosing to adopt the infamous line of ‘my dress my choice’.
“She’s just ok. I can’t see any problem with her. You said Owuor’s follower puts on magunia…let her wear that’s her dress choice,” says Lilian Engesia.
Another user notes:
“We are aware of the devils tricks to bring down the church of Christ. Even if that lady was in a club, social media will attach church; give titles to her as a pastor to make the world not believe in the gospel.”
“Don’t be fooled, whether the pastor is naked or believers it doesn’t matter… What matters is your relationship with God. Even if it were true, that doesn’t mean there are no pastors who have not conformed to the standards of this world,”
says Tumwebaze Tophias.
Below is the pastor Shantelle Jepchumba’s dress. Share with us what you feel about it.
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