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  • Writer's pictureMark Hallock

What should a pastor wear?

You cannot judge a horse by its harness; but a modest, gentle–manly appearance, in which the dress is just such as nobody could make a remark upon, seems to me to be the right sort of thing.“ - Charles Spurgeon on what Pastor's should wear

I was recently in a discussion about what pastors should or should not wear when preaching and leading in public worship. I am no legalist, which means I believe there can be many different views and opinions on this. However, the one thing I do think is important in every case, without exception, is doing your best, in accordance with your conscience, to wear clothes/shoes that do not bring unneeded or extra attention to yourself.

Wear clothes that are culturally appropriate, but plain.

The last thing you should want is for people to think too MUCH about what you are wearing. The goal should be that your clothes create no distraction to the congregation. This is one of the reasons why many Protestants throughout history have preached in big, black robes…that we as the messengers of God’s Word would be unnoticed, that we would "disappear."

Be prayerful and honest with yourself about this. Sure, not everyone will agree with where you fall on this issue, but I would encourage two things: 1) make sure your conscience is clear before the Lord in this and 2) always err on the side of plain and unimpressive.

Always aim to make yourself small that Jesus and the Gospel might be BIG! Make yourself plain so that Jesus and the Gospel might shine brightly…not your wardrobe.


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