I hope to inspire and encourage others through my own life experiences and my faith ...

Monday, April 11, 2011

Featuring Heather Aynne and Serve One Another In Love

My Church Doesn’t Look Like That...

This past weekend, I attended a church growth summit. The theme of the summit was tipping the cows that hinder the growth of your church. The very first cow that needed to be tipped was the “my church doesn’t look like that” cow.

How would you react if you saw someone walk into your shirt wearing a tank top, shorts and bare feet? If you wouldn’t bat an eye, kudos to you! I can tell you from my what happened to me yesterday that walking in that way can be a very intimidating experience, especially if your church has a “mature population.” Some people didn’t notice what I was wearing, but I noticed a number of people who gave me disapproving glances as they walked past me. And this is as an established member of the church. Perhaps their knowledge of me and the memory that I stood before them the week before wearing a nice suit skewed their impression but I didn’t feel terribly welcome.

Luckily, many churches have begun to adopt a more casual dress code for Sunday worship. While some people may feel that this is disrespectful to God, I think it’s positive in the sense that a guest walking through the doors for the first time will not be intimidated by feeling under-dressed. If you see the story I posted today on Serve One Another in Love, you will see that even some pastors have cast aside their robes and suits to place them on the same level as their congregation.

If your church is still slightly more formal, I challenge you to dress down for church next week. Wear something that you would never think to wear to church and see how you are received. If you feel uncomfortable, I would encourage you to mention that to your church and explain how their views and reactions are holding the church back from growing. More importantly, they may be driving people out of the church who are in desperate need of the lessons that are being taught. If you attend a casual church, perhaps next week is the week to go all out and dress nicer than you ever would. Judging others based on how they dress when they walk through the doors is a problem at both ends of the spectrum.

It seems like common sense that we would accept guests for who they are but we are often clouded by our own perceptions of what our church looks like. In order to open our doors wide and accept everyone, we need to tip the cow of our own views and simply thank God that He led them to your church family.

Throughout this week, I am going to be posting more information that may help you help your church experience growth in a time when every day there are churches closing their doors. We all need to start taking action if we want God’s kingdom to thrive!

By Heather Aynne


  1. Heather, I really enjoyed this. I completely agree that it doesn't matter what we wear, but what we are there to do. Our church has a wide array of people dressing anywhere from nice suits to jeans and a t-shirt. We have the "come as you are" message going on. I think so many people can be turned off from going to a church because it is so formal and such. I know that a lot of people that we have invited to our church love it because they feel more comfortable coming in "just as they are" with no fuss. Great message! Thank you fo sharing your heart :)

  2. It should never matter what a person wears to church God is not interested in our clothing but sad enough far to many people are. I am so glad that I attend a church where you can wear what ever you want. Some Sunday's I wear very dressy clothes then there are those Sunday's in which I will wear my jeans. One of my pastors years ago told us a story of how a man came to our church and did not have what they call dressed properly and so they told the man to leave. My pastor at that time found out what happen and he had a serious talk to those who did this. I don't know why people get so caught up with what a person wears. Goes to show some people really need to get their life in order because clothes have never made the man.

  3. AMEN! I was never a "dress up" person and I was always arguing with my mom about clothes for church and also weddings. She always had this thing about looking nice and I didn't want to have any part in it! I told her that it shouldn't matter what I wear, and they can kick me out of church if they want. That's just my personality. I don't think it should matter what you wear, because after all, you can't "see" what a person is like. You have to discover what they are inside, and I guarantee you it won't be a fancy dress!

    Fabulous post, Heather!