I really don’t keep up with what is “cool” or “hip”. Do people even use those words anymore? I googled the top music artists so I could list a few of the names I didn’t recognize and realized I only knew 2 of them! My outfits will never be on fleek, I will never throw a party that is lit and the LB/FB on my Instagram account is never going to blow up.
But let’s keep it 100, I started wearing jeans to church.
I didn’t do it to be stylish, or hip or to seem approachable, though. I grew up wearing dresses to church every Sunday. I can remember one Sunday wearing jeans to church when I was in High School, I think it was after a church lock-in and I felt like a rebel. My girls wear dresses to church, my boys wear khakis and dress shirts, and you know I send them back to their rooms to change if they come out in play clothes! I don’t dress up to show off or to follow certain expectations. I dress up because I believe that we should give God our best. If I am going to spend 45 minutes getting ready to go out with my girlfriends on Saturday night, shouldn’t I be willing to get up early enough Sunday morning to do the same thing? Now I’m not saying that what God desires is fancy clothes and tons of makeup. But I do think where we choose to give our best reflects what our heart values.
So if I believe that, why would I start wearing jeans to church? Because that’s what many of the guests at my church and churches around the country wear. I’m not a legalist, we don’t have a dress code at our church and I’m not about to implement one. I want guests to feel welcome at our church, and if I am wearing “fancy” clothes and they come in jeans, they may feel out of place. Paul talks about this in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23, “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.”
This verse doesn’t mean that I am going to sin in order to reach someone. I am not going to use drugs in order to reach someone else using drugs, I shouldn’t engage in gossip just to become friendly with someone, I’m not going to wear provocative clothing even if they are what is in style. As believers, we are free to be part of the culture to connect with the other people in that culture, so long as we are not sinning. If I am with people who think women should wear skirts and cover their heads, I will do that so I don’t offend them or cause an unnecessary argument, even though I know that I am free from doing that. When I get home I don’t need to continue doing that, I will put on my yoga pants and let my hair down. The message of Christ is a blessing to me, and I want to be able to share that blessing with others. It is unlikely that someone will comment that my outfit is snatched (that means cool if you’re like me and not up on the terminology) but I can do my best to connect with other people in their cultures. After all, shouldn’t I become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some?