by Bob Whitesel, D.Mn., Ph.D., 10/25/15.
We cannot compromise the Biblical or theological threshold for becoming a follower of Jesus, but we can minimize the cultural one.
A student once commented,
“While I too grew up getting dressed up for church, I now work at a church that is anything but formal. Granted you do have those who wear suits etc. but the vast majority of people come in pretty normal, everyday types of clothing (this includes the pastoral staff)…. This has been a shift that has taken place over the last several years but we now are at a very casual, ‘come as you are’ kind of place. Generally speaking I like this a lot, but there are those times that it’s nice to dress up a little bit for church and you see this to be the case for others around Easter, Christmas, Mother’s day, etc.”
The student was right.
Evangelistic churches try to make the cultural threshold low for those coming to Christ. In other words, we cannot compromise the Biblical or theological threshold for becoming a follower of Jesus, but we can minimize the cultural one (have relevant worship music, language, dress down, etc.).
However, as the student noted, people still often dress up around Easter, Christmas, etc. And yet, these are the days that many unchurched people first start attending church. Thus, I wonder if our dressing-up for Easter inhibits this.
How to Plan a Come-as-you are Worship Service at Thanksgiving, Christmas & Easter.
Therefore, I have suggested that churches hold extra “come-as-you-are” services at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter – perhaps in conjunction with a picnic, outdoor service (in the South), etc. to help people with less fashionable (or dressy) clothes feel at home.
Now, you don’t want people to feel like this is a service for the less-fashionable in your community. So, tying it to a picnic, carry-in, youth service, etc. can make your extra holiday worship expression more naturally down-to-earth.