That will put me in the minority among pastors of my ilk (evangelical types in Greater Seattle). My suit isn’t a statement, but I do think about it; it is a choice.
Please allow me to say that I don’t have a problem, at all, with the choices other pastors make in this regard. I don’t have a dress code for other pastors on our staff, and when guests fill our pulpit I never specify directions; I’m glad they are comfortable and warmly received however they are dressed.
In fact, those pastors wearing designer jeans and stylish, untucked shirts this Sunday are probably making the better decision. Most of their churches are larger than the congregation at Pleasant Bay. I probably ought to be taking more than just wardrobe advice from them.
From time to time I’ve wondered where I should find my styling cues.
Should it be the entertainment industry? A lot of what I do on Sunday is like an entertainer, on a stage, singing and telling a few jokes.
Should it be business? And if it is business, should it be like the lawyers and bankers in Seattle, or the techies in Redmond?
Maybe I should just match what I see out in the marketplace… taking a clue from what I see at Bellevue Square or Alderwood Mall.
I have determined not to approach my work on Sunday’s as if I am in the entertainment business; on Sundays I’m in the news business (or more accurately the Good News business). I’ve determined that among the various roles in our culture, and the corresponding wardrobe choices, I’m most like a news anchor.
In a news cast, there are voices other than the anchor, and other approaches to wardrobe suited for various roles. But the anchor (when the anchor is a man) wears a suit and tie. It is so normal that it has become invisible to us; we don't notice Lester Holt's suit, but we would certainly notice if he wore anything else.
It is interesting that Fallon, Kimmel, and Stewart make the same choice.
We accept the suit and tie as the uniform for one who is ready for business, anchoring the presentation, and delivering the message.
On Sundays, that works for me. If it works for the news in our culture, I think it works for the Good News too.