Why do we all look the same?

I have been hesitant to blog about this, but the thoughts simply won’t go away.  At the Catalyst Conference I saw yet again something that has been bothering me about the church world.  When you step back and look around, all the pastors of contemporary churches look the same.  And all the worship leaders leaders looked the part as well.  It was a very homogenous group of 30 and 40 somethings all trying to look cool.  You could tell many of the pastors made a run on Buckle and picked up their wardrobe before dropping by the salon to get highlights in their hair.   And don’t even get me started on the tight skinny jeans and low-cut v-necks that many worship guys were wearing.

You may ask why does it matter?  Let me give you a couple of thoughts to think about.  And let me just say that I am in no way judging others.  In some ways, I very much lump myself in with the pastor crowd.

  • Some may say that we dress that way to be culturally relevant.  I’m okay with that if the culture you live in actually dresses that way.  I don’t want to be cynical, but in most cases, the way we dress doesn’t actually match up with the people we are called to reach.
  • Some may say that we are rebelling against the pretentious suits and ties of the previous generation.  But  is there any difference between wearing a $500 suit and a $500 outfit from a hip store?  How many people in your congregation can actually afford the clothes that you are stylin?  It’s a honest question that we must wrestle with.
  • Why are worship leaders afraid to wear masculine clothing? It looks like a bunch of 40 year olds dressing like the Jonas Brothers.  That may sound harsh, but I really struggle with the styled long hair, manscara, and skinny women’s jeans they are wearing.

Let’s remember who we are to imitate.  I would argue that there is nothing inherently wrong about styles, as long as they are modest and appropriate.  I know those are subjective terms, but the bigger issue is one of our hearts.  WHY do we all look the same? Is there an unspoken pressure to conform to the music world? Why can’t we be normal?

I don’t have the answers, but I don’t think there is a valid reason that everyone looks the same.  I want to see the uniqueness and beauty of the world we live in reflected in the leaders of our churches.  Drop me a comment and help me understand.  Keep it civil, and remember that I live in a small rural town in the mountains of Virginia.  I’m just a little backward 🙂


I am a former design engineer who now pastors Cornerstone Community Church in Galax, Virginia. I'm passionate about following Jesus and I love technology. I've been married to Jennifer for 28 years, and we have three adult children.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. Ben Smith says:

    Sing it!!! Thanks for being so bold.

  2. mmmm I don't know…

    On an individual level, it doesn't seem bad or wrong to conform to the worship leader crowd. But the crowd itself seems to be a problem.

    My hope is that the church is moving toward greater diversity, not sucking it up. Collaborate without conformity. It's difficult.

  3. RickF says:

    This word is SO on-topic for my life today! I am 42 and started coloring my hair and dressing younger after my wife left me for someone else 5 years ago. But my kids need a dad, not an older brother – and God has been dealing with me concerning that. I really messed myself up seeking after another identity to soothe the feelings of rejection.

    My appointment is today to strip out all the color and "go gray", or at least my real mostly-gray version. I like what you said about "being normal" – that's exactly what I am sensing in my heart that I should return to. Instead of feeling nervous, I should be excited about getting back to 'who I really am' – and letting others see that man, as well. Thanks

  1. October 29, 2009

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Mike Morris, Mike Morris. Mike Morris said: New blog post: Why do we all look the same? http://bit.ly/PgVPa […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *