In 1995 a Church in Redford, MI hired me to be their youth pastor. 20 years later, I still think they were crazy for hiring a young 20 year old.
CRAZY!! But, it was awesome!
On Sunday’s, it was expected that the Pastors wore suits. Well, I didn’t own one! I barely new how to tie a tie! But, I bought a suit coat and wore it every Sunday. Well, I’ve always been a bit of rebel. I would purposely do things that would drive the leadership crazy. I wouldn’t tie my tie all the way and I would wear birkenstock sandals with my suit. I would also wear a hat inside the building during the week. Not on Sunday’s, I wasn’t that much of a rebel! Hah.
Yeah, I was a rebel!
Fast forward 20 years. My attire for being Thrive’s Pastor is pretty simple. Jeans and a sweatshirt and a T-Shirt in the summer. Honestly, I would probably wear the Hip-Cool button down shirts like the Hip-Cool Pastors, but being overweight, I’m going with comfortable right now. And, sometimes I have had judgmental looks from other people when they find out I’m a Pastor, but that’s alright with me!
But, I pretty much wear something with my Churches name on it everyday. Even to Church on Sunday’s! GASP! Yes, I’m a jeans and t-shirt/sweatshirt pastor. Now, I know some churches believe you need to bring your best to God and that includes our attire and I think that’s great for them. Over 20 years I have seen my fair share of people who dress up for Church, but their heart is in shambles. So, I’m good with dressing casually and not putting a lot of stock in that.
So, Thrive is very laid back. Actually, you may feel uncomfortable if you wear a suit! But, one of the things we’re very passionate about it is our Thrive SWAG!
Yes, in 113 weeks, we’ve had like 12 different T-Shirts and 4-5 different Sweatshirt designs. Why? Because it’s a super easy to spread the news about your Church. Especially if they’re cool and people will really wear them.
When I planted Thrive, I promised myself we would never have lame shirts. So, I think we have cool SWAG.
Well, I wear them everyday because they are great discussion starters! An amazing amount of people look at my chest and its not because of my pecs!
Last night I’m checking out of Meijer and as I go to leave, a younger guy stops me and says, ‘hey, sorry for bothering you, but I saw your sweatshirt. Do you know anything about that Church’? Well, of course I do, I’m the Pastor.
So, right there in Meijer I had a conversation about Thrive and was able to invite this guy sand his wife to Thrive!
Then, the same day, Tracie was at another grocery story and someone asked her about her ‘I love my church’ sweatshirt. Super awesome day for inviting people to Church because of our clothing options.
Now, I know some people have a ton of excuses why they won’t wear something that talks about Jesus or God or Church. Their worried their life style won’t match up. Or they will say something that will give Jesus or God or Church a bad name.
Stop worrying. Just be you.