This slipped past me last week. I don't know how I failed to tag it as Best of the Methodist Blogosphere. Gerry Charlotte Phelps told the story of meeting a man who was too ashamed of his poverty to go to church:
It really made me think. About how, when I was growing up, church actually was like a fashion show. About how that would make people feel who couldn't keep up with that. Our family couldn't have kept up, except we sewed really well and managed to look at least OK without having much money. But - is that what church is all about? About competing as to who can display the most wealth? About out-doing each other in fashion? Even if it makes others feel ashamed about how they dress?
So this morning, I decided never to dress up to go to my church again. I want everyone to feel welcome there. And I want them to come. As Christians, our mission in life is to help people come to Christ, then to become mature Christians. For that, going to a church is important.
That man this morning seemed to want to go to church. He might have really needed a church today too. But I suspect that some of us who unthinkingly dressed better might have needed it even more! Personally, I'm convicted. We need to deliberately "dress down" more when we go to church. God forbid that we would make anyone feel unwelcome in His church simply because of clothing. It is a very small "sacrifice," when you think about it.