WASHINGTON, November 1, 2017 — Why is attire, especially Sunday attire, so important to Christian Millennials? According to Thom S. Rainer, founding dean of the Billy Graham School of Missions and Evangelism,
“They want their unchurched friends to feel comfortable if they come to their churches.”
Here is the reality. Millennials are America’s largest generation ever, numbering over 78 million. According to Rainer, only about 15 to 20 percent of this generation is Christian.
Older Christians in the church must accept Millennials as the best hope for rebuilding Christianity in their own way. If they do not, then they could well increase the marginalization of Christianity in America.
Making people comfortable during church worship and in daily life is the mission of the new online Millennial Jesus Gift Store.
Jesus Christ and Christianity is young Christian Millennials brand
Style among worshippers is the problem the Jesus Gift Store attempts to address. For the nation’s Millennials, Christianity is as much about declaring their faith. For millennials who have grown up in a society that promotes brand style, bringing the expression of faith into the 21st style of Christian Millenials is the future.
Melanie Tipton, the store’s creator and the executive director of the upcoming Christian movie “When Angels Weep: Rings of Faith and Fire” believes she has captured the essence of the evolution of Christian worship for this generation.
“The Jesus Gift Store is like opening up the Good Book and letting it show up in what is worn, shown and celebrated while feeling comfortable, too. In the past, many churchgoers wore suits, ties and formal attire to church. Now, Millennials are showing their family, friends and fellow Christians that they love God, Jesus Christ, and worship in the House of God while wearing clothes reflective of respectful comfort.”
Rainer, current president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources, addresses that desire for freedom from the formal church attire. For Christian Millennials, the idea that attire determines your faith feels like shackles.
For Christian Millennials, their worship is a daily, not weekly event
The image of a young Christian in their Sunday best interferes with daily youth celebrations of Christianity in the church and their daily lives.
He cites one Millennial who emphasized,
“Their friends have told them that ‘properly dressed’ churchgoers have looked down on them when they came to church.”
Describing one young woman he says, “You should have seen the condescending looks she got wearing her jeans. She won’t be back. I’ll probably find another church too.”
Don’t define “proper” to young Christian Millennials
If Christians are making determinations about what is “proper dress” in the House of God” they are creating a very real rift between God’s Word and acceptance in a house of worship. The damage could be catastrophic.
Just look at the clothes that Millennials are wearing that make a fashion statement for God with a little bit of 21st Century funk! Is it a departure from the past? Or is it a call from the past to step up, stand up and show up for Christ in new Christian branded attire?