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Photo from People.com

I just read an article on People Magazine’s website that Britney Spears wore thigh high boots and a tight dress as she went to church on Sunday morning.  Her hair wasn’t perfectly pulled-back into a ponytail, and so the article described her style as “messy.”

Could this be another reason why Millenials shy away from church?

Now, the article never notes that the church was judgmental that Spears was wearing this outfit.  But through the media, a stereotype was reinforced: the Sunday church outfit.

Why can’t people wear tight dresses and thigh-high boots to worship?  Or shorts and tank tops?  Do we want the person to come to God the way God has made her or him?  Shouldn’t authentic expression be a part of the way we connect with God?

I wonder if we could get more people into church if we encouraged them to dress the same way they would to go to the movies, the grocery store or the club?

Haven’t we figured out that next generations are more laid-back in their approach to etiquette?  Instead of calling a pastor Reverend Smith like they would in the mid 20th century, we now call her Pastor Jane.  Instead of calling one’s mom Mrs. Smith, we call her Miss Jane.  Instead of wearing a suit and tie to church or work, more people are wearing khakis or jeans.  We TTYL and BRB instead of talking to you later and being right back.  Why does alternative expression have to be a bad thing – whether it’s within the church or in the communities?  Expression has been evolving for centuries, and God’s been in each of those style evolutions.

As churches, we should be evolving as the world evolves and encouraging each person to come as they are instead of covering them in shame.  Otherwise, God and the rest of the world will be leaving churches far, far behind.