Archive for September 16, 2021

Do Churches Need Uniforms?

Posted: September 16, 2021 in Uncategorized

Okay I’m being a little facetious here, but work with me for a second. I’ve seen this gag on several sitcoms over the years. A kid with little interest in sports ends up on a team. The kid is often an arts kid, and to show his or her ineptitude toward sports, they refer to their team uniform as a costume. Everyone gets a good laugh and everyone understands the joke—well everyone except a few of the artists, but I press on. I started to think about this this morning for some reason and another thought came to mind. Do churches need uniforms?

Keep working with me. We know the above gag, and most of us know why it’s funny, but what’s the difference between a costume and a uniform. The answer is found in the name, where a costume allows the wearer to assume a different identity, uniforms are just that, uniform—as in to be the same. One could argue you will find people dressed as Christians who are really just playing a role, but that’s not where I am going today. Think about a sports team, let’s go with football. The place kicker and the defensive lineman all wear the same uniform. There may be some different equipment depending on the role and of course the size is likely pretty different, but the markings are all the same. You take one look at a player on the field and you know who they belong to. There is a certain uniformity to it all.

In churches, diversity is a wonderful thing, as a matter of fact it is biblical and by design. We are called the body of Christ, and as a body there are many parts and many different functions. As a matter of fact the idea of being referred to as members is an allusion to that body metaphor. We come together (brought together by God, by the way) with different skills, talents, abilities, backgrounds, experiences, etc., yet we come together as one to accomplish God’s Kingdom purposes. We have many different roles but at the end of the day we are one. 

One could argue that we are a cast of characters, but I would maintain we are more like a team, and while we have a diversity of functions we are all supposed to be pulling on the same direction headed toward the same goals. Again, we’re a team. And that is how we should function. I was being facetious about the uniform idea, but wouldn’t it be cool if people would be able to look at how we live, and especially how we function together and know we are on “Team Jesus.” 

This leads to another thought. There are some sects of Christianity that do have a sort of worn uniform. They have styles of dress that signify they are Christians—clerical collars, plain dress, prayer coverings, nun’s habits and more. I’m struck by the fact that these allow others to identify these people as Christian. The world associates these “uniforms” with Christianity, which leads to my point, if you’re going to wear the uniform, you better be in the game. Wearing something that identifies you as Christian means you are representing the whole body of Christ, be sure to represent Him well, because if you don’t, the message spreads. 

One last thing. Christians do have a uniform. It’s not outwardly visible like a worn uniform, but it should be visible. Jesus said you people will know we belong to Him by the way we love one another, so in a way our uniform as Christians is love. As a Christian, unless you’re in a play you don’t need a costume, but maybe it’s time we put on the uniform of love, because love should be a uniform quality of all who belong to Christ. 

Go Team Jesus!