Worship Team Dress Code

I am wondering what kind of a dress code you have for your musicians or people you have on stage. I have a team of all different sizes, ages, and styles. I want to come up with a dress code to bridge this. I don’t really have an issues with people dressing scandalous but mainly sloppiness, then I have those that have great style. How do you make a team have an excellent look without looking like you are pushing trying to look a certain way. I need to find some unity in this!! I don’t want the team to think all that I care about is the way they look but want them to know that we could be a distraction to the congregation if we look too sloppy or even too appealing. I want to look our best for God. Presentable but not distracting to the body. I hope I make sense. Maybe you can help?
- Jenna Sorensen / Worship Leader / Life Change Church / Muskegon

Hey Jenna,

We’ve had this question come up several times lately so I thought I’d give you my thoughts. This is a common issue for worship teams who want to get rid of the choir robes and matching outfits, yet keep a sense of order when it comes to the personal clothing choices of their players and singers. Below are a few guidelines we ask our people to follow:

1. Keep it “G-rated”.
It should be obvious that they refrain from wearing plunging necklines, short skirts, and tight-fitting clothes (this goes for men as well). There’s no good reason to flaunt what God gave ya on the church stage. Sometimes we do have to remind our people from time to time that we want the congregation to appreciate their musical abilities and not their physiques.

2. Reflect the style of the congregation.
There are very few men who wear suits and ties in our church and most of the congregation are in jeans. It’s a casual atmosphere. Someone wearing a suit on our stage is going to be extremely out of place. Also, our pastor tends to dress in a casual style as well (slacks/jeans and a button down shirt). We like our worship team to look as if they could have been pulled up from any row in the auditorium. However, this is not a license to be sloppy....

3. Take a little pride in the way you look.
We have a number of 18-22 year olds on our stage each week, and having a 19-year old son I know that, for the most part, not a lot of forethought goes into appearance. Before you come to church: take a shower, run an iron over your clothes, keep the MuteMath t-shirt in the closet.

4. Dress your age.
18-year olds should look like 18-year olds, 40-year olds should not. I can’t think of many things more sad than someone trying to look young and hip well beyond their ability to do so. Enough said.

A good way to keep these rules enacted is talk about them often. The more we discuss them, the less awkward a situation will become when it arises. I will say that I refrain from talking to the ladies on our team about their appearance if at all possible. I will designate one of my female leaders to address these issues in private one-on-one. I also encourage certain members of our creative staff who are not on stage to critique the appearance of our worship team from time to time.

Earlier this year we dealt with a situation with one of players where his appearance was extremely different from the rest of the people on stage. This was a young man who had a great heart, loved our church, and had become a “go-to” guy at his position. I sat down with him in my office, told him how proud I was of him and how much we all loved having him as part our worship experience each week. I asked, not demanded, if he would be open to changing his look just a bit. I even offered to have one of our younger worship leaders take him shopping (on our dime) and set him up with a hair stylist who goes to our church. He was not offended at all by our conversation. In fact he was thankful that we would invest in him and care about his progress. Sometimes people just need a nudge in the right direction.

Hope this helps. I’m sure there are tons of stories out there dealing with this topic. Would love to hear some of them...

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Andy Chrisman
Worship Pastor
Andy came to Church on the Move in 2005, having been in the music industry for over 25 years. He's dedicated to raising up the next generation of worship leaders, and even though he spent many years with the group 4him, he says he's "having more fun now than I ever did on the road."
@AndyChrisman