The Assumption: “Surely I won’t have to address cleavage and butt cracks on a worship team!”
As a worship leader, you probably dread confronting dress code issues. So, you sit back and think to yourself, “Surely I won’t have to address cleavage and butt cracks on a worship team!” Well, if it hasn’t happened to you already, I can almost guarantee it will.
That dreaded day approached during my second year as a full-time worship leader. It was Sunday morning and pre-service rehearsal was in full swing with a member of our worship team members running late. So here I am, on stage, when the latecomer walks in the door with a skirt shorter than mid-thigh along with a revealing blouse (if you know what I mean). I am pretty sure that my jaw hit the floor out of pure shock, and my mind began racing, trying to find a solution to this unexpected problem.
Considering I had neglected the issue, I chose not to address it until the following Thursday rehearsal. So, if this has not happened to you yet, let me share four dress code guidelines to help keep your team in the safe-zone.
1. No Cracks, Top or Bottom
This one does not take much explaining, but it is absolutely necessary to verbalize to your team. So be plain: ‘We don’t want to see cleavage, and we don’t want to see your butt crack.’
Truth is, we live in the day of low-cut blouses and low-rise jeans. There is no excuse for cleavage, as you can still be ‘in-style’ without showing all of that. But when it comes to low-rise jeans, the best solution is to wear an undershirt and tuck it in. That way if the opportunity ever arises for your butt crack to shine, it is nicely covered.
2. ‘Skirt’ & ‘Stage’ Don’t Go Together
Sure there are skirts that go down to your feet, but those are extremely uncommon today. So to nip this one in the bud, skirts are a no-go for my team no matter what the length. You may ask “why?”, well, here is the answer.
We are currently in a venue with a stage that is 4ft high. It would not take much for one of our attendees to get a front row seat to the ‘Under-Skirt Show’. This may keep someone coming back, but I hope that you would not use this as a marketing technique for your church.
3. Be Relevant
You know what they say, ‘first impressions count’ – and I couldn’t agree more. Lets face it, those who dress like they are stuck in the 90’s are automatically written off as old-fashioned and disconnected. So before you even sing the first song, the young crowd has already unplugged because they feel like they can’t relate.
Change is good, but hard. Maybe someone on your team is having a hard time transitioning their clothing style into something a little more ‘relevant’. My advice – be kind, but be honest. Explain to them the importance of first impressions and encourage them to develop a vision for the younger generation.
Now, I am not saying that 40 year olds should dress like teenagers. But I am saying that Hawaiian shirts and jean jackets don’t work any more… (you know what I mean). Dress appropriate for your age while staying relevant, it will help the older generation connect with the younger generation.
4. Stay Flexible
I sure have been around some stiff leaders, and I am sure you have too. Leaders like that extinguish the fire of everyone around them while creating an atmosphere of apathy and resentment.
By all means, have some guidelines for your dress code, but leave room for your musicians and vocalists to express their creativity through the way they dress. I have heard this many times, “Musicians are their own special breed”, and that is oh so true. One sure way to kill their not-so-normal joy is to tack them down with a rule book.
Check out Church on the Move’s Seeds blog for another good article on worship team dress code.