Most pastors are probably not terribly concerned about the fashion statement they make from the pulpit … certainly not enough to start a web site devoted to the topic. But Ed Young, senior pastor of Fellowship Church, a mega-church in the Dallas-Fort Worth area is not most pastors. In February of this year, he launched Pastor Fashion, which is devoted to exploring how “the men and women of God [can] set the standard for the rest of the world in fashion as well as faith.”
In an interview with ABC News, Young said he was prompted to start the website because “People have asked me for a long time ‘where did you get your clothes.'” His fashion-conscious congregants and fellow clergy can now view short videos and read entries on topics like “Skinny Jeans and Testosterone,” “Do You Wear the Right Collar,” and “10 Fashion Tips for the Faithful.” For the record, Young recommends that most men do not wear skinny jeans.
Yikes. One might be concerned that Young is too focused on outward appearances … and they would probably be right. On this point, he told ABC News: “You need to make the cover as good as possible so people will read the book.” To those who might be skeptical about this message, he said: “God created color, God created design. He created things that look nice and we’re simply doing what he wants us to do. Being a follower of Christ should be cool because God is cool, God is hip. We should live that out.” God is hip?! I’m not sure what Young bases that assertion on – but it is contrary to everything we read about Christ humbling himself, “becoming obedient to the point of death.”
In one of the videos, Young discusses wearing different collars and how he has to be selective about what he wears, because he doesn’t want to elongate his already longish face. He pulls one shirt out, and says it cost $80, but isn’t very flattering for his face shape. I imagine there are many in his mega-church congregations who do not have the luxury of spending $80 on a shirt, let alone putting it aside because it’s not too flattering.
Young is also the author of the recent book, Sexperiment, which attracted a bit of attention this past January. Young and his wife, Lisa, live-streamed a 24-hour “bed-in” where they spent an entire day in a bed on the rooftop of their church discussing sex and marriage to promote the book.
“We should be at the forefront of fashion,” he told ABC News. “I think we have the ultimate message and should dress up with the times.” Staying up on the trends of the times sounds like quite a luxury … not something God actually expects of his followers. Perhaps the fact that people frequently notice Young’s hip clothes and consult him for fashion advice should serve as a warning to focus less on external appearances, rather than more.