Not only is H.B. Charles, Jr., a master pulpiteer, but he is one of the most sincere preachers you will ever want to hear. We want all preachers to notice that not only is his sermon excellently delivered, but because he is a praying preacher, it is delivered in the power of the Holy Spirit. We also want you to notice that his attire does not bring attention to himself. The truth of the matter is, pulpit attire is getting out of hand. If we notice your clothes instead of the Word of God and the message God gave you to preach, then you are doing something wrong. By the way, we notice pink pants, white pants, effeminate pink shirts, weird plaid jackets, and little pink bracelets. Don’t get us wrong, we are all for the so-called dress down movement in the church, but the line needs to be drawn somewhere. If ESPN demands that their analysts dress in a suit, shirt and tie, and the President, members of Congress, and businessmen go to work in a suit, shirt and tie, then surely, the man of God can do the same. And if you don’t want to wear a tie, do something better than what you’re doing.
Here is what the esteemed pulpiteer and teacher of preachers, Haddon W. Robinson, said on this subject:
How we dress causes others to make judgments about us without their being aware of why they make those responses. Ministers do not prove that they are expository preachers by looking as though they dressed staring into a Greek text instead of a mirror. While we may dress to be comfortable, clothes should make others comfortable with us as well. You need to be aware of the cultural expectations of your community, and then dress appropriately. As a general rule, a public speaker will dress one notch higher than the audience. A woman speaker, for example, may wear a skirt while women in the audience wear slacks or jeans. A male speaker may wear a tie when men in the audience are wearing sports shirts. In most Sunday services, a suit for a man or a woman is appropriate. In liturgical settings where ministers wear robes, then matters of dress are not as important. Alexander Pope, in another connection, gives us some counsel for the selection of our wardrobes. He said,
Be not the first by whom the new is tried,
Nor yet the last to cast the old aside.
(Excerpted from Biblical Preaching: The Development and Delivery of Expository Messages, Baker Academic, 2007.)
H.B. Charles, Jr., Senior Pastor/Teacher, Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, Jacksonville, FL.