Dress Code: Leading Worship, 023

It’s Thursday again, folks, and I pray this blog finds each of you doing well – and that you are starting the year off strong!

What I wanted to share with you today is the idea of “platform dress responsibilities,” as I like to call them. I’m willing to bet that many of you worship leaders out there have had to have at least one uncomfortable conversation about what a member of your team was wearing!
The best way to hold team members responsible for what they wear is by creating some sort of standard that you can reference. I have compiled one (bits and pieces from this church, bits and pieces from that church) over the years that I give myself freedom to alter as needed, and what I usually do is sit down with each team member (or two or three at a time) and go over every single responsibility regarding dress and appearance. Then I ask each teammate to sign and date it; they keep a copy, and I keep a copy.
This has proven to be SO helpful in so many occasions, because our worship team knows exactly what their responsibilities are in the realm of appearance and modesty. A few times a year (usually quarterly), I go over the platform dress responsibilities right before one of our rehearsals, just to keep it fresh with the team.
Believe it or not (and I’m sure you will believe me), what we look like communicates just as much as what we say. The whole point of these Platform Dress Responsibilities is as a measure of protection for our worship team and also our church, and as a proactive method to remove as many distractions as possible so people can connect with Jesus.
I have included here the list of responsibilities. Please feel free to copy and paste, and use this for your own worship teams, and tweak as needed. Also note: this is what has worked in my context (in both Seattle and now here in Johnstown), but it may flesh out differently in your context. Let this simply be your starting point, in that case.
Praying the best over you and yours, always –
Josh
P.S. Just to give you some more resources…
Here is Gateway Worship’s “worship manual,” which includes their dress code
Here is New Creation Church’s “worship team guidelines,” which includes their dress code
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CityReach Johnstown exists to know Jesus and make Him known, and each individual on the platform represents our mission and our values well. The platform is the most visible place in the church, and the things we wear and our general appearance need to be considered very closely. Remember, modesty and style are important so we give focus to the message we are presenting – not us. Our clothes not only represent who we are, but who we are in Christ.

I understand and commit to the following responsibilities:

  • I will appear groomed and clean.
  • I will have fresh breath and a clean or neutral smell.
  • My appearance will not distract someone from Jesus. I will not wear something that is too flashy, gaudy, or unnecessarily attention-grabbing.
  • Appropriate undergarments will be worn to ensure that body parts are kept securely in place, should I jump or dance or bow, etc. during any platform ministry.
  • I will wear a (non-flesh-colored and inconspicuous) “safety shirt” beneath my top (an undershirt or tank top with generous length to be tucked into pants or skirt), to ensure that my midriff, sides, or undergarments will not be revealed.
  • My clothing will not prominently display a brand, logo, catchphrase, or message other than that of CityReach Johnstown (due to copyright infringement issues in the event photos or video is taken for the use of church promotion), unless it is pre-approved by the Creative Arts Director.
  • I will not wear shorts, and I will not have holes in my pants above the kneecap.
  • The straps of any sleeveless tops that are worn must cover the distance from my neck to my shoulder.
  • I will not reveal cleavage, including moments that I may lean or bend forward.
  • Any dress or skirt must reach at least 2 inches above the kneecap, regardless of whether tights, leggings, or the like are worn beneath. (Tights, leggings, spandex, and the like must be paired with a dress, skirt, pants, or a top that reaches at least 2 inches above the kneecap.)
  • No clothing will be excessively tight or excessively baggy.

If you are ever unsure about an item of clothing, it is best to either do without, or bring it along and the Creative Arts Director will let you know if you can work it in next time.

In the event that an item of clothing or general appearance doesn’t meet the Platform Dress Responsibilities, whether written, spoken, or a common sense rule, please understand that you may be asked to refrain from participating in platform ministry until next time. Each circumstance will be treated on a case-by-case basis.

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