One thing I notice of missions groups is that we often “dress down.” Of course when we go on the field, we often have construction work to do or one project or another. It’s understandable that a t-shirt and jeans are what is necessary.
For the remainder of the trip, however, how do we dress? We don’t want to appear “rich” when we are ministering to those who don’t have much. But we don’t want to appear “slovenly” either. And it can be very easy to bring along your worst or oldest clothes lest they get ruined in another rugged country.
However, I’m tempted to think that we should take great care in how we look and dress. We are representatives of the Lord. Who would want to consider becoming a believer when the people who come to share God with us are sloppy, plain, and unbecoming?
I do believe we need to be culturally relevant. We need to not be “outdated.” We can be modern without being inappropriate. We can dress nice, without looking wealthy. We can take time to do our hair, put some makeup on, and look cute in jeans and a t-shirt instead of throwing something on, slinging our hair back in a pony, and wearing tattered shoes.
We represent God.
It’s a fine balance. To look nice and current without being too fashionable and flaunty. But I think it can be done as we seek to attract people to the Lord. And the first thing that attracts is how we look and our personalities. Once we accomplish that “draw,” we can get to the deeper truths.