Monday, July 16, 2012

The Collar – Opening Doors

Looking around the convention floor, there’s a real smorgasbord of attire. The occasional tie, tee shirts, shorts, even a kilt, but rarely a clerical collar. That’s sort of interesting, since half the attendees are pastors. Even the designated convention chaplain isn’t wearing a collar. There’s a handful of older pastors wearing a collar, and a handful of young pastors wearing one as well, with practically no one in between. It is heartening to see some of the younger guys wearing a collar. I wonder if that goes along with their theology. Is it the baby boomers who have rejected the collar, in favor of a more allegedly relevant practice?

One of the recent seminary grads mentioned that he wears his collar around town because it opens doors. This isn’t a new epiphany, but it is worth considering. While I would think the comments one might receive while wearing a collar out on the street would be rather stereotypical, they’re still opportunities to have a conversation with someone that will benefit from hearing Law and Gospel. The door that opens is one through which God’s Word can be shared with a sinner in need of forgiveness. And which of us doesn’t need that?


revalkorn said...

I admit, I wore shirts and a button-down shirt. Of all the things I do, attending a district convention has the least to do with being a pastor, and it doesn't do to let people think you take democracy in the Church all that seriously.

xyzwriter said...

I'm fairly certain that the original New Testament pastors did not set themselves apart by wearing the collar. Yet, they managed to generate much discussion of the faith by their words and conversations. The Holy Spirit will open more doors than the collar.

Scott Diekmann said...

Hi xyzwriter. Thanks for your comment. The collar will open no doors by itself. The Spirit uses all sorts of circumstances to lead people to the means of grace, and a clerical collar could be one of those. Certainly it's not the only way, just one of many.