Volume. XXXI, No. 20
Sunday, 13 November 2016

From the Pastors heart: Clothing Men of the Cloth (1)

As I wrote before, I have been studying for my lecture notes to teach Bible College students.  This particular course is designed to teach them some practical sides of their personal and ministerial life.  As I kept reading, I came to a subject on minister’s clothing.  It covers  how pastors must dress for their public duties, the importance of proper dress code for ministers.  At the same time, this topic also is relevant to all worshipers who desire to present themselves to the Lord in worship.  I have written some articles in in the past about biblical principles or instructions of proper clothing for public worship.  Instead of writing another exegetical article on this topic, I thought the following article written by someone else, not necessarily for  a Christian perspectives but in a general sense, would be beneficial to all of us.  Our worship clothing (not full of wrinkles), cleanness, tidy hair (at least properly combed), proper shoes (not sandals like beach goers), and decency in all things are also important for people who prepare themselves to come to worship.  It is a reflection of their heart preparations as well as external testimonies of the values they put in their God-worship.  The following article is a bit outdated, but I am sure that there are still the same principles behind.  Some are just irrelevant to our issues at all, but I’ll let you read the whole thing for your information.  You sort out what you need while reading and take the good thoughts and forget the unneeded ones.  Hedwig Jemison is the author, and the title of it is clothing men of the cloth.  Due to its length, I’ll have to make it into two parts.  It begins…

Do you realise that clothing is one of the important factors that affect your ministry? “Clothing? Preposterous!”  But before you discard the idea, consider this statement—“When you meet a person for the first time, before you open your mouth, that person judges you on your appearance and bearing.” -- Forrest H. Frantz, Sr., The Miracle Success System (West Nyack, N.Y.: Parker Publishing Co., Inc.).  After all, first impressions are made in an amazingly short period of time -- perhaps thirty seconds -- and in that interval there is really little else to use in evaluation.
Today, reliable research can document down to the last detail how men's clothing affects our perceptions of its wearer. John T. Molloy, author of the best-selling, Dress for Success (for men), spent seventeen years collecting such data.  His research includes the opinions and subconscious opinions of more than fifteen thousand people, constituting a wide cross section of the general public.  “We are preconditioned by our environment,” says Molloy, “and the clothing we wear is an integral part of that environment.  The way we dress has a remarkable impact on the people we meet and greatly affects how they treat us.”

How can we avoid making mistakes in choosing the clothing we wear?  The solutions, says Molloy, a former teacher turned management consultant, is to let research choose your clothing. Studies of verbal and nonverbal communication show the nonverbal has stronger effects. Thus clothes and appearance (nonverbal communicators) either reinforce verbal impressions or contradict (and often overwhelm) them.  The business executive who dresses conservatively doesn't have to explain his authority.  His clothes do it for him. In fact, those who adopt the conservative look assume the authority that goes with it. Molloy early discovered that the value of a man's clothing is important in determining his credibility and acceptance.  People who are well dressed receive preferential treatment in almost all social and business encounters. If you don't believe it, try it when you go shopping.

Molloy, named “America's first wardrobe engineer” by Time Magazine, did extensive research with the raincoat.  There are two standard colours of raincoats sold in this country--beige and black.  Molloy tested 1,362 persons by showing them almost identical pictures of two men assuming the same pose and in the same suit, shirt, tie, and shoes.  The only difference was the colour of their raincoats.  Those being tested were asked to choose the most prestigious of the two. The beige raincoat was the choice of 1,118 people, or 87 percent.

Following this test, Molloy and two friends wore beige raincoats for a month.  The next month they wore black raincoats. At the end of each period they catalogued the attitudes of people toward them.  The three agreed that the beige raincoat created a distinctly more favourable impression upon waiters, store clerks, and businessmen they met. Finally, Molloy picked a group of twenty-five business offices and went to each with a copy of The Wall Street Journal, asking the secretary to allow him to deliver it personally to the individual in charge.  When he wore a beige raincoat, he delivered the papers in a single morning. Wearing the black raincoat, he spent a day and half to deliver the twenty-five papers.

Molloy conducted further research in a large corporation that had two branch offices.  One office enforced a dress code: the other did not.  Secretaries in the office that had no dress code were late or absent 3 to 5 percent more often than those in the office that had a code, stayed at their desks 5 percent less, and spent 5 percent less time at their typewriters!  After a dress code had been enforced for a year at the office that didn't have a code, the workers were found to have improved their performance in every area.  They stayed at their desks longer, and their lateness record dropped 15 percent! 

Molloy also conducted research to determine whether the white dress shirt was an important factor in IBM's spectacular success over its competitors.  Most people in business know of IBM's once official but now unofficial enforcement of a rather strict dress code, particularly for its salesmen. Molloy surveyed 106 executives, asking questions that called for moral values.  Which men were late to work more often?  Which cheated on their expense reports?  Which were better family men?  Of the 106 in the study, 87 attributed greater moral strengths to the men dressed in white shirts than to those wearing shirts of other colors!  Ninety-three said they thought that a white shirt was an asset to the IBM salesmen.  Fifty-six executives of those interviewed had made major purchases of IBM equipment the previous year.  They stated that their primary motivation for choosing IBM was a belief in that company's moral -- yes, moral -- superiority, says Molloy.  Although each of the executives cited multiple reasons for his purchases, the white-shirt response was glaring in its importance, and the decision to buy IBM equipment was based largely on the positive moral characteristics attributed to the dress of IBM's salesmen -- a look the executives described as “conservative,” “reliable,” “efficient,” and “morally upright.”

When Molloy first began testing, he photographed a dozen men in conservative, well-matched colours and patterns.  Then he photographed another dozen men in a more contemporary style of clothing such as is generally seen in fashion magazines.  When these photographs were mixed together, 70 to 80 percent of those tested chose the men in the conservative dress as more tastefully attired then those in the more modern dress, even though as many as half the men being interviewed did not dress conservatively themselves!  Even when 70 to 80 percent of the men being questioned themselves dressed in more modern colour combinations and style, their answers never changed significantly!  The fact that the colours, patterns, and combinations of clothing that score the highest positive results among the largest majority of the population are all traditional and conservative came as no great surprise to Molloy.  The most successful businessmen have worn conservative clothing for years, and most likely will for many years to come.

The point is that how we dress does affect on our minds.  When our children see us, adults, come to worship casually and carelessly, what impressions will they have about God, or our thoughts of God?  Even Mormons have a dress code for their religion.  We worship the unique and only God.  To be continued...

Your Pastor

More Lively Hope



*Kitchen Roster - Helpers this week: Bro Benjamin Wong; Sisters Ashley Chia & Amy Ma. Helpers next week: Bro Daniel Volvricht; Sisters Clara Ki & Bernadette Ng.
*Cambodia Missions, 13 - 21 Feb 2017. Anyone interested to go, please see Elder Michael D Lee.
*Offering collection on the last Sunday this month will be given to the Independent Board for Presbyterian Foreign Missions.
*Those who have keys to the CLG Rectory, please see Elder David Yeo for your personal PIN by today. The common PIN will soon be removed.
*Please note: ‘Hour of Christmas Carols & Hymns’ will be held on Sunday, 4 Dec, 4pm at All Saints Anglican Church. Light refreshments will be served after at the CLG Rectory.

Praise & Thanksgiving

Journey mercies: All arriving safely at their destinations.
Visitors & new worshippers.
God’s daily mercy, guidance & blessings.
Church activities in the past week.
Healing: Bro Tony Law & Sis Corinne Teng.
Jobs - Those who gained employment.

Prayer Items

Health & God’s healing - Pastor Ki; Rev George van Buuren; Dr Gary Cohen (USA), Dr SH Tow (S’pore); Rev Patrick Tan (S’pore); Rev Edward & Sis Lehia Paauwe; Grandpa Ki (S’pore); & others in affliction.
God’s comfort to Sis Nita Chong & family on the home-going of her sister-in-law in Melbourne.
iSketch & Tell Ministry: Pr Hai Seng Lim’s ministry in Melbourne.
Cambodia Missions: Rev David Koo & Ministry; Life University (Sihanoukville); Khmer pastors & families. 
New Life BPC (London) - Dr Carl Martin; God’s guidance & encouragement for Task Force & congregation.
Theological studies for Dn Sung Hyun Ma & Bro Kevin Low & families.
Youth & Assistant Pastor for Hope B-P Church.
God’s guidance for Covenant, Ebenezer, Hope & Providence BPCs to form an Australian B-P Presbytery.
Journey mercies:  Elder Michael, Sis Alice & Mr Lucas Lee (Adl); & others who are travelling.
Safety in pregnancy: Sis Tabitha Tan.
Interpreters of sermon into Mandarin.
Exam preparation for university & Year 12 students: Bros Timothy Gan & Benjamin Wong; & Sis Emilie Kour.
God’s guidance for trouble-free settlement of new church on 20 Jan 2017.
Australia - Salvation of Australians & for our politicians not to pass any legislation that is against God’s Law.
Jobs - Those seeking for employment.
Unity of doctrine & fellowship in Hope BPC.
God’s restrain on Moslem militants & protection of believers in Indonesia, especially in Jakarta.



© Hope Bible-Presbyterian Church
14 Bedford Square, Colonel Light Gardens, South Australia 5041