Recently, I have had several people comment on one of our musicians wearing a hat in worship. Just so you know the context, The Vine is the name of the worship service and it is a contemporary worship service. The guy wearing a hat is not wearing a ball cap or a cowboy hat. It is one of those nice dress hats. He is a very eccentric person, but I believe him to be very committed to Jesus. In fact, he is so committed to our worship service that he has made other sacrifices just to play in the praise band. He is a very nice guy with a loving heart. I am sure that he in no way wants to hurt anyone by wearing a hat. He believes he is expressing his personality on stage.
It seems the two opinions are a follows. (1) Guys should not wear hats in worship because it is disrespectful. (2) There is nothing in the bible that says wearing a hat is wrong, so it should not matter what other people think. If this person wants to wear a hat, they can.
In trying to figure out the best way to approach this issue in a way that helps both this musician and the those with the complaints, and most importantly gives honor to God, which is what I believe worship is all about. In order to get some grounding for how to approach this issue and I believe this must begin with the Bible.
He goes on to offer a short study using 1 Corinthians 11 and his interpretation of the passage and the context of traditions for worship in that letter. His conclusion:
1. I don't believe God really cares if we wear a hat in worship or not. It should be a non issue.
2. In the south especially, cultural norms say that men should not wear hats in worship.
3. Our musician is free to wear a hat if he wants to,
4. However, Paul's advice would be to follow cultural norms so that the least amount of people are offended and distracted in worship.
5. Worship is about God and his saving work in Jesus. Everything that is done in worship should honor God. When we take away from others honoring God, we should think and pray about making a change.
I think my next step as the pastor in the worship service would be to express these five things to our musician and let him think and pray about wearing the hat in worship. I would love comments about this blog and reflections.
To date, this author has not received further comments. What do you think?