Saturday, May 27, 2006

What Should One Wear to a Beach Mission?

My friend Andrew is a full-time open air preacher. Thus, he is required to go where he is told by the Open-Air Mission. Last year, he was required to attend a beach mission somewhere on the south coast. Andrew was not terribly enthusiastic about this at all, as he has an intense dislike of holidays, beaches and anything that could be described as fun. I tend to share his attitude.

It occurred to me that I would be faced with a dilemma if I was ever asked to preach on a beach. What should one wear when preaching on a beach?

I would feel terribly underdressed if I was preaching in a t-shirt, shorts and barefeet. However, I would feel rather over-dressed if I wore a shirt and tie. I think wearing any kind of shoes on a beach looks silly, though I have certainly done so before.

Hopefully, I will never be faced with that dilemma.


wilsford said...

depends upon your mission, right?

want to preach within your perception of what it means to be a preacher? white short-sleeved shirt with an outdated, too-short tie and brown polyester knit slacks, with sad, scuffed, oxfords. thick Bible a must. (White fundamentalist male from US Bible Belt)

sharply cut, brightly colored or black tailored suit, neatly knotted tie, and a very good-looking hat, clean, freshly polished shoes. thin Bible ok(black male preacher)

don't even think about going to the beach (really, really conservative)

you can go to the beach, but women must wear 'modest' one-piece 'bathing suits.' men should wear tee-shirts and sandals with socks. carry Bible conspicuously, circle prospects nervously. (our less conservative fundamentalists, though still far to the right of most beach-goers)

swim trunks or (for women) a two-piece. approach prospects with big, overly-friendly wave and open with "hey, how are you doing? awesome day, isn't it? do you know how much Jesus really loves you? we're meeting at Starbucks tonight at 6 to talk more about that. hope to see you there.(typical youth-group, fairly mainstream)

want to preach your church and its rules? dress accordingly.


The IBEX Scribe said...

I wouldn't recommend sticking out like a sore thumb. Many people go to the beaches in Southern California in a t-shirt and shorts, or pants and a sweatshirt if it's cool outside (bonfires are about the only thing I like at beaches myself). I would say that socks with sandals is absolute fashion taboo where I'm from. Any kind of sandal is acceptable, and the ones that strap on are just easier to walk in in the sand. You could wear a short sleeved button down collared shirt with no tie, casual trousers and sandals and not look too out of place and still look presentable. (This is coming from the casual attire is appropriate for everything attitude I grew up with in California, you must understand!)

Preach the Gospel, not the church and its rules. That's my advice!

(Little side note, and I know that this is probably going to sound horribly "liberal" to some: some two piece bathing suits are more modest than the one piece suits. They stay in place better and often cover more of the back. I've believed in board shorts over my swimming attire for years, although right now I don't even own anything to wear swimming... Yes, I know the comment was giving dress code for various approaches, not saying what is necessarily right.)

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Wilsford, thanks for visiting.

Angie, thanks for the idea.

I am very uncomfortable about bathing suits and unisex swimming.

You do not think wearing sandals on the beach looks silly?

I do not actually wear sandals because my feet are so narrow. I have never found any that fit my feet well.

I do not like beaches unless they are covered in rocks with interesting little pools to look in.

Every Blessing in Christ


Redeemed said...

At 15, I visited my family in California and we headed to the beach.

There was a group of young people from Texas that came giving out tracts and sharing the gospel. I thought it was very neat.

Anywho, the boys were wearing a pair of short and t-shirt, with beach sandals. It was very modest looking, for the beach that is.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Sarah, thanks for sharing that.

The IBEX Scribe said...

Actually it is quite common to see people wearing sandals on the beach. The sand gets very hot during the summer, so it can hurt to go barefoot. I have no idea what people do at the beaches out here. I'm not too interested in finding out, either.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

You have the right attitude, Angie.

The IBEX Scribe said...


Earl said...

Imagine what Christ or the Apostles wore. They wore sandels. I don't think they were neatly dressed, probably didn't even wear deoderant, their hair probably wasn't neatly combed.

Given that, I think you've got a lot of lattitude. Be modest. Smile. Perhaps play beach volleyball with some of the people, or have a picknic. Then preach.

Christ gave some great sermons on the beach -- and fed people in the wilderness, like a big picknic.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

Earl, thanks for your thoughts.

Chris said...

I preached in Hawaii last year and the brothers and sisters there wear modest beach wear, usually a casual short pant (fairly baggy and cut to the knee) with a button up short sleeved flower print collared shirt. No bathing suits. The women wore longish flower print skirts or dresses. Again, no bathing suits.

All modest but location appropriate.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I am glad to here the ladies were wearing skirts and dresses. Chris.

Rose~ said...

Wear beach clothes that are not evil.

Dyspraxic Fundamentalist said...

I think I would feel underdressed preaching in beach clothes.

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