Monday, July 10, 2006

Church Staff

I haven't had to think about this for many years, but I remembered recently that a Church Administrator for one congregation I served dressed kind of inappropriately for the office. I don't remember the details, but it wasn't anything terribly egregious -- just skirts that were a bit too mini and jumpers that weren't very professional. I wasn't her supervisor and although I thought she could use some fashion pointers, I also knew what we were paying her. As I recall, cranky parishioners occasionally admonished her to dress more appropriately for the office, but I don't remember if there was any improvement. The senior pastor, her direct supervisor, didn't get involved.
I thought she was a wonderfully fun, warm and smart gal and was sorry to hear that she was fired soon after I left.

How spiffily dressed are your church staffers? Does your (male) sexton mow the lawn shirtless, and if so, do you care? Have you ever had to speak to someone on your staff about how to dress for church? What did you say? How did they take it?

Bring on the stories! Bring on the advice! Let the sharing begin!


Blogger CK said...

I used to mow the church lawn shirtless. Then I was told it wasn't appropriate, even in a sports bra.

I thought it was rather sexy, but I suppose that my conservative church thought they were stretching far enough to let the known lesbian mow the lawn in a riding mower and act as the church janitor/caretaker.

8:56 PM  
Blogger Quotidian Grace said...

I'll play!

Our former church bookkeeper was a really good looking gal with a knockout figure, though she was married with four children. She taught Jazzercize on the side!

Her office attire was sometimes a very skimpy tank top over an athletic bra and lycra shorts. Or tight leopard-skin pants with hot pink halter tops. She favored high, high heels and tops and purses that were 80's fabulous with lots of sequins and fake stones. Her hair and makeup were straight out of Dallas, the series. (Well, we are in Texas, after all.)

The senior pastor complained about it because her desk was in the reception area. But he never asked her to dress any differently.

Although she looked like a high-class hooker, she was anything but! She was smart and a dedicated wife and mother. Her kids and husband were great. She taught a women's Bible study and initiated several mission projects.

She left her church job to take a full time job with an accounting firm.

You couldn't tell this book by its cover! I do wonder what she's wearing at the accounting firm, though...

9:21 PM  
Blogger Braidwood said...

Thank god for people who refuse to be dull!

10:17 PM  
Blogger Songbird said...

When I get a staff, I'll let you know.

10:35 PM  
Blogger CK said...

Oh, and the primary reason I wore the bra was because it was stinkin' hot. The sexiness was a byproduct.

11:33 PM  
Blogger Purechristianithink said...

We just did interviews for a new Office Manager at our church. One of the hiring committee was very keen to ask a question that would ferret out an applicant's interpretation of "appropriate attire". Hey--this IS Southern California, so I guess surf wear or bikinis are not out of the realm of possibility.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Christine Robinson said...

I don't know if you want to get me started. I've had to talk to employees who didn't wear proper underwear and insist that a supervisor speak to young adult child care staff who came to work dressed in their sexiest play clothes. The most interesting clothing issue I was a part of happened when a male staff member, who didn't like wearing a tie on weekdays, insisted that the man he supervised quit wearing ties to work. I kind of regretted that but decided not to intervene. I wear "office casual" on weekdays, but enjoyed the sharp dresser.

2:18 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have wondered about this as well. I have had times when I thought attire could have been more appropriate but it has never been quite over the line enough for me to feel comfortable commenting to an employee. We had an administrator who wore shorts (and had the figure to do it)and I probably ought to have said something as I missed my chance and her successor also wore shorts and, like me, should wear them only at home.

3:06 PM  
Blogger PeaceBang said...

You DITINT. I am ignoring that revelation, CK. Not truly really shirtless!??

9:07 PM  
Blogger CK said...

Shirtless. Not bra-less.

And only once after being reprimanded. Seriously, it was hot.

11:13 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My constant challenge with the office staff where I used to be was that they were too casual in my opinion. I never said anything because I had a very temporary position with absolutely no authority, but I had a huge desire to call stacy and clinton on a weekly basis.

The office administrator in question dressed as if the 80s were NOW.

It was slightly painful.
Okay, very painful.

I was also told that one of the people before me, in the same temporary position, came to church on her first day in spandex shorts and a sports bra, on her rollerblades. My training group were very grateful that I dressed appropriately for my year. I never wore jeans in the office. It's tempting, but I do not.


1:24 AM  

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