Begin Free Online Ordination

Nike Hightop SneakersA few weeks ago, an Instagram account popped up that is making massive waves on the internet. It’s called “PreachersNSneakers.” And although it only has a few dozen posts since its inception, its followers have exponentially multiplied after it reverberated through the internet. BuzzFeed, Fashionista and many other outlets have reported on it.

The account focuses on high-profile pastors wearing expensive sneakers. Ostensibly, it began as a joke, but it is leading to some important questions. Are the pastors who are exposed on the account extravagant? Is wearing designer clothing a sign of vanity? Are these pastors building a brand by shopping and dressing in a way that makes them look more successful?

Is Dressing Upscale Indicative of Vanity?

It should be noted that the account author does not actually take the pictures posted on the page. He finds pictures that have been posted to social media and looks up the prices of the items that the pastors are wearing. Many times, it is the pastor himself (or herself) that has curated the picture and posted it online.

John Gray, the same pastor who was criticized for buying his wife a $200k Lamborghini, is in one of the pictures wearing a pair of Air Yeezy 2s that sells for around $4,000. He has publicly stated that none of his church salary has paid for the luxury car- although that cannot be verified. Still, Gray could have easily paid for his shoes off of his book and tv royalties. Is it vanity? Who knows but Gray himself.

But for his church attendees tithing 10% of their income every Sunday to the church, seeing their pastor in $4,000 shoes might raise some eyebrows.

In an interview with Fashionista, the account creator (identified under the pseudonym Tyler) says he has received praise from hundreds of pastors for opening a dialogue on what church leadership should look like. He also says he has received messages from atheists who appreciate the account calling out what they view as hypocrisy from megachurch pastors who preach humility and then wear shoes worth more than many cars.

For his money, Tyler leaves interpretation up to the viewer. “All I do is find pictures, look up the things that they're wearing and then put out the current market price and let you decide what you feel about that, you know?”

Well, with 120,000 followers and growing- he can consider that dialogue opened.

Does Clothing Matter?

Many of the accounts commenters say the focus shouldn’t be on the clothing itself, but on the character of the person. They rightfully point out all the good those churches have done in their local communities. What does it matter if this person is in expensive shoes, if their message is good and their impact on their local community is positive?

Some of the called-out church leaders even commented on the page to defend themselves. Megachurch pastor Chad Veach said in a now-deleted comment that he was gifted all of the expensive clothing he was wearing in the photo, and hadn’t paid for any of it. What is the line between humility and looking good? Tyler admits he doesn’t know. “What is OK as far as far as pastors wearing hype or designer clothing?’ I don’t have an answer.”

Category: Society Church

culture money social media morals

Add Your Comment

To post a comment you must log in first.
You may alternatively login with your credentials, below.