Ethics: Pastor Requires Women Wear Head Coverings!

What would you do Wednesday!

As far fetched as it sounds, a Texas pastor banned weaves in his congregation. No doubt we church folks certainly do some weird things sometimes. Banning weaves in church is pretty far-fetched, but what about pastor requiring women to wear head coverings?


One Sunday morning your pastor begins a new sermon series starting in 1 Corinthians 11. He explains that while preparing the series he came across a new movement – The Head Covering Movement. He began to read and dig deeply into the topic of head coverings.

He came to some new – even startling – convictions on head coverings. Startling because he had no intention of ending up where he did on head coverings.

The pastor’s convictions have resulted in new requirements for the women in the congregation. He now requires women to wear head coverings during church worship gatherings. He understands some women may not be comfortable right away. He wants to give them some time to mature in their understanding of head coverings.

He is not sure if he sees this as a potential future church discipline issue for those who won’t follow his biblical convictions on this issue. Any women employed by the church must immediately begin wearing head covering. He notes that some pastors require all staff not use alcohol or tobacco so he sees nothing out of bounds with implementing a biblical head covering rule for all female staff.

What would you do?

  • Follow and encourage the pastor’s new convictions.
  • Discuss with the pastor to help settle your own conscience.
  • Try to reason with him about his stance of making them a requirement.
  • Buy a bunch of head coverings with propellers on top and pass them out.
  • Or….

Here I blog…


tagged as , in Christianity,Church Issues,Culture

{ 25 comments… read them below or add one }

1 clarkdunlap August 21, 2013 at 11:43 am

I like the propeller option, but I think I would have a talk with the pastor about the harms of legalism and the freedom we have in Christ. Yes I know in other countries women often wear headcoverings even in Baptist churches. God Bless them.

2 Adam G in NC August 21, 2013 at 11:51 am

I’d have a talk with him…but he IS the pastor.
The way it was proposed seems reasonable and not very overbearing.

3 Chris Roberts August 21, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Snort, talk to him about it, then if he won’t budge, either replace him or find a new church.

4 nvahalik August 21, 2013 at 12:26 pm

I agree with clarkdunlap that a discussion would need to be had about freedom in Christ as well as more of a personal understanding about his conviction for why that is the case.  However, if possible, I’d ask to have the elders vote on the issue as well (as I think our church requires things like this to be voted on anyway).  If the elders vote on it, then I suppose you could submit to the church or find a new one.  However, I would hope that the elders are more interested in (as much as I hate the word) keeping the body together on the gospel rather than implementing a new rule that could cause division within a church body.  If there is much division over this (and I think most people would degree that head coverings are not a hill to die on) they implement it, then that’s another story…

5 Andrew Wray August 21, 2013 at 1:10 pm

good job!!

6 Rosie O'Neill August 21, 2013 at 3:23 pm

The way some people dress for church, I would think they needed to cover more than their heads.

7 tjcxjonz155 August 21, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Paul wrote “Do not go beyond what is written.” 1 Cor. 4:6 and he also wrote “I do not permit a woman to teach nor have authority over a man.” Any of you not in compliance with 1. Cor. 4:6?

8 CK86 August 22, 2013 at 7:30 am

Head covering is such a personal issue, and in my opinion should not be “forced” upon a congregation. Explaining the doctrine and conviction and then leaving it to the women, their husbands, and the Holy Spirit to do the rest should be sufficient.  Blessings!

9 Stacey Abiding Woman August 22, 2013 at 8:31 am

Head covering is Biblical, but since it is so untaught in the American churches it would be difficult to begin requiring it out of nowhere. However, the pastor should preach truth on this issue and encourage the women to prayerfully consider following the Scriptures on this issue. He should talk about correct interpretation in his sermons and encourage women to look at the Head Covering Movement sight as well as read books on church history and ask themselves why the New Testament churches had no other practice, why churches in church history had no other practice, yet we have another practice….. it’s a valid question to be considered. We don’t make up the way we want to worship God, He tells us how He wants to be worshiped. We are to obey and respond accordingly in faith because He is our love and our source of joy, why wouldn’t we want to do what He has prescribed?

10 mamaolive August 22, 2013 at 9:12 am

As I’ve been covering alone for 10 years, I’d probably bake him a cake. 🙂 Just because a doctrine has been neglected for 100 years doesn’t make it suddenly unBiblical. Jesus wasn’t afraid of being divisive for the sake of Truth.

11 tjcxjonz155 August 22, 2013 at 10:02 am

Stacey Abiding Woman 
“God is a spirit and MUST be worshipped in spirit and truth”  regarding that we do not have the freedom to do otherwise as some have supposed.

12 Mark Lamprecht August 22, 2013 at 10:54 am

clarkdunlap I had to add the propeller option for the absurd option that I try to add for a little fun. 🙂

13 Mark Lamprecht August 22, 2013 at 10:54 am

Adam G in NC Do you think biblically that pastors have free reign to require anything from the congregation that they like?

14 Mark Lamprecht August 22, 2013 at 10:56 am

nvahalik Thanks, Nick.

15 Mark Lamprecht August 22, 2013 at 10:57 am

CK86 That should be enough, but occasionally pastors do require others follow their convictions. Having the staff wear head coverings would be an example.

16 Mark Lamprecht August 22, 2013 at 10:58 am

Stacey Abiding Woman So outside of requiring head coverings out of nowhere, would you say the pastor would be justified in his requirement?

17 Mark Lamprecht August 22, 2013 at 10:59 am

@mamaolive But is it a biblical requirement?

18 KathyJM August 22, 2013 at 11:17 am

Hopefully we are all striving to follow Jesus…’the new covenant’…in full obedience, no matter what the price.  And if that is our goal, then it seems we would prayerfully consider the pastor’s words and seek to do whatever God wants us to do. 
I would say, though, that for the pastor to require it seems akin to what Jesus described that the Greeks did who ‘lord their authority’ over others; and He said it was not to be done among His followers….. the pastor is to lead as a shepherd and walk along beside the flock to help them see his Biblical understandings. 
Jesus didn’t demand that His followers do certain things, but He taught them, and then said, “If you love Me, keep my commandments.”  The choice is up to each of us what we will do with His commandments/teachings!

19 radicallyforjesus August 22, 2013 at 12:41 pm

I have covered since 2001.  I have a blog that addresses the topic, youtube videos, and I also have a site that sells them.  So obviously I am very pro covering in general.  II think the desire to cover should come from the woman’s submitted and willing heart. I believe strongly it is useless if the heart isn’t right.
It also should be under the direction and approval of her husband.  While I am sure the Pastor is very well intentioned, I don’t believe it is his authority, except for that of his own family.  The husband should be the one in authority on this especially as headship is the very heart of the passage in Corinthians.

20 SherylLynn1 August 22, 2013 at 1:27 pm

I think if people get used to covering while in church they may be further led to cover outside the church.  I am the only head covering Baptist in my church. I have been covering for 9 years.

21 jenfriend68 August 22, 2013 at 6:17 pm

I know there are so many opinions on this subject, but if the Pastor believes that it is a Bible command, then he better be leading his people in that direction.  I get a little tired of hearing “freedom in Christ.”  That is not referring to commands, but rather issues that are neither here nor there.  Years ago all women covered for worship.  It all changed with the women’s liberation movement.  I do hope there will be a great reformation.

22 JoshuaBreland August 29, 2013 at 11:25 am

Try to reason with him about his stance of making them a requirement.

23 JS September 6, 2013 at 10:05 am

I agree that it is a good thing to wear a covering. I wear one all the time. However, I balk at making it a requirement. I have personally seen the destruction that it can cause when a woman is MADE to wear a covering instead of allowing it to be a choice she makes out of love for Christ. I have seen families torn apart, people leave the church (I mean totally leave the church.), and hearts wounded by forcing women in this area.
I have also seen the covering become a weapon in the devil’s hand when preaching becomes prideful because “Our women obey the command to be covered.” It can become a pride issue with the women themselves along with their husbands, brothers, and fathers.
Again, the covering is a good thing, but it MUST be something that a woman wants to do. Not even God forces people to do things. He asks us lovingly, but He doesn’t beat us up until we comply. People will come around quicker if they have time to search it out for themselves, and pray about this issue than if it suddenly becomes a requirement. I would advise this pastor to tread carefully and with much kindness and understanding.

24 Steve Hays January 27, 2015 at 11:41 am

That’s the nice thing about denominations. You can always switch churches.

25 Jack Wooten June 8, 2015 at 2:14 pm

Do what the word of God says. Men uncover, women cover. It is that simple.


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