We all have them somewhere. Stuffed in the bottom of our drawers, hanging in the back of our closets, put away for a rainy day (a.k.a. when we have absolutely nothing left to wear and won’t be leaving the comfort of our home). Church Shirts.
Over the years I have collected several, I mean dozens, no, thousands of church shirts ranging from VBS shirts, to camps, to mission trips, and to just being random event shirts.
They are everywhere. As I compose this article, I am wearing a band shirt I got at Senior High Camp. In light of my vast abundance of this certain breed of shirt, I’ve decided to make a guideline as to when it would be appropriate to retire this “oh so special” type of shirt.
They are new and cool every year. The youth minister always tries to make the new camp shirt cooler than the previous one. One year, my youth minister was on a kick about events with one word titles. Hence the creation of the camp shirt that said, wait for it: “Camp”. So how long can you wear this shirt without being considered the former high school senior that just can’t let go? Obviously that’s one of the criteria. Once you get to college and you feel the fake warmth of professors, that they have learned to generate over the years to make it seem like they care (that’s for another time), it’s time to leave that security blanket at home. It’s perfectly acceptable to wear it through the summer, but once summer ends say “hello” to Good Will. If you are not a senior, the basic rule still applies. But you can still get some limited use out of it before the next year, maybe as a workout shirt or a dish towel.
Mission Trip shirts:
If it isn’t evident that a mass herd of people being led by a youth minister, that most definitely does not wear shorts that often, doesn’t identify a mission trip group. We all have to be wearing matching shirts. Mission trip tees are like vintage tees. At the event they are cool, but you have memories of sunburns and splinters and having your neck cut open by a package of roof shingles (just me?). A few years down the road, though, the mission trip tee is good to wear at a Sunday school party as a trophy piece.
Random event shirt:
These are like all weather jackets. They work really well in light to moderately bad weather, but you can’t wear them all the time. It may have been a special speaker or a band. You don’t have to permanently retire the t-shirt, but give them a breather every once and awhile. Think of it like a Toyota. If you use the brake too much, it may hurt you. If you wear the random even shirt too much, you may end up looking like a TV cartoon character that always wears the same clothes every episode.
The Holy Grail, the VBS shirt:
This shirt is an any time, any place, any where kind of church shirt. The VBS shirt is more like a medal. It is proof you have survived. The VBS shirt will never get old and can be worn year round at any age. Extra points if you can still wear one from when you were a kid, though that may be a little sad.