How to Talk about Head Covering on Your Church Web Site
Churches that practice head covering are a minority in the Western World. Those who are visiting these churches for the first time will immediately notice the distinction between men and women and many will wonder (especially those who are not Christians) what it means. On many church websites there are sections for frequently asked questions, beliefs and/or a page telling visitors what they can expect when visiting. We’d like to share some examples of church websites that do mention head covering and how they introduce the topic to potential visitors.
There is no dress code at Markham Bible Chapel for those attending…You will notice that many of the ladies at Markham Bible Chapel wear a head covering during the service times while in the main auditorium. This is because we believe that 1 Corinthians 11 instructs this “because of the angels”. If you’re visiting with us, or do not feel comfortable wearing a head covering, you are still more than welcome to attend our services!
Based on the teaching of I Corinthians 11:5 , we ask ladies who are going to speak in the communion service to wear a veil or other sort of head covering. We see the communion service as uniquely requiring this since there is no evident leadership. By contrast, men are required to remove their hats in the same context.
You will undoubtedly notice that many of the ladies in attendance will have on a headcovering or hat of some sort. Although the norm in years past for all church goers, this is not an outdated fashion statement but a reflection of our belief that Paul’s instruction in 1 Corinthians 11 applies for all ages, not just first century Corinth. We recognize that this has become uncommon in our day (although many are reevaluating the passage) and we can assure you that no visitor is required or expected to have on a headcovering in order to attend.
We Believe it to be scriptural for Christian women to appear in church gatherings with a head covering (1 Corinthians 11:1-16).
In all instances, the various churches mention where the command is found (1 Corinthians 11) and they affirm it as their own belief. Two of them assure potential visitors that they don’t need to practice the symbol to visit them. Capilano Christian Assembly only requires it to be practiced if speaking during the communion service (which happens just before the main service where hymns are suggested and thoughts and encouragements from Scripture are shared by the laity).
The Church of God in Toronto (Toronto, ON) doesn’t explain the practice but rather encourages visitors to ask one of the men in the service to explain it to them. They say on their What to Expect When You Visit page:
Questions on any of these practices or any other issues will be welcome, especially if you want to know why things are done here differently from other churches you may have attended. For instance, you might want to know why women in the church wear head coverings at certain times…Please just approach one of the men who took any part in the meeting you have attended. You can be sure of a friendly and helpful response to any of your questions.
Some churches have produced teaching materials on head covering and use their website to link to it. Heritage Church (Centerville, TN) has a pamphlet they’ve written entitled Headcoverings in Public Worship. They link to it in their Articles section. Hannover International Bible Church (Hannover, Germany) has an entire page dedicated to head covering where they list various articles and their own seminar they produced on the topic. Finally, Cornerstone Fellowship Bible Church (Riverside, CA) doesn’t mention that they believe in head covering anywhere on their site, but they have a link to the sermon series their pastor preached on the topic, in which the practice was advocated.
Some churches feel that head covering is a mark that distinguishes them from other assemblies and because of that, they mention it in their beliefs/statement of faith. Others feel the need to give a heads up to visitors so that they’re not caught off guard when they show up. Some churches see their website as a resource hub where people can find solid teaching to study their distinctives. While others refrain from mentioning head covering at all on their website, preferring to have those conversations face-to-face once you’ve visited them.
So, should a church mention the fact that they practice head covering on their website? Ultimately, there is no right or wrong answer to that question. However, if you decide that you would like to, feel free to draw from the winsome examples above of how other churches have communicated this belief to prospective visitors.