A group of teens entered a store and after looking around at various items, Sandy, one of the teens finally settled on a ‘Jesus Matters’ t-shirt.
‘Why would you buy that?’ one of her friends asked.
“Because Jesus matters,” she responded. "And I want the world to know!”
Majority of Christians in the '90s, particularly the youngsters at the time, spotted WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) bracelets as a reminder to reflect on Christ's example in their lives and pledge allegiance to Christ's ways and His teachings. In the past few decades, many cultures across the world are embracing Christian t-shirts and clothing with the trend becoming more widespread. Secular stores have not been left out and can be seen stocking religious-based merchandise.
Christian t-shirts may contain a slogan in the form of a Bible verse, a commentary or message that seeks to get solutions to common and tough issues in life.
What is the purpose of tees with Christian writing? To advertise? Promote? Rebel? Make a statement? Stand up for one's truth? Frequently, those who wear Christian labelled tees identify with the statement on it. They are passionate about Jesus and want to spread the word to enable others to meet Him and know Him. They see Christian tees as a powerful tool to shine a message of hope in a seemingly hopeless world.
This is what Jesus said in the Book of Matthew Chapter 5, verses 1:
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead, they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.”
But on top of the latest fashion trends, what makes tees and Christian branded clothing worth printing and wearing?
Encouraging and powerful messages
It is written in Hebrews 3:13, "But encourage one another day after day, as long as it is still called 'Today,' so that none of you will be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin."
This message may be one among many that encourage Sandy and other Christians to wear Christian t-shirts. It may just be the message that somebody needs to feel uplifted. Imagine entering a room full of people and hearing that the powerful message on your t-shirt stood out and reassured others.
Sharing and Proclaiming One’s Faith
Wearing a t-shirt with a Christian message shows other Christians that you share the same faith and this way, you may identify and unite with fellow Christians.
John 4:41 - And many more believed because of His word.
If many believed because of His word, why not share the word in a trendy way that catches attention. Through t-shirts with a Christian message, God's word is shared to workmates, classmates, friends and even strangers. Tees can also be used to proclaim one's faith as the message of Christ is shared and spread.
Exalt His Name, Declare His Works
Christians are overjoyed when it comes to letting others know what Jesus has done for them. A Christian t-shirt is just one of the ways that can be used to exalt and declare, letting it known that He is alive in us.
A Christian message on your tee may touch someone, somewhere and give them the motivation to keep going no matter how bad things are. The inspiration that such a message holds cannot be ignored.
With a Christian t-shirt, what you stand for and believe is seen. But, the overall purpose of wearing Christian t-shirts should go beyond a fashion statement or a walking billboard. The specific goal should be to live the words on the messages being spread— to spread the light that the words hold. And even more importantly, we should not let our beliefs live only in print but through the spreading of the faith, hope and love. And the greatest of all is love— a love that should go beyond the words imprinted on the chest or sleeve of your Christian t-shirt.
The power of words cannot be underestimated. After all, in the beginning, was the Word...
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20