A new (as of March 18th) Instagram account has already garnered over sixty-five thousand followers who took an interest in the account’s sole purpose: highlighting pictures of preachers wearing questionably-expensive designer sneakers and clothing. PreachersNSneakers — an account owned by a 29-year-old professed evangelical Christian and sneaker reseller using the pen name Tyler Jones — raises questions about stewardship (how the preachers are managing their parishioners’ tithes) and the optics of preaching humility, Mark 12:41-44, and Matthew 25:35-46 while wearing clothes that regularly cost more than an entire month of full-time federal minimum wage (~$1,200).
The pastor above, for example, later defended himself, saying he received the $800 pants, $2000 backpack, and other stylish items for free:
The pastor later deleted his comment and changed his Instagram from @chadcveach to @chadveach. Regarding that, Tyler Jones explained to Fashionista, “I’m not trying to cause a division; me and him both believe inherently the same things. I just think that if you’re in church you should know how your pastor is spending the money.”
Jones also told Fashionista that he “had a Dallas-based pastor reach out to me and ask to be featured on the page yesterday,” which suggests the unnamed pastor perhaps believes being able to claim he or she is being “bullied” online is good for the balance sheet.
“I do think that you’re held to a different standard if you are leading a church that people are contributing money to and investing some amount of their trust in you to lead them spiritually,” Jones said. “That’s a pretty heavy calling. I think you at least need to be aware of the optics of the things that you’re wearing.”
In a separate interview with Buzzfeed News, Jones stated his belief that Christians should “have a discussion about what is appropriate,” adding, “I’m just saying the people in church should at least be asking the question.”
Here are some of the outfits Jones thinks people should be asking about, starting with the seemingly most expensive ones:
To quote PreachersNSneakers, “The Lord works in mysterious colorways.”