Cool sneakers may not exactly be the first thing to pop in our minds when we talk about pastors and church leaders. Much to one man’s surprise, however, it looks like there are more ‘sneakerhead’ preachers out there than he ever initially imagined.
The Instagram account PreachersNSneakers has recently been gaining a lot of attention among netizens on social media. As its name implies, the page features designer shoes worn by Christian preachers and, man, they’re shockingly costly.
According to Tyler (whose real identity remains undisclosed), the man behind the account, he came up with the idea after joking with his friends. In a BuzzFeed report, we learn that the 29-year-old guy said that the page is “a perfect marriage of two of his passions: Christianity and the sneakerhead collecting-and-selling lifestyle.”
“It started out as me being interested in sneakers and being involved with church culture … so those two things made for good comedic content.
“This whole thing spun out of me sitting on my couch one Sunday. I was looking for this one song on YouTube and saw the lead singer in this worship band was wearing Yeezy 750s.”
Those kicks, commented Tyler, were “super rare,” retailing for over $1,800. “I was like ‘Dude, this is crazy,’” he said.
Eventually, he dug up pictures of popular pastors and leaders he was following on Instagram and that’s when he noticed a pattern – many of them love rocking designer products.
His friends found his observations funny and they encouraged him to start a separate Instagram account where he can share his discoveries with the public. The response, so far, has been “pretty intense.”
Although he described the account to be “open to interpretation,” he admitted:
“I’m a Christian and [have] been so for a long time and feel really strongly about the leaders of the church and how high of a calling they have.
“I started questioning myself, ‘What is OK as far as optics…as far as pastors wearing hype or designer clothing?’ I don’t have an answer.
“I’m just saying the people in church should at least be asking the question… Is the money I’m giving the church going to the salary, or spending on sneaks?”
One of the pastors featured on PreachersNSneakers, Chad Veach of Zoe Church, was spotted wearing $795 pants and a Gucci backpack with a price tag of almost $2,000. He later defended himself, commenting:
“You wanna know what’s crazy? I legit did not pay for one thing i’m wearing.”
Veach later thanked Tyler for the “shout out” and told him “You’re a blessing.”
Others, however, are obviously not convinced as someone responded:
“Wanna know what’s crazy? Feeling the need to defend your outrageously priced outfit while being an ambassador of Christ.”
Still, Tyler maintains that he doesn’t have any “big theological agenda,” for creating the IG account. “You guys do with this what you guys may,” he told his followers.
“I don’t want people to show up and fuel their argument to not want to be apart of their church or their Christian faith because of these [pastors]. I’m still figuring out how to make that balance but I think it’s a fair question to ask the people leading their faiths,” explained Tyler.
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