I need to debrief my event from last night so I figured I might as well do it here on the blog. We had another of our post football game dances. If you are just joining us I had the idea of having a real old school dance, complete with slow dances and a split the room dance down the middle end of the movie type number.
I find myself feeling like I need to justify why we do these things, (apart from the fact that 85 students showed up, but there are a million things that people can do to draw a crowd). This week my reasons were always swirling around in my head and the thing that kept coming back to me was that dancing is an important part of praise. Psalm 150:4 says Praise Him with dancing. (It also says to praise him with a tambourine, but those things get on my nerves, I will stick with drums).
Dancing is an important part of praise because we are told to do it, and also because it is a natural response to joy. We are created to move. No one has to teach little kids that when music plays you are supposed to move, they do it naturally. No one has to tell someone who watches their team score a touchdown that they are supposed to throw their hands in the air they do it naturally. There is a part of us that responds through moving. I think dancing is one an important part of how we should praise God. (I also love to do it, even though I am terrible at it)
Dancing also requires you to let go of inhibitions for a bit and just act on what you are feeling. Too many teenagers are worried about what the people around them are thinking, and they never really get to respond to God out of their heart. Dancing breaks down some of those barriers and teaches us to be more free in worship.
Now, I’m not saying that all of the dancing we did last night was worship. It isn’t like we did the “holy” electric slide or anything. But what we did do was help students to feel comfortable in our worship space and to help them forget about their peers for a moment and just be free. It is a remarkable thing to see it work.
That is my justification, for the full report on how it worked out check out the rest of the story.
The night started a little slow. The Football game went into OT so we were behind schedule right from the start. Also this was homecoming week so many of the people old enough to drive didn’t come because they were out being vandals. (Just as an aside, I understand the importance of rolling house, but I would have come to the church for a while and then gone out because I also understand the importance of setting an example for the younger guys)
Like I said we had around 85 students there which was a blast, but most of them were younger and it was a chore keeping them on the dance floor. As long as someone was there (normally me) roping them in and keeping them moving they had fun, but when I stopped encouraging, they mostly stood to the sides terrified. I finally took chairs away from some students to keep them up and moving.
After (I just got hit in the head with an acorn!) we sang and I talked it got a little better, but I am getting ahead of myself. We stopped after about 45 minutes and our band played a few songs. It was wild seeing and hearing 90 some odd people (if you include adults) shouting out and lifting their hands in worship. It was fun. I then had everyone sit down and I talked for less than 10 minutes and we watched a video from Igniter (you can download their videos from www.mediacomplete.com ) Then we got back up and got back to dancing. When we started back I played “Summer Lovin’” from Grease and had the students get on opposite sides of the room and dance down the middle and it was a bigger success than I imagined it would be.
After that the dancing part went much better. There were still a few people that refused, and a few more people wanted to sit in the fellowship hall and play cards, but I think everyone had a fun time. I even led some ballet dances, and now I am very, very sore. All in all for the $80 spent (40 for glow necklaces, 40 for drinks) it was a very entertaining event, and it was a good way for students to feel less threatened at church. We will have another one of these, but it won’t be until some time next year. I am thinking at the most 1 a quarter, but more likely 3 times a year.
All other things aside, I love to dance so I had a great time. I don’t have the energy to do it for 2 hours straight anymore and I missed having my wife with me to slow dance with, but it was a neat time. I think I may quit my day job and just become a Christian club owner. If you have a space you want to give a try and the money to pay me send me an email.