Sunday, October 14, 2007
Dancing in the Aisles
Our church has had a Saturday night service for almost two years. It wasn't working. The startup attendance number was encouraging, then slowly it went down. People didn't sing. They came in late, and sat down to read their bulletin. Something was wrong big-time. The church we attend is pretty conservative, and the services reflected that. Saturday night was really no different than Sunday morning. You saw a few jeans and t-shirts here and there, at both services, but they were the exception.

After almost two years, the staff decided we needed to either fish or cut bait. Fix the Saturday service or eliminate it. Since we'd been attending it the whole time, and were pretty discouraged with it, we voted for the latter (not that they really gave us a vote). They decided to fish.

Worship was turned over to one of our youth pastors, who happens to have a band, and has produced a few CD's (He can sing and play and lead worship.) A different worship team was put together. Our pastor switched to preaching in jeans, and sitting at a cafe-style table down on the floor level with us, rather than a podium on the stage. The ushers switched to jeans and t-shirts. It was announced the head pastor would be hanging out in the cafe after each service, where pizza was served, to answer any questions you might have. He became available. A class was put on with a counselor on hand, for anyone struggling with issues.

Three weeks after the big switch was made, and announced in the bulletin, we attended last night. Fabulous! Attendance is up by over 100, when I walked in just a few minutes late everyone was on their feet singing, clapping, raising of hands here and there. And a two year old was dancing in the center aisle.

The worship pastor has two little girls, one is a newborn and the other is about two, with blonde curls and big blue eyes that will win you over immediately. Her mommy had chosen to sit right next to the aisle and the music had moved whatever it is God put inside us so that she was in the aisle, wiggling and spinning to the music. The lyrics of the song, right at that moment, just happened to have the words "Dance Like You're Saved" in them, and she was just dancing away. So he told us, let's let her lead for a minute here, let's worship like a two year old. Let's dance in church for goodness sake! Such fun to see the room come even more alive, as we all turned our eyes to this little one, who was oblivious to us.

"Dance Like You're Saved", "Dance Like a Two Year Old", sounds like a paraphrase of "let the little children come to me, do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these." (Mark 10:13-14). When we stopped 'acting our age' and rather let our hearts and spirits move us in worship, the place came alive! Wiggles and sways and hands waving, smiles on faces, as we let the little one lead us.

Man, did it feel good to be wrong.


  posted at 8:31 AM

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