Monday Morning Quarterback

Stuff I learned on Sunday

She was out of the front pew on the first note of the Introit and mid-aisle by the third, arms outstretched, head upheld–the unmistakable pose of a 6 year-old about to dance. Two unbidden syllables escaped my lips in the moment: “Oh man.”

The dancing of Daughter and her playmate(s) during worship these last several weeks has been a delightful development; people have expressed pride in being part of a church where little girls dance freely in worship. People actually said that to a consultant. It’s great.

But it feels like now might be a good time to give the pirouetting and jumping some, shall we say, boundaries. By the end of the Introit our two adorable dancers had done splits, bounded down the center aisle, and run the chancel steps. If members of the choir were given to feeling upstaged, they had good reason to be, though nobody said so.

Before it becomes a point of contention, I think I’ll suggest limiting the dancing to hymns–not choral pieces–and the space between the front pew and the lectern. This makes me a bit of a Grinch, I know. But I think you follow your gut on these things (there’s no children-dancing-in-worship policy), and my gut yesterday morning clearly said, “Oh man.”

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6 thoughts on “Monday Morning Quarterback

  1. I agree with you, Rocky. I think both the space the girls can dance in and the hymns are fine.
    But it does get to be a “little too much” if it’s all the time, especially in the more “worshipful”
    type of music like the choir does.
    Carolyn

  2. A child who was visiting Second Pres in Nashville was running in the center aisle during the postlude. One of children of the church came up to her and said, “We don’t run in church.” Clasping the visitor’s hand, she proclaimed, “We run together!” And off they went. It feels a bit like David dancing before the ark when the Spirit encourages “a little child” to lead us. Boundaries, yes; but I always pray for a bit more of the wild Spirit to be set loose among us.

  3. spontaneous dancing? cute. and even Spirit-filled, reflecting the diversity of the called community in its worship and response to God.
    repeatedly doing so? perhaps a response to the encouragement of adults, the initial dance’s reception, and the joy of performing more than the above.
    I’d say your gut is telling you the truth.

  4. Exuberance during a service, and movement, is a good thing. So is quiet reflection. It’s a cycle. These days, I feel that being folded up in a listening pose on a pew is draining. I’ve developed a dislike for being still on weekends because of all the typing I do. However, when I had young kids, I loved stillness and quiet time beside my husband. When I get older, maybe I’ll want to sit quiet in communion. It cycles with age, and the day and the person. I was told by a church member not to clap during service after music, for him, clapping was too much movement and a disrespectful disturbance! I miss bounding down the aisle to greet the new week after an inspirational service, now we are asked to bow our heads and listen to that great organ, because for some that hellish, teeth-grinding noise is uplifting. You just gotta love it all!

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