Sunday, February 14, 2010

Stuck - Not Dancing With The Crowd

I watched this video this morning with a grin that quickly became an ache. See, I get what this guy is saying about leadership. I was the "second guy" to get up and dance. My husband was the "second guy" and I made my family be the "second guy".

We validated the leaders. In fact, people would tell us that they would look over at us to see what our reaction to a new thing was going to be and then when we joined in - they felt assured that it was good.

But what happens when you find out that the dance you are dancing is hurting people? That it has shipwrecked so many it is hard to count? How do you deal with the fact that you aided, validated and in doing so, hurt those that you were dancing with?

I thought for so many years that my validation of our movement was pure and good. I thought that anyone who got hurt in following our "dance" was just doing it wrong and it was their own fault. I thought that submission to the leadership was key.

And the ache this morning comes from the fact that I am so terribly afraid to be the second or even third guy in anyone's dance. How can I validate anyone's leadership? How can I shoulder that responsibility ever again? Even if I were the 50th person or the 100th person, doesn't that still give me a responsibility that scares me to death?

So this morning I find myself home....still not participating in the "dance" of a organized body of believers.

It does look fun though, doesn't it? I just can't face the responsibility - not yet.

HT: Hamo @ Backyard Missionary


Randi Jo :) said...

good thoughts.

I'm torn... because I've had thoughts along the same even going and being a "small" part - am I still supporting the dance? ...

but then I think - isn't it about motive? If I'm part of "the dance" to honor God, express my love for Him, connect with others - and am just wrapped up with the dance with Him and not just to support the guy who supposedly started the dance - then it doesn't matter right?

because we shouldn't care what others think about us - only what God sees... so we should be more concerned with His thoughts of our dance and contributions and heart.... rather than worrying about waht it looks like we're supporting.

I don't know if I'm making sense.... hard to articulate what I'm thinking.

anyway - thanks for the thoughts is all :)

Fred Shope said...

How is God calling you to dance? Let him lead and he may lead you to others whose dances you can merge with to create a work of art.

David said...

I've been on that same hillside at the Gorge pondering leadership as I observed thousands doing "the dance". I saw how peer pressure, leadership aspirations, and guilt were enlisted as motivators. I felt uncomfortable merely observing and horror at participating. It felt wrong to even be there, as if I was validating the strange evangelical (in the cultural sense, not the biblical) events, speakers, etc.

I recently went to a concert at a church building and the same awkward feelings returned. The artist was great, but the venue and host were not..... I kept thinking: "don't attend, you'll only encourage them".

Yeah, I find myself in the same boat. The irony is, that by not participating, we're validating another lifestyle.

Anonymous said...

I totally emphasize with this thought process! Thanks for sharing.

One thought I do have, however, is how is this kind of group behavior any different from any other form of group behavior?

Whether it's leading your own household, driving on a traffic-jammed road, or attending a meeting with more than one person, herd dynamics are inescapable.

I think it's part of being human.

I wonder if the trick is to be aware of that...and then to be responsible with that realization!

And in terms of that responsibility...while I fully realize that there is a time to not support another dancer, I wonder if perhaps you are afraid of dancing because of a burden of responsibility that neither Christ nor your friends want you to dance with--not at your old dance and certainly not at any new one.

While I love to dance solo to my own beat, there are times when an old-fashioned community boogie simply is a lot more fun.

I know you and many others have had more than your feet trod on far too many times. May we all learn how to dance responsibly and without fear.

traveller said...

Thanks for sharing this video and your thoughts. I become more convinced than ever that the problem is we are focused on leadership. I do not think leadership is a Jesus characteristic. Service/servanthood is a Jesus characteristic. (And, in my view "servant leadership" is an oxymoron.)

If we serve we do not need organized religion/institutions. It grows naturally from who we are as followers of Jesus and fits naturally into our every day living.

Of course, we may choose to serve with others at times but leadership is not necessary when followers of Jesus are exercising their gifts from the Spirit together as one body.