There is much speculation about the decline in church attendance over the last several decades. Books have been written about it, experts have offered strategic approaches, and the church uses more modern marketing techniques than it ever has before. Now, I’m no expert, but I have a suggestion for your church that may seem a little far-fetched, and it’s straight from the Bible. It’s a very simple step to take. (Well, actually it involves several steps!) Start dancing more and strategizing less! Let’s take a couple of pages from King David’s book:
Some Expressions About Expression
“I was dancing before the Lord” (2 Samuel 6:21, NIV)
“I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” (Psalm 9:2, NIV)
“The king rejoices in your strength, Lord. How great is his joy in the victories you give!” (Psalm 21:1, NIV)
For David, a relationship with God was not a burden, an obligation, or a chore. It was cause for celebration and rejoicing. After every great trial and every great victory, David rejoiced not in his own ability, and not in his own ego, but in his ongoing relationship with God.
In 2 Samuel 6:14-15, he celebrated the return of the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem: “Wearing a linen ephod, David was dancing before the Lord with all his might, while he and all Israel were bringing up the ark of the Lord with shouts and the sound of trumpets.” His wife Michal was disgusted at his exuberant public display, but David told her, that in terms of expressing his gratitude and passion for the Lord, “I was dancing before the Lord… I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes…”
When was the last time you were undignified because you were just so darn happy about what God has done in your life? When have you [ever] danced with joy before the Lord? (I’m much better at dancing in my mind than I am at dancing on an actual floor, although my “hand dancing” moves are pretty sweet!) But in church, I’m not even real comfortable raising my hands. It would be a BIG STEP to dance! (See what I did there?)
We Baptists probably have a real struggle with this passage, kind of like we do with serving real wine at communion—it probably wasn’t REAL dancing, was it? (The Bible says he danced with “all his might”, so it sounds like real dancing to me.) David was dancing “before the Lord”, something a lot of us might not be willing to do in church. In any case, I think Scripture teaches us that it’s ok for us to be passionate about God, to rejoice and celebrate.
Remember all He has done for you! Think about forgiveness and grace, and celebrate! Think about something even simpler: today is a gift from God. Whatever your circumstances, you have today. How would David say you should treat it? I think he’d say: “This is the day which The Lord hath made. We will rejoice and be glad in it!” (Psalm 118:24, NIV) That sounds like great advice to me. Let’s rejoice! Dance like nobody’s watching!
When you think you’re in control,
But the God of the Universe grabs your soul,
And showers you from up above, and powers you with His great love:
Then take a chance, and take a stance,
and let your joy burst forth: Just dance!
When you’re sleeping in those pews,
But you hear a verse that you can use,
Then tell me: what have you got to lose?
Just take a stance, and move those pants: Just dance!
If worship seems too commonplace, and boredom shows on every face,
Jump up into the realm of Grace, and move a bit! It’s no disgrace!
Shake yourself! Put up a fight! Get up and move with all your might!
Don’t worry if you look a sight!
Just grab your pants, get outta that trance and take a stance: Just Dance!
To buy my latest book, Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1729034918/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Slaying-Giants-Thirty-Devotions-Ordinary/dp/172568327X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1535814431&sr=8-1&keywords=Slaying+Giants%3A+Thirty+Days+With+David
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Beggars-Bread-Devotions-Ordinary-Guy/dp/1535457392/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1473336800&sr=8-1&keywords=Beggar%27s+Bread