Thursday, March 18, 2010


Some Irish Step Dancers came to the preschool at my church, and I had the opportunity to watch them dance for the preschoolers. The dancers were very good, and I very much appreciated the music, as it reminded me of bluegrass.

All the dancers were young people, but there was quite an age range. Some were teenagers, some were elementary/middle school age students, and there were some who were younger even than that ~ maybe kindergarten or first graders. Each group danced in turn, and each danced to their own ability. What I noticed, though, was when it was the youngest dancers' turn, they were joined by a couple dancers who were just a bit older. The older dancers certainly knew more complicated steps, but danced the simpler ones that the younger kids knew. And after just a minute or so, the older group walked up and stood alongside youngest group as they danced.

It was obvious to me that the more advanced dancers regularly helped out the beginners at the studio. It was obvious to me that helping out the younger dancers didn't take away at all from their own improvement; in fact, it might have even helped the technique of the advanced dancers to teach the beginners. It was obvious to me that the success of the younger dancers was very important to the older dancers, maybe because the advanced dancers knew that they had once been beginners themselves.

I wonder why we in the church seem so reluctant to work to foster relationships between younger and older practitioners of our faith. It certainly doesn't take anything away from the faith of an older person to share what is so important in their own life with a 'faith beginner'; in fact, it might even help their own faith to get back to the basics. I'm sure that the 'success' of younger generations of the faithful is important to those who are older ... why are we so reluctant to act like it is?


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