break-dancing, pop punk and the word of God: saturday night at church
our converted warehouse church building had the chairs pushed back to create a mosh pit and a space for the O2 dance crew up next. the lino floor is much more suitable for breakin' than the carpet on stage.
nathan, the sound guy, had come straight to the event from fishing, and allegedly smelt like fish. i never allowed myself to get close enough to find out. we did, however, share a moment of hilarity when i joked that he had spent the afternoon as a fisher of fish, but this evening he was a fisher of men (matt 4:19). hahaha! christian humour - priceless.
teenagers are hard to please, and pete the mc for the night gave a talk about crowd participation - "you only get out what you put in" he said.
the youth worship band invited people to come closer to the stage for a praise song and they moved quite quickly after pete's talk.
then, as promised, O2 busted the moves, unleashing a mash-up of street styles, and even staging a battle. youth pastor aaron was obliged to bring the moves himself and later confessed to me that dancing in front of people is his worst nightmare. which made me think, "mate that's a pretty easy worst nightmare". comparatively speaking, he obviously isn't phased by the thought of finding himself naked in front of an auditorium of people (a more popular worst nightmare).
with a punk band and a hip hop dance crew on the same billing there was always the potential for the event to turn into a brawl - how can you have guys with their pants so tight and guys with their pants so loose in the same room without creating ill feeling? however, that clash never eventuated. to be fair, the church setting and christian principles probably helped defuse that explosion. also this the 21st century - we are much more accepting these days...
after the youth band played some worship, aaron again stepped forward. this time he was ready to battle under his own rules, he was back in his element - he was preaching. his sermon was all about not letting your up-bringing (good or bad) be an excuse for where you are at now. it was replete with amusing asides and stories about punching his brother in the windpipe (and vice versa).
afterwards, everyone went out to the lounge and bought hotdogs and other nutritious snacks from the cafe, and pete put a hole in the wall by demonstrating his kick-flip abilities.
stephen tetley-jones, who is famous in nz church circles for a show he used to host on radio rhema, came to pick up his kids. he was rockin' navy-blue nike and wearing one of those head-stockings a la 50cent. he asked me what i was doing at a youth event and asked if i was trying to relive my youth. i pointed out to him that the event was in fact a combined event for the youth and the 18-30 group (but failed to mention that i only fit into the 18-30 group based on a technicality, i.e. that 18-30 means "up to and including 30").
and thus, the night wound up a great success. quietly, in the days that followed, aaron discovered that he had overcome his fear of dancing, and i was surprised the next time i saw him to find he was dressed like this:
[not actual photo of aaron and sarah]