(Not the prettiest flamingo in the world, but it works)
“But when David returned to bless his household, Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David and said, ‘How the king of Israel distinguished himself today! He uncovered himself today in the eyes of his servants’ maids as one of the foolish ones shamelessly uncovers himself!’ So David said to Michal, ‘It was before the Lord, who chose me above your father and above all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel; therefore I will celebrate before the Lord. I will be more lightly esteemed than this and will be humble in my own eyes, but with the maids of whom you have spoken, with them I will be distinguished.’”- 2 Samuel 6:20-22
The title of this post sounds like a catchy jingle for a cereal. As a youth pastor I tend to do interesting things to gain momentum around or get people talking about activities we do. It is probably one of the better parts of my job, you know, besides pouring into the lives of kids and encouraging them to grow in their relationship with Jesus.
We hold a flamingo fundraiser every year for the youth group. I wish I could take credit, but it was something they did before I came on board and they liked it, plus it’s a fun way for the church to get involved.
There are a few flocks of lawn ornament flamingos that the youth group has. We take the flamingos and set them up on people’s yards. Then, they pay to move them. If they don’t want them to return, then they can pay for insurance to keep them off the yard. It’s a pretty simple program and the kids enjoy it.
A couple years ago, I decided to kick it up a notch,and I bought a flamingo costume to wear in front of the congregation. It got them laughing and talking about the weird guy they hired to work with their kids (although, I’m pretty sure that conversation was happening prior to the flamingo costume). I let people know the flamingos were coming and they got a kick out of seeing a grown man in a flamingo outfit.
Then, there was an idea thrown out that I should offer to show up anywhere dressed as the flamingo for a price. So, I jumped on that idea and offered to show up anywhere for a set time for $50 donated to the youth group. I ended up at the high school prom, a student’s birthday party, a city council meeting, and a couple other places. It was fun, plus it was extra money to the youth group for activities and retreats.
I am wearing the costume again this year and I have no problem doing it.
Yes, I look ridiculous. Yes, it can be a bit uncomfortable. Yes, it is worth it.
I had someone ask me, “Why do you do this? Don’t you get embarrassed?” My reply, “Nope and it’s for a good cause.”
Besides, it’s easy to do things like this when you don’t take yourself too seriously. When you take yourself too seriously, then you limit your ability to stretch out and be a kid again.
When Jesus asked for us to come as little children, I don’t believe He meant for us to come as kids from a military academy. We need to come as kids who are able to laugh, enjoy life, and be willing to be in goofy situations at times for the glory of God.
Think about David in 2 Samuel 6 when he was worshiping God and he changed out if his kingly attire to worship freely and openly. Some say he was naked, but he was not, he got down to a tunic or garb that made him less nobility and more common. He was willing to step away from his high place to worship with all his might.
You see, we tend to take ourselves too seriously and we miss out on worshiping well. We won’t lift our hands because that is not what a person of high standing would do. We won’t bow down before God because that shows we need to be humbled. We aren’t willing to step into a children’s worship experience because we are too adult for that.
God could use us for such great things if we stopped taking our self so serious.
In fact, I went to a church recently that opened their worship time with a fun rendition of Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues. It was awesome to be in a place that kicked off their time of fellowship with a song that everyone knew, enjoyed, and clapped to. It was refreshing and what a great way to break the ice for people who might have been in church for the first time. They took their time of worship seriously, but they were willing to have some fun together.
We all need to be willing to laugh and bring out the flamingo in us. Let the seriousness subside and allow God to move in you. Worship freely. Serve humbly.
May we have a willing spirit to be fun and free in order for God’s Spirit to move freely in us.
Peace and blessings friends.
QUESTION: What keeps you from worshiping freely?