Sunday, November 4, 2007

NYWC St. Louis - Sunday Morning Update

The comedy show last night was just plain fantastic! All four of the comedy acts were hilarious, but Bill Arnold was my favorite by far. His humor is a little dry, but he is one funny dude.

Before the comedy show Alan and I had dinner at an little Italian place down around the corner on Broadway. J.F. Sanfillipo's I think was the name. It was awesome! The hot fresh sesame rolls rocked, and there was no way I could finish the huge plate of fettucini alfredo they set in front of me.

I was up really late again last night, even after we got back to the room from the comedy show. I ended up talking on IM and doing email until almost 2 in the morning. Thankfully the time change gave us an extra hour of sleep to go on, so I don't feel all that bad this morning.

We opened the booth for a quick morning session from 8:45 till 11 AM. Had a couple of great conversations, but especially one with a guy who was a very happy MS3 user and not about to give us the time of day when I talked him into looking a demo... I think he was genuinely impressed by our ease of use.

The morning General Session this morning was started by Jeff Johnson who I really really needed at Cinci last year. The slowing down and resting and breathing in God is a pretty powerful experience. This morning I just couldn't get into it though, and ended up sitting in the lobby with Alan researching options for visiting the arch while we are here in town.

We caught the skit guys bit after Jeff and loved it. I stopped and talked to Eddie briefly before the session started ( just to see if he would remember who I was, and to say Hi ).

Now the speaker is on stage, but I've slipped out again. I'm munching on some nachos and getting in a blog update before the booth opens again from noon till 3:30.


Oh... The cheerleaders are back in force this morning. Seemed to be mostly older girls this morning and less 3-8 year olds... Makes the fact they they aren't wearing hardly anything and are made-up like hookers even worse. I told Alan on the way in that there are only a few groups I can think of who could have been more awkward sharing the convention center with 3500 youth pastors... A stripper convention maybe, or the adult film industry...

Ok Ok maybe it isn't really all that bad. BUT... cheerleading is quickly being ruled out of Ellie's future. No way I am letting her get into anything like this. She'll be a band geek, and she'll like it.

Band kids are more spiritual anyway ( see previous post ).

Ah well... back to work.

Edit - Nov 06 - A response

Wanted to take a few minutes to respond to this comment by Daisy, and was afraid my response might go longer than a comment permitted, so I decided to do an addendum instead.

daisy said on November 5, 2007 11:07 AM...

"I have read a bunch of blogs from the people in attendance of the NYWC in STL. Let me ask you this; if so many Christians are "disgusted" by the cheerleaders and find it sad and like you stated, won't let your kids take part in it, then where are all the cheerleaders going to find Christian influence? By just letting them be segregated from the Christians, are you showing Christ's love here?"

First... I have no idea who Daisy is or how to respond to her other than by posting again here... I hope that she comes back to see my response, and that if more dialogue is needed she will continue to comment.

I guess I want to start my response by saying that my feelings toward the cheerleading competition in St. Louis has NOTHING to with the girls here at the convention being cheerleaders... There are a several cheerleaders who attend my own church and youth group and at least one of them is a "core kid" in our youth ministry.

What saddened me about the cheerleading convention ( which I saw very very little of, by the way ) is that these girls are being put on display in a way that is totally inappropriate for girls of any age group no matter how old they are. If our high school cheerleaders dressed in some of the outfits I saw walking through the lobby, they wouldn't even be permitted on the school grounds, let alone into a football or basketball game.

I guess I have no idea what is actually taking place on the stage in the competition either, so I can only assume that the "dancing" that was taking place all over the lobby were girls practicing for their routines and not just imitating the latest Brittany Spears music video...

On the way out of the convention center on Saturday afternoon, I actually walked by a group of six to ten girls ( who I would guess to have been age five or six ) all clustered around a mother who was kneeling in their midst... The girls were all wearing disturbingly short tops and short skirts with far more skin exposed than not. They all had heavy eye-makeup and bright red lipstick on. The mother (parent/coach) was saying as I walked by... "Now girls... the team from [some name I didn't catch] really put you guys to shame earlier so I want you to get back in there and kick their little asses this time!"

I'll paraphrase Marko and say, I wanted to smack the lady.

Let me try to wrap this up by saying that I totally agree with you, Daisy, that segregation from cheerleaders in general ( or any group for that matter ) is the wrong approach. And I agree that someone really needs to be "in there" sharing the love of Christ with the girls, their parents, their coaches, etc... I just have a sneaky suspicion that getting that sort of attention from me, or any one else wearing a "Youth Pastor Badge" wouldn't have gone over so well this weekend... I'm afraid it would have come across a lot like the bullhorn Jesus guy.

Also, I don't think I would honestly prevent my three year old daughter from being a high school cheerleader if she really wants to... I just hope she doesn't feel the kind of pressure to be put on display by anyone as she grows up and decides what she wants to be in life.

My biggest problem here is that I can't imagine that these (little) girls would really be doing this to themselves ( the skimpy dress, the "dancing", the kick-their-little-asses competitiveness ) unless they were pushed into it by parents, coaches, society, etc... and that they have that pressure put on them by anyone really does make me sad.

Thank you for making me clarify. I'm open to more comments and/or discussion.

-Eli

1 comment:

Daisy said...

I have read a bunch of blogs from the people in attendance of the NYWC in STL. Let me ask you this; if so many Christians are "disgusted" by the cheerleaders and find it sad and like you stated, won't let your kids take part in it, then where are all the cheerleaders going to find Christian influence? By just letting them be segregated from the Christians, are you showing Christ's love here?