*What’s wrong with having a little fun? Does having less fun make you any more Christian? These are the questions that may come to mind as you watch the YouTube video that was posted on Facebook showing churchgoers being encouraged by their pastor to dance to secular music.
You know the post went viral, right?
And the church has received heavy public scrutiny because of it.
According to Dr. E. Dewey Smith, Jr., (pictured above) the pastor at The House of Hope Baptist Church in Atlanta, the church has been holding an ‘annual moment of fun’ for his congregation to acknowledge each generation in the church. And the event may be doing more than its given credit for. Dr. Smith, who says he is a comic by nature, has spoken out on the event to defend the reasons why he feels it is important. One thing that stood out for me was at the very beginning of the video he said, “a lot of people have joined our church since we started this.”
Smith reveals the church recently adopted a new multi-generational theme and they aim to creatively acknowledge and highlight each generation throughout the year.
“We decided to have an annual moment of ‘fun’ for our church that would highlight each generation. Since I am a comedian by nature, I endeavored to determine how we could have one fun moment annually amongst the generations of our ministry,” he said.
“Since 2007, at the end of our Church’s Anniversary … we would highlight each generation by finding music that was unique to each generation. We would find music, secular and sacred, that was popular during the times of each generation. The secular music would have to be non-violent, non-misogynistic, non-vulgar, non-profane, non-degrading and non-sexual in nature.”
Then the pastor went on to describe how each anniversary weekend, the church asks each member to dress in the color of their generation.
“The “Builders” (those born 1945 and before) are asked to wear black; the “Boomers” (those born between 1946-1965) are asked to wear brown; the “Busters” (those born between 1966-1983) are asked to wear gray; the “Bridgers” (those born between 1984-2003) are asked to wear red; and the “Blossoms” (those born between 2004 and the present) are asked to wear blue,” Smith said.
In the video below, the pastor engages his congregation as he explains the process used to capture special times in each generation; using music to define it. He says the music is both “B. C.” (Before Christ) and “A. D.” (After Deliverance).
As you will see, some of the elders especially, appear to really appreciate the gesture.
Play at 27:30 to see the congregation dance to Jermaine Dupri’s “Welcome to Atlanta.”
Play at 28:15 to see the congregation dance to DJ Snake & Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What.”
Play at 34:49 to see the congregation dance to “Let it Go” from Frozen.
Play at 35:30 to see the congregation dance to Chris Brown’s “New Flame.”
Play at 43:30 to see the congregation dance to Pharell’s “Happy.”