Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

On our recent family vacation to Las Vegas we were blessed to see a few shows.  One was the Jabbawockeez (that I wrote about last week) and another was MJ Live – a tribute to Michael Jackson.

It was a great show, made even more entertaining by the fact that the performer had a hole in his pants (right where you don’t want a hole in your pants) for the first-half of the show.  My family and I marvelled at the actor’s physical resemblance to the late “King of Pop” and needless to say, his vocals and dance moves were spot on.

The entire audience loved it.  In fact, screams of “We love you, Michael” cascaded throughout the theater.  In retrospect, I sure hope they know they were watching an impersonator.  In a nice ironic twist, the actor’s name is actually Michael.  But I digress.

Continue reading Imitation is the Sincerest Form of Flattery

How In Sync are You?

While vacationing in Las Vegas, we went to see “MUS.I.C” featuring the first winners of America’s Best Dance Crew, the Jabbawockeez.  Unsurprisingly, it was an amazing show and my entire family absolutely loved it.

Within minutes of sitting down (for the sake of the dance crew and the entire audience, I made sure I purchased tickets in the “Absolutely No Chance of Being Called on Stage” section) we were mesmerized by the “audiovisual story of inspiration brought to life through the harmonization of sound and movement.”

A couple of things really stood out to me during the show.  The first one was their trademark white masks.  They wear the expression-less masks so the audience focuses on their dance moves and not on their individual faces.  As well, you then focus on them as an entire unit as opposed to individuals.  Sounds a lot like something I wrote a few weeks ago in my blog “Get Over Yourself.”

The second thing is related to the first: the synchronicity the dancers displayed all evening.  I’m no dance expert (as 99.5% of my family and friends will attest to) but I did appreciate how tight and exact the routines were.

Which got me thinking:  how “in sync” are you in your youth ministry?

1.  In sync with God.  This should be obvious but it certainly shouldn’t be understated.  We simply cannot give what we don’t have; thus the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.  Are we constantly working on our prayer lives and our knowledge of the faith?  The more we know God the more we will love Him.  And the more that young people will see God living in us and through us.

2.  In sync with your team.  As I alluded to above, the strongest youth ministries are those with the strongest teams and not necessarily the strongest individuals.  It takes a variety of individuals to minster to and with the many young people in the parish and it takes a multitude of people to be able to respond and relate to the many needs of youth.

3.  In sync with your church community.  We speak constantly about the importance of involving young people in the greater live of the church community.  But often youth ministry is put into its own “silo”.  It might be because we have a “youth-focused” Mass or service where the majority of young people congregate.  It’s our job as youth ministers to make sure that youth are visible and involved in all facets of parish life and not just in youth-related activities.

Just a few things to think about.   Now excuse me as I go look for my old mix tapes.  I feel a good Running Man coming on.