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The Soul Train… where there are no spectators

Alrighty, I think we’re due for another lesson in hip hop culture!  Another one of my fav’s!  This one’s FUN!!


Awhile back I mentioned what a “cypher” is.  Just in case you weren’t there, a cypher is a circle where freestyle happens in the middle.   It’s very cool to watch all the cool kats get in the middle to do all their crazy stuff.  It’s where hip hoppers learn to really move.


When I teach dance in schools and even at DJD, where I teach adults, the cypher is very intimidating.  Most of the time, unless I light-heartedly shove someone in the middle of the circle, everyone just stands there looking like a deer in headlights.   And even though the cypher is open to everyone of all levels,  if someone who’s really good goes in the cypher, no one wants to go after them for fear of looking foolish.



That’s why I like the soul train.   For those of you old enough (did I say “old”?) to remember the show in the 70’s, “Soul Train”, you’ve seen it in action.   You form two lines and the couple on the end groove down the soul train to join the people at the end.  If you’ve seen the movie “Hitch”, they did a soul train at the end of the movie.



Here’s what I like about the soul train: you can’t just be a spectator.  You are kicked out of your comfort-zone to be involved.  But the nice thing is, you have a friend to go down the train with.  At least someone else will need counseling with you after the fact. (that was a joke…. you really won’t need counseling.  Insert “laugh” here).


When I tell Junior High’s what they’re about to do in a soul train, I can see panic in some of their faces.   That’s when I tell them that if all they can do is WALK from one end of the train to the other – it’s good enough.   But you know what ends up happening?  No one ever walks.  Somehow, even the coolest, hardest kids find some sort of groove….. and they’re good!!!  At the end, they always want to do it again!  Along their journey in the soul train, they got all their friends on the sides cheering them on!  You feel like a rock star when you’ve finished!


I think we need a shift in thinking in Christianity from “the cypher” to “the soul train”.  In the cypher, there’s more spectators than those involved…. and only the “best” get involved.   How many times do we in our faith, let those who seem to have all the talent do everything?  They’re the ones you see serving, leading, starting small groups, helping….. while the rest just watch in awe thinking: “I wish I could do that”…..


What we need is a gool ol’ Soul Train mentality.   Yes, you watch others do their thing and cheer for them, but soon – its YOUR turn.   And as scary as it is at first, once a spectator turns into a participant, there’s no going back!  It’s WAY too much fun to get right in that train and shine.  You’ve got your own personal groove that no one else has ,and you let it rip.


Are you a spectator?  Have you been watching all the action from the sidelines for awhile now?  It’s YOUR turn to get into the Soul Train of your faith and see what God does.


We’re all in the train too!  And we’re cheering for you!!


Now God has us where he wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join him in the work he does, the good work he has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing. (Ephesians 2:7-10)

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