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Should our church sponsor a prom or a dance?

Dear Jonathan,

First, let me say thank you for your web site. It has been invaluable to me during my first year in youth ministry. Next, I have a question. I have been approach by a couple seniors that are wanting us to help them put together a prom alternative as they do not wish to attend their junior/senior prom. I am interested in your thoughts and any ideas you may want to throw out. There are two other churches that have expressed interest in working together with us to see what we can come up with. Also, your thoughts on the alternative involving a dance (which is making at least two of the churches a bit nervous).

Thanks!

Kelly, Ohio

Answer

Kelly,

DANCING! ONLY IF YOU WANT THE FIRES OF HELL TO COME UP AND ENGULF THE . . . Oh . . . sorry, my Baptist upbringing was getting the best of me.

I'll give you my 2 cents on dancing in a minute. But first Ð about that prom alternative. I think that the prom alternative is not a bad idea. I think if I did one . . . I wouldn't offer it on the same night but the weekend before or after so that you're not competing with it. Here's why. 1. Competing with something sends a message that you disagree with it. I think there are a lot of good Christian students out there that want to attend their prom- and that's okay. The Bible doesn't talk about prom's or dancing being bad. The Bible talks about LUST being bad or impure thoughts, etc. So I wouldn't go as far to publicly abolish it- which competing might do. 2. I think that offering “another one” instead of a competing one, might provide an opportunity to get more students, including outreach students (which I would encourage). I'd also have a talk with all my staff and student leaders about the goal of this thing. I'd discuss NOT condescending those who are going to the prom. This is just a fun event as well . . . for those who aren't going or for those that want even another one.

As for the event itself- dancing can be okay . . . or it can be BAD! It's all about the music and the DJ. Let's be honest. A lot of today's dancing is pretty risque and, guys especially, have trouble keeping their minds out of the LUST WAGON at a dance. Secondly . . . a dance can put a lot of pressure on the whole “bring a date” thing which can really exclude a lot of students. Those are both things to be considered.

If I did dancing, I personally would do Ballroom dancing, and find someone in the church that would teach lessons for 4 weeks prior. My brother has a pretty cool ballroom dance web site where you can learn to dance for free on-line (have you ever waltzed with your monitor?) Click here to check out dancetv.com's website.

Also, on my events page someone submitted an idea that I REALLY liked called the Ten Dollar Prom. CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO THIS EVENT ON OUR WEB SITE. This won't let money get in the way.

Hope that helps.

God Bless,
Jonathan McKee
The Source for Youth Ministry
www.TheSource4YM.com

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Jonathan McKee

Jonathan McKee is the author of over twenty books including the brand new The Bullying Breakthrough; The Teen’s Guide to Social Media & Mobile Devices; If I Had a Parenting Do Over; and the Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket. He speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers on TheSource4YM.com. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.

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