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The headline read: “Cheerleading world mourns ‘founder’ Lawrence Herkimer”. He was the one who patented the pompom amongst other things. Now aware that cheerleading is less established here in the UK, I promptly looked up the official definition: “A person who is a member of a group who shout out special songs or chants to encourage the team … ” or put more briefly: “Someone who encourages other people to do something...” Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary
Thinking this over I started to realise that perhaps I’d witnessed a whole lot more cheerleading than I originally thought. For a moment indulge me and fire up your most flexible imagination. Picture rolling up at some local church “stadium” and frankly ask yourself what it is that you see unfolding before your very eyes. Out come the favoured few, those specially selected ones who stride the “hallowed turf” of the platform, who put out the chairs, stack up the books, serve up half-time coffee and stand at the aisles giving out the glossy “match brochures”.
Now is it only my imagination or would Lawrence Herkimer feel at home seated amongst that gathered collection of “cheerleader look-a-likes” who have somehow been entranced by the well-choreographed routine and recline with the truly noble aim to “encourage the team…”, to “encourage other people to do something” that surely is only for the chosen ones to perform. How many cheerleaders should God’s church possess? Well, as the following verse indicates, only one and you know what, that position is already taken.
“… God is in your midst… HE will rejoice over you with gladness; HE will quiet you by his love; HE will exult over you with loud singing”.
Perhaps a little more cheerleader mourning is called for.