When we train up the little dancers to worship the Lord in spirit and truth, then that is exactly what will happen. When we think that the "young people" must have hip-hop beats and dance in jeans and t-shirts, then what do we expect them to do as they mature? Youth dance ministry leaders must seek the Lord even more so as not to lead the little ones astray.
It disturbs me when I hear parents of young dancers screaming "Dance, baby!" from the congregation. Dancing for applause and verbal encouragement trains our children to be men-pleasers. This does not mean that we are not to encourage them. Youth ministry presentations should not be talent shows. Children can learn to have a sincere reverence for God and a genuine relationship with Him.
Too often we underestimate the value of these important worshippers. Many leaders in churches today aim to please the children and wow the crowd instead of training the children to enter into the presence of the Lord. Samuel's mother presented Him to the Lord at a young age so that he could be trained to serve as a prophet. Not every child is called into "the ministry," but the Word reminds us to let everything that has breath praise the Lord. It is imperative that we take responsibility for the up-and-coming generation of praisers.
The movement ministries do not belong under the "Youth Department." Dance and movement is a function for all ages and includes both males and females. When we move the dance department into the "church activity" category in our places of worship, then we fail to fulfill the purpose of the church. Serving the Lord is enjoyable and fulfilling. There is nothing greater than experiencing the fullness of the Presence of the Lord as a child or an adult.
2 Chronicles 20:13 (NKJV)
Now all Judah, with their little ones, their wives, and their children, stood before the LORD.
Psalm 71:5 (NKJV)
For You are my hope, O Lord GOD; You are my trust from my youth.
Proverbs 22:6 (NKJV)
Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.
Matthew 19:14 (NKJV)
But Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.”