Tuesday, September 30, 2008

A Touchy Subject

The significance of our hands cannot be underestimated. The reason that we should not follow a set of concrete "rules" for dance ministry is that it restricts the working of the Holy Spirit in us. General wisdom can be applied, but obedience to the Lord is a must. We cannot copy a particular movement simply because we saw someone else do it. All of our choreography and direction must be led of the Lord.

Some dance ministers remain aloof from the congregation, while others make lots of eye contact and engage people through touch. While it is important to connect with the people we minister to, we must know that the Word does the work. We cannot haphazardly lay hands on people, pull them from their seats, run them around the church, and expect it to be powerful just because we assume that it will be.

When we place our hands on people without the Lord's leading, we may offend or embarrass someone unintentionally. The use of discernment will let us know if someone is feeling uncomfortable or does not want to be an "honorary dancer" at a particular moment. Maintaining a righteous lifestyle allows the Spirit to flow freely, removing "us" out of the way and allowing the Lord to touch His people in a way that only He can.

1 Timothy 5:22 (NKJV)
Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.

Isaiah 52:11 (NKJV)
Depart! Depart! Go out from there, touch no unclean thing; Go out from the midst of her, be clean, You who bear the vessels of the LORD.

Job 17:9 (NKJV)
Yet the righteous will hold to his way, and he who has clean hands will be stronger and stronger.

2 Corinthians 6:17 (NKJV)
Therefore “Come out from among them and be separate, says the Lord. Do not touch what is unclean, and I will receive you.”

Monday, September 29, 2008

We Interrupt This Program...

We must be better time managers regarding ministry events. There is nothing more exhausting than having to dance after 20 other ministries have gone forth. If the program is scheduled to start at 5:00pm and does not begin until 6:00pm, this is often a sign of trouble. We should not have to invite more people on program than reasonable just to fill seats with bodies.

Waiting for long periods of time to dance can cause fatigue in the body and compromise cheerful attitudes. In ministry, quality over quantity should be desired. Marathon programs without reason should be avoided, if possible. Time may be better managed with trimming the number of participants on program, or reducing the number of songs that invited ministries offer. Although it is exciting to see a variety of ministries in movement, it can be grueling to see the same 5-7 groups dance three songs apiece. If we are planning an all-night worship session, this should be made known in advance.

Those who have the task of developing programs for special ministry should be prayerful when scheduling the line-up. It might not be a great idea to have a children's ministry toward the latter end of the program. Ministries that travel from far distances may need to be given consideration when setting the order of service. On the other hand, a dance ministry program may not necessarily call for spoken word, a choir, drama presentation, or other addition unless the Lord says so.

It is often felt that dance ministry has been used as "filler" for other types of programs and was not taken seriously as a ministry. Now that more dance ministries are developing programs for dance, are we guilty of using other ministries as filler as well? Regardless of how we fit the pieces together, we must consider all involved and exercise wisdom and good judgement coupled with prayer.

1 Chronicles 28:19 (NKJV)
“All this,” said David, “the LORD made me understand in writing, by His hand upon me, all the works of these plans.”

Luke 24:29 (NKJV)
But they constrained Him, saying, “Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.” And He went in to stay with them.

Acts 18:20-21 (NKJV)
When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.

2 Corinthians 1:17 (NKJV)
Therefore, when I was planning this, did I do it lightly? Or the things I plan, do I plan according to the flesh, that with me there should be Yes, Yes, and No, No?

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Payday is Coming

People will disappoint us. We will not always be appreciated for our labor. We may dance on many occasions and not receive so much as a "thank you" for our service. There may be times that we have invested money, time, and long hours into the ministry and seem to not reap the rewards of the sacrifice. We take confidence in knowing that when we endure, the Lord will reward our work.

No one can bless us like He can! We must be willing to work for the Kingdom even when there is no guaranteed pay. Many dancers have adopted the practice of setting a price per event type to minister the gospel. Some demand lists of accommodations for comfort. While we must each seek the Lord as how to conduct ministry in righteousness, we must know that ministry is not glamorous. Jesus rode on a donkey and not in a chariot.

The temptation to quit when faced with hardship in ministry must be overcome with the Word of God. When we are motivated by love, our hearts will continue to be in the right place. Although we should not dance merely for the prospect that we will be rewarded, we continue doing the work of the Lord knowing that He keeps His promises.

2 Chronicles 15:7 (NKJV)
But you, be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded!”

Job 34:11 (NKJV)
For He repays man according to his work, and makes man to find a reward according to his way.

Isaiah 49:4 (NKJV)
Then I said, ‘I have labored in vain, I have spent my strength for nothing and in vain; Yet surely my just reward is with the LORD, and my work with my God.’”

Matthew 16:27 (NKJV)
For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The Sound of Music

There are some that argue that music is not powerful in itself. Some denominations also believe that music has no place in the worship service. It is pertinent that the words that are written for gospel songs are accurate and scripturally sound. We must not mistake the function of music that comes by the inspiration of the Lord. The role of music in the dance ministry must not be taken for granted.

We can discern the spirit behind the music by observation of the people. When we are in a worship setting, music should not inspire people to emulate seductive movements upon hearing it played. Just as dance ministers are admonished to have a relationship with the Lord, musicians must know Him as well. If the church service transitions from praise and worship into a club-like atmosphere, we must explore what it is about the music that causes people to divert. Opinions of men do not matter. When we study the Word of God, we will be more careful to offer music that brings glory to Him and does not move the flesh.

Music can be used in a prophetic manner. Music can accompany healing. Music is used in conjunction with dancing. Music is offered as praise unto the Lord. Music is used to aid people in remembering the Word of the Lord. Music is not to be worshipped, it is to be used in the manner for which it is created. When we take care to select or create music that honors God, the ministry of movement will flow with ease and effectiveness on an even greater level.

2 Kings 3:15 (NKJV)
But now bring me a musician.” Then it happened, when the musician played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.

1 Samuel 10:5 (NKJV)
After that you shall come to the hill of God where the Philistine garrison is. And it will happen, when you have come there to the city, that you will meet a group of prophets coming down from the high place with a stringed instrument, a tambourine, a flute, and a harp before them; and they will be prophesying.

1 Chronicles 23:5 (NKJV)
Four thousand were gatekeepers, and four thousand praised the LORD with musical instruments, “which I made,” said David, “for giving praise.”

1 Chronicles 25:1-3 (NKJV)
Moreover David and the captains of the army separated for the service some of the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, who should prophesy with harps, stringed instruments, and cymbals. And the number of the skilled men performing their service was: Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, and Asharelah; the sons of Asaph were under the direction of Asaph, who prophesied according to the order of the king. Of Jeduthun, the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Shimei, Hashabiah, and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun, who prophesied with a harp to give thanks and to praise the LORD.

Psalm 150:4 (NKJV)
Praise Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Junk in the Trunk

It is important to stay organized and orderly. If we do not have systems in place for ministry engagements, distribution of paperwork, storage of worship instruments, care for garments, music organization, and so on, we may find ourselves buried in a sea of confusion both mentally and physically. We must discover what works for us, and strive to keep things flowing as smoothly as possible. Having a clear mindset allows us not to be distracted when it is time to minister.

If we have ever found ourselves unable to find that specific flag or prop because of a disorganized environment, it is time to remove the excess from around us. If the dance ministry needs help collecting and arranging things to be found for future use, it may be time to assign a person to govern as "keeper of the wardrobe." If the trunks of our vehicles are strewn with dance garments, shoes, CDs, streamers, rehearsal schedules, etc., we need to get organized! With busy schedules, clutter can develop before we realize it. When we are working with large groups of people, we must be even more diligent to work together to keep the pathways clear.

Whenever we are invited out to minister, it is a good principle to train ourselves and those who go with us to leave things neat and clean. We should not leave plastic bags, tissue, make-up powder, or any other mess behind for someone else to clean up. Representing the ministry well not only entails how we enter a place, but how we leave it. After the dance has gone forth and the praises have been heard, have we left things in disarray, or has the place been made better by our presence?

2 Chronicles 29:4-5 (NKJV)
Then he brought in the priests and the Levites, and gathered them in the East Square, and said to them: “Hear me, Levites! Now sanctify yourselves, sanctify the house of the LORD God of your fathers, and carry out the rubbish from the holy place.

2 Chronicles 34:22 (NKJV)
So Hilkiah and those the king had appointed went to Huldah the prophetess, the wife of Shallum the son of Tokhath, the son of Hasrah, keeper of the wardrobe. (She dwelt in Jerusalem in the Second Quarter.) And they spoke to her to that effect.

Nehemiah 4:10 (NKJV)
Then Judah said, “The strength of the laborers is failing, and there is so much rubbish that we are not able to build the wall.”

Colossians 2:5 (NKJV)
For though I am absent in the flesh, yet I am with you in spirit, rejoicing to see your good order and the steadfastness of your faith in Christ.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Beauty School

Reading the Word of God daily will instruct us concerning how we are to portray Him to the world. Some people are considered natural beauties, but learning the basics of hair, make-up, and wardrobe serve to accentuate what is already there. We can apply some of these natural principles to enhance our concepts of spiritual beauty. Many of us know that walking with the Lord is a beautiful journey, but we can more fully share the experience visually if we learn how to worship Him in a beautiful manner.

Even when we beautify ourselves for ministry, it is not for our own glory. We are to serve as wonderful reflections of His creation and care for us. There is no limit to the splendor that we can offer in worship; however, to present the revelation of His beauty we must prepare effectively. Flags and banners with frayed ends are not only unsightly, but can be dangerous for the dancer if caught in the fingers or between the toes. Poorly constructed garments will distract the observer if they begin to tear at the seams during movement. The Lord will provide every type of skilled person that we need to make the vision a reality if we seek Him.

The Bible is full of majesty that includes ornate descriptions of tabernacles, bridal preparation, glorious garments, holy artifacts, and the beauty of His creation. We will never reach the point where we have obtained all there is know about Divine creativity and the beauty of worship. Devotion to continued study will unveil to us how we are to portray beauty in a Spirit-led fashion. Glamour of itself is vanity. The Lord is concerned with our internal beauty. As we continue to learn His Divine beauty secrets, we will be able to more effecively show the wonders of His love in fresh and innovative ways.

1 Chronicles 16:29 (NKJV)
Give to the LORD the glory due His name; Bring an offering, and come before Him. Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness!

Psalm 27:4 (NKJV)
One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in His temple.

Psalm 90:17 (NKJV)
And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.

Psalm 96:6 (NKJV)
Honor and majesty are before Him; Strength and beauty are in His sanctuary.

1 Peter 3:3-5 (NKJV)
Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. For in this manner, in former times, the holy women who trusted in God also adorned themselves, being submissive to their own husbands

Please enjoy this beautiful piece by Praise in Motion:

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Home Wreckers

We must not use dance ministry involvement as an excuse to neglect our personal responsibilities. Though believers should be disciples, truthfully speaking, we are not required to dance to share the gospel with mankind. It is a wonderful blessing to be talented enough to dance with creativity, passion, and conviction. It is a travesty if those who dwell in our own households refer to us as hypocrites.

Spending unreasonable amounts of time in dance rehearsals and travelling for months at a time may need to be reconsidered. If there is friction in our homes that is not based on jealousy or unbelief, we must pray to the Lord for direction. We should be good stewards over our relationships and invest in the salvation of our own families. Talking about dance ministry constantly while shortchanging our loved ones in time, attention, and training can damage our credibility as movement ministers.

The influences on a single dancer vs. a married one may greatly differ. Being a parent of a child or teenager may require someone to balance his or her timesheet between home and ministry. It is often said that ministry begins at home. We need not stray from maintaining the house of the Lord for the benefit of the Body. There are many of us that need to take the time to evaluate and then re-evaluate what factors may be contributing to the demise of our own homes. Walking upright before the Lord starts with each of us individually. If the truth of our lives were put on display today in a dance ministry presentation, what would the message say about us?

Proverbs 3:33 (NKJV)
The curse of the LORD is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the just.

Proverbs 7:11-12 (NKJV)
She was loud and rebellious, her feet would not stay at home. At times she was outside, at times in the open square, lurking at every corner.

1 Timothy 5:8 (NKJV)
But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Hebrews 11:7 (NKJV)
By faith Noah, being divinely warned of things not yet seen, moved with godly fear, prepared an ark for the saving of his household, by which he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Please Keep Me Posted...

We have probably all heard the comment "stay in your place." In the ministry of movement, it is important to know where our position (or post) is, and how we are to guard against unrighteousness in our ministries. Each one of us has a specific task to accomplish. Too often, everyday distractions can move us from a firm stance into wavering, doubting, and lack of confidence.

If we give our word to someone as dance ministers, are we doing everything we can to honor it? When we stand at our spiritual posts and watch for one another, we are guaranteed to see some things that will disappoint us. The flaws of leaders will be exposed. Weaknesses of fellow dance ministers will be revealed. We will also discover some things about ourselves that may make us feel unworthy. Allowing ourselves to dwell on the negatives will pull us off of our watchtowers.

The solution for us to stay in a watchful posture is to build up our prayer lives on a daily basis. There is no magic formula for prayer; however, we must pray in agreement with the Word of God. Praying regularly will help us to stand guard against the enemy's attempts to infiltrate the dance ministry. If we have already experienced a breach, prayer will give us the wisdom and strategy to get the adversary out of the camp. Whatever we know the Lord has assigned to us, we must make sure to keep watch upon our posts, and stand in the gap as ministers for Him.

Nehemiah 13:19 (NKJV)
So it was, at the gates of Jerusalem, as it began to be dark before the Sabbath, that I commanded the gates to be shut, and charged that they must not be opened till after the Sabbath. Then I posted some of my servants at the gates, so that no burdens would be brought in on the Sabbath day.

Proverbs 8:34 (NKJV)
Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.

Ecclesiastes 10:4 (NKJV)
If the spirit of the ruler rises against you, do not leave your post; For conciliation pacifies great offenses.

Revelation 3:3 (NKJV)
Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Busy Bodies

Just because we dance to the Word does not necessarily mean that our movements must accentuate each and every syllable. It is almost painful to watch some dancers attempt to over-work a verse, trying to capture every word in movement, losing the deeper meaning of the message. When we allow the Lord to be the Divine Choreographer, His creativity will not limit us to elementary interpretation. Sometimes we must keep it simple. At other times we must dance before the Lord with all our might.

A movement class may not necessarily solve the problem, though it may help. We must continually pray to the Lord for insight. There are some well-trained dancers who are about as exciting to watch as a brick wall. Some choreography set to gospel music has nothing to do with the meaning of the song. This should not occur with us. We must not be more consumed with getting the movements right and neglect to receive the correct interpretation of the Word. When we let movement be the determining factor, we are no longer ministering the Word in dance, we are simply doing "busy work."

Common words used in gospel like heart, love, peace, Jesus, cross, pray, and so forth too often look the same on many dancers. Does everyone love the same way? Is Jesus only one-dimensional? Is the cross only two long pieces of wood that connect to form a symbol? Does everyone pray the same way? Does peace have the same meaning for everyone? If not, then our movement should reflect the diversity of the human experience and accurately portray the attributes of God. If we are merely moving without revelation, then we are only being "busy bodies," and nothing more.

Psalm 33:4 (NKJV)
For the word of the LORD is right, and all His work is done in truth.

Mark 16:20 (NKJV)
And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen.

2 Timothy 2:14-15 (NKJV)
Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers. Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Colossians 2:18-19 (NKJV)
Let no one cheat you of your reward, taking delight in false humility and worship of angels, intruding into those things which he has not seen, vainly puffed up by his fleshly mind, and not holding fast to the Head, from whom all the body, nourished and knit together by joints and ligaments, grows with the increase that is from God.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

What Shall I Render?

We cannot expect to invest little in the Kingdom of God and get a great return. Much time is spent talking about financial abundance, but wealth extends far beyond material possessions. We must lay up treasures in heaven. The reason that we must examine our motives in ministry is so that we are not discouraged when we do not see an immediate earthly reward.

If we truly serve the Lord, He will indeed reward us. If we expect people to encourage us, give money to the ministry, and invite us to the most coveted events, then we will be sorely disapponted. Although these things may happen, we learn that true ministry includes suffering for the sake of the gospel.

If we find ourselves lacking in any area, we must begin to give where we are running low. Are there any ministries that we can send a word of encouragement to? Is there someone doing a mighty work that the Lord is prompting us to send a love gift to? Are we bypassing an opportunity to serve someone else and support the vision that the Lord has given them?

If we are in need of any of these things in our ministries today, then we must make it a point to give in these areas, not for the sake of getting, but for the blessing of giving. We should not expect the return to always come from the same people we give to. The Lord is a Rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Psalm 62:12 (NKJV)
Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work.

Proverbs 12:14 (NKJV)
A man will be satisfied with good by the fruit of his mouth, and the recompense of a man’s hands will be rendered to him.

Matthew 7:2 (NKJV)
For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

Luke 6:38 (NKJV)
Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Picture Perfect

Although dancers may study David and Miriam, we have a more perfect example to follow. Many study the significance of dance in the Bible, but neglect to realize that that we are to preach the gospel to all nations. Movement may be the vehicle we use, but it is not the destination. David's testimony can encourage us, but he cannot save us. Miriam may be an inspiration for many to dance, but she is not our justification for movement. We are justified through Christ.

Too many are teaching the virtues of choreography, garment requirements, church protocol, and decorum without relating it back to the Lord. Getting an understanding of what we do is imperative, but it should all lead us back to Christ. Doing things just for the sake of the "rules" cancels out the guidance of the Spirit. Jesus did not promise us that we would be like David or other Biblical "Hall of Famers." We can be confident that we were created just the way that we should be.

We are being transformed into His image and shall be like Him. Our imperfections do not diminish His perfection. We do not have to become the Savior- He is! Deliverance is not of ourselves- it is because of Jesus! Our goal for dancing is not to "tell a story," but to share THE story, which is the gospel truth. Let us not think that every dance that we minister has to be confined to songs about Jesus, but let us make sure that we paint the perfect picture, and that is one that leads to salvation in Christ.

Genesis 5:1 (NKJV)
[The Family of Adam] This is the book of the genealogy of Adam. In the day that God created man, He made him in the likeness of God.

Psalm 17:15 (NKJV)
As for me, I will see Your face in righteousness; I shall be satisfied when I awake in Your likeness.

Ezekiel 1:28 (NKJV)
Like the appearance of a rainbow in a cloud on a rainy day, so was the appearance of the brightness all around it. This was the appearance of the likeness of the glory of the LORD.

Mark 4:30 (NKJV)
[The Parable of the Mustard Seed] Then He said, “To what shall we liken the kingdom of God? Or with what parable shall we picture it?

Philippians 2:7 (NKJV)
But made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.

Friday, September 19, 2008

An Inside Job

At times it is a disservice to dance ministers when the outward appearance is emphasized more than what is within. Immaculately pressed garments, fragranced skin, perfect form, and an eternal smile seem to be more performance-driven than reality conscious. There is no harm in making sure that we are presentable before the people, but when this becomes a false front, we are no longer worshipping in truth.

This does not mean that every problem and experience that we have should be laid out in the open for the entire congregation to see. This may mean that we may have to confront some of the tough issues facing our ministries today. If we are aware of sexual misconduct, rude behavior, drug abuse, falsehood, backbiting, rivalry, or other unresolved issues in our ministries, we should address the problems in a loving manner and pray for deliverance. Immediately ejecting offenders from the ministry may not be the solution, but we should definitely have a corrective action plan in place.

Unrepentant sin will have a drastic effect on our ministries. If we are wondering why ministries have no power, we must take a look on the inside. If we are constantly dealing with setbacks and repeated problems, we must pray for the Lord to clean house. If our focus becomes more about movement than on the Word of God, we must become disciples again. If we are not leading lives as followers of Christ, then we are merely dancing for our own enjoyment.

Matthew 23:25-26 (NKJV)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of extortion and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee, first cleanse the inside of the cup and dish, that the outside of them may be clean also.

Matthew 23:28 (NKJV)
Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Mark 7:21-23 (NKJV)
For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

Thursday, September 18, 2008

5... 4... 3... 2... 1...

It seems as though we never have enough time to do all the things that we need to do. In most cases, it is that we have taken on more tasks and responsibilities than we can handle. We must do an honest assessment of the many things jockeying for position on our calendars. When we submit our schedules to the Lord, we may find out that there are many things that we may be doing out of a sense of obligation, guilt, peer pressure, ego, and tradition.

In the growing world of communication, there are several "time bandits" competing for our attention. As we continue to manage movement ministry, work, business, family, health, finances, etc, we must ask ourselves the following questions:

Am I spending more time talking on my cell phone than focusing on my priorities?

Are constant e-mails, text-messages, and instant messages constantly distracting me when I should be working on an important task?

Is social networking taking up time that I should be spending with the Lord or in dance rehearsal?

Are conference calls and online meetings taking up more time in my schedule than they should?

With multiple committments between church, family, and ministry, do I ever really spend the time asking the Lord what He wants me to do in this season?

Am I constantly staying up late and waking up early only to continue the cycle of exhaustion and weariness?

If we discover that we are being robbed of precious time that can be better spent, we must learn how to say "no" with grace. There may be some committees, groups, activities, gatherings, and events that we may have to release and move forward to productivity. We may compromise our health and the success of our ministries and personal lives if we continue to spread ourselves too thin. We must truly trust the Lord to guide our every step. When we do so, he reminds us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

Genesis 43:10 (NKJV)
For if we had not lingered, surely by now we would have returned this second time.”

Ecclesiastes 3:17 (NKJV)
I said in my heart, “God shall judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time there for every purpose and for every work.”

Acts 17:21 (NKJV)
For all the Athenians and the foreigners who were there spent their time in nothing else but either to tell or to hear some new thing.

Acts 18:20-21 (NKJV)
When they asked him to stay a longer time with them, he did not consent, but took leave of them, saying, “I must by all means keep this coming feast in Jerusalem; but I will return again to you, God willing.” And he sailed from Ephesus.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Taken to the Cleaners

As we continue to get use out of our garments, we must continue to care for them appropriately. As dancers often sweat and our bodies come in contact with our garments, delayed care for them may have some undesirable results. Washing our bodies is important, but garments can carry odors as well.

All garments may not need to go to the cleaners, but it is important that fabric care be followed for the best results. Some items may respond well to a gentle wash and hang dry. Garments that have elaborate beading, sequins, or other intricate details may become damaged during dry cleaning. These may require hand-washing. Other dance ministers may "scent" ministry garments with fragrances. Caution must be used here as well when using oils or substances that may stain the garments. We should seek the Lord in any circumstance.

Another great practice for garment care is to wash or clean them as soon as possible after using them. This aids in the prevention of any deterioration or malodorous remnants left in our clothing. If we are selecting fabrics that cannot "take the heat," then we may need to seek wise counsel concerning breathable alternatives. We must never take the seemingly small details for granted. Anything that causes a distraction will foster difficulty in getting the Message out. Let us make sure that the offering we give is a sweet-smelling savor.

Numbers 8:7 (NKJV)
Thus you shall do to them to cleanse them: Sprinkle water of purification on them, and let them shave all their body, and let them wash their clothes, and so make themselves clean.

Zechariah 3:4 (NKJV)
Then He answered and spoke to those who stood before Him, saying, “Take away the filthy garments from him.” And to him He said, “See, I have removed your iniquity from you, and I will clothe you with rich robes.”

Matthew 27:59 (NKJV)
When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth

Revelation 19:8 (NKJV)
And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.

Revelation 19:14 (NKJV)
And the armies in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, followed Him on white horses.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Dancing the Night Away...

How much is too much? As movement ministers, there is a thin line between flowing with the song and going overboard. Just because the original version of a song is 17 minutes long does not mean that we are able to use the entire song length. With technological advancements and inexpensive editing software, we can adjust tracks to suit the needs of the ministry. This is particularly helpful for songs that are repetitive.

There are several reasons why soloists and groups choose songs that seem to last forever. Many dancers select songs that are very personal to them and want the congregation to feel the same emotion. This is not always the case. Some think that they are so anointed or talented that everyone should experience the presentation without limitations. Others select songs based on popularity only, yet have no real revelation in movement to carry the entire message. We need both grace and mercy.

On the other hand, the abridged version of a song may not be adqeuate enough. If a move of the Lord is truly taking place, then those who have discernment will know that obedience is the order of the day. If we are given time limits for an event or program, we should ask for permission before we present songs that are not in line with the initial request. As movement ministers, we must be humble enough to realize that time is valuable. What can be said in a thousands words may only need one picture to convey. Let us become so adept at demonstrating the Word, that our actions are able to speak for us.

2 Samuel 20:5 (NKJV)
So Amasa went to assemble the men of Judah. But he delayed longer than the set time which David had appointed him.

Ecclesiastes 5:7 (NKJV)
For in the multitude of dreams and many words there is also vanity. But fear God.

Acts 24:4 (NKJV)
Nevertheless, not to be tedious to you any further, I beg you to hear, by your courtesy, a few words from us.

Ephesians 5:15-17 (NKJV)
See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Monday, September 15, 2008

A Preying Spirit

With each advance in an area or arena comes the onslaught of opportunism. The Lord wants us to prosper and be in good health, but He is also very concerned about our motives and the driving force behind our actions. If we have spent time honing our skills in movement ministry, our expertise may be in demand as a conference speaker or invited guest. It is wonderful to see the knowledge and training of worship arts grow and become effective.

Receiving invitations to events as a facilitator or dancer can be great, but if we are always expecting to be asked to lead, demand top billing as featured artists, or are looking for opportunities to show our skills, we can cross over into dangerous territory. If movement ministers and the church Body at large are viewed as dollar signs, potential additions to advertisement databases, or a way to profit without spiritual accountability, then we can become prey for those whose motive is to profit from the gospel. In turn, if we are only seeking relationships with prominent people in the Kingdom to gain an advantage, we are preying on them as well.

Honest concern and a penchant for discovering the needs of the movement ministry community does not denote being a victimizer. Ministry entrepreneuership is great if the initial motivation is to provide the people with useful tools to advance the Kingdom. When we seek the Kingdom first, things will be added unto us. If we are employing the methods of capitalism to gain for ourselves only, we too will become victims in the vicious cycle of greed. As we continue to patronize events and purchase products, we must continue to pray so that we do not become prey for the masses.

Proverbs 1:19 (NKJV)
So are the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners.

Isaiah 48:17 (NKJV)
Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.

Jeremiah 30:16-17 (NKJV)
Therefore all those who devour you shall be devoured; And all your adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; Those who plunder you shall become plunder, and all who prey upon you I will make a prey. For I will restore health to you and heal you of your wounds,’ says the LORD, ‘Because they called you an outcast saying:“This is Zion; No one seeks her.”’

Ezekiel 33:31 (NKJV)
So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.

Titus 1:10-11 (NKJV)
For there are many insubordinate, both idle talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision, whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole households, teaching things which they ought not, for the sake of dishonest gain.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jesus Be Offense

The gospel is not accepted all over the world. There are nations that prohibit its citizens from practicing Christianity or proclaiming Christ as Lord and Savior. On a smaller scale, there are churches and public venues that will not receive dance ministry as an acceptable format. When we are disciples of the gospel, then we must also face the rejection that comes along with the territory.

We do not set out to offend anyone with our witness. The fact is that there will be people who are offended by the name of Jesus. We must not yield to the temptation to tone down the message for the sake of opportunity. Those of us who win souls are wise. When we are sent to a people, it is obedience to the assignment that brings glory to the Lord, whether or not the message (or the messenger) is received.

Acceptance of the miracles and the trials will allow us to weather the storms of ministry. If we operate under false pretenses, we will be easily shaken when we are rejected by men. Knowing that ministry may challenge our friendships, family relationships, and need for acceptance will allow us to tune out the applause of man and receive the Lord's seal of approval.

Matthew 13:57 (NKJV)
So they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.”

John 6:61 (NKJV)
When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you?"

1 Thessalonians 2:4 (NKJV)
But as we have been approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel, even so we speak, not as pleasing men, but God who tests our hearts.

Galatians 1:10 (NKJV)
For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.

Saturday, September 13, 2008


It is not acceptable for dance ministers to be ignorant concerning the Word of God. Since it is the very essence of what we do, we are setting ourselves up for failure if we continue to operate in ignorance. There is no minimum age requirement to be a student of the Word. If we are training children to dance in front of congregations, then we can impart the Bible into their spirits as well.

Beyond the general Scriptures that mention dance, we must also have a good grasp of Biblical themes and history. Beyond movement, we should be able to give a verbal overview of dance in the Bible when we are asked about it or discussing it. This takes practice just as much as preparing a piece for ministry. As movement ministers, we should actively become proponents of the gospel in both Word and deed.

Although we may not speak or move our mouths when we dance, we must be willing and able to do so if needed. The state of being dumb implies that someone is unable to speak. When we are not studying the Word on a regular basis, then we too become unable to speak. Beyond the love for dance and desire to worship the Lord through movement, our first priority should be to be disciples of and witnesses to the wondrous miracle of the Gospel and the love of Jesus Christ.

Hosea 4:6 (NKJV)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me; Because you have forgotten the law of your God, I also will forget your children.

Matthew 22:29 (NKJV)
Jesus answered and said to them, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God."

Romans 10:2-4 (NKJV)
For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Jude 1:3 (NKJV)
Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Friday, September 12, 2008

"Exes" and "Whys"

Everything that we have experienced in life has been for a purpose. Although we cannot blame the Lord or the enemy for every situation, we know that God causes all things to work together for good for those who love Him. Our testimonies can be greatly used to share the transforming power of the gospel through movement. Even if a song does not capture the exact circumstances surrounding our lives, our ability to convey them in truth will bring deliverance to others.

It is often said that we are all "ex" somethings. We may not have all committed the same sins or come from the same backgrounds, but we can all relate to struggle, temptation, disappointment, and doubt. We are both human and spiritual. Jesus Himself knows what it is like to experience the trials of humanity and understands the plight. He came for a reason, as we are here for a reason. We may not understand the "whys" of life immediately, but if we endure, we will see the Word of the Lord manifest.

Whatever our "ex" issues may be, they should not be allowed to hinder us from being free in movement ministry. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. Using the "whys" as excuses to remain unmotivated, uninspired, and uninvolved will foster a victim mentality in us. As victors, we should pray and ask the Lord to reveal His will to us so that we can help others overcome.

Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)
“Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the LORD, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Romans 15:15-17 (NKJV)
Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God, that I might be a minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering of the Gentiles might be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. Therefore I have reason to glory in Christ Jesus in the things which pertain to God.

1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (NKJV)
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

1 Timothy 1:15-16 (NKJV)
This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. However, for this reason I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show all longsuffering, as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him for everlasting life.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Flavor of the Month

Our presence should make a difference wherever we go. When we are called to minister through movement, we should "flavor" the gathering as salt. Maintaining an attitude of peace and grace is evidence of the salt that we have within us. Even in our own internal ministry affairs, we should deal with each other righteously. If strife, dissention, and conflict are plaguing us today, it is time for us to use the salt.

Dancers from the nations bring different international "flavors" to the dance. Although dancers may be of different cultures and movement styles, we should all share the same focus when dancing for the Lord. Older dance ministers are often referred to as "seasoned" dance ministers. The truth is that we should all be seasoned in movement ministry if we are believers.

If the places where we dance are not transformed, we may need to check our salt levels. If grace and peace do not follow our reputations, a shaking may need to happen for the salt to be released in our lives. If we are constantly bored and uninspired, it is time for seasoning. We must monitor the results of the "salt" that we spread in our lives and ministries. If we are truly seasoned for ministry, then that which results will bear witness of our ability to change the earth. What is the flavor of the month? For us, it should always include salt.

2 Chronicles 13:5 (NKJV)
Should you not know that the LORD God of Israel gave the dominion over Israel to David forever, to him and his sons, by a covenant of salt?

Mark 9:49-50 (NKJV)
“For everyone will be seasoned with fire, and every sacrifice will be seasoned with salt. Salt is good, but if the salt loses its flavor, how will you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and have peace with one another.”

Matthew 5:13 (NKJV)
[Believers Are Salt and Light] “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

Colossians 4:6 (NKJV)
Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bed and Breakfast

We must take care of our bodies if we are going to use them for His glory. When we are constantly bombarded with activities, rest and nutrition may not be at the forefront of our minds. Even if we do not perform regular care and maintenance for a machine, it will break down. Maintaining our temples should be a daily priority. We should take extra precautions when we are under intense pressure or experience busy seasons.

In the hoopla of exciting conferences and events, we may not give the body the attention it needs to function properly. Lack of sufficient sleep may result in fatigue, puffy eyes, short attention spans, and bad attitudes. Skipping meals may result in fainting, weakened immune systems, and general weariness. Rest and food are important elements for the movement minister. Breakfast, lunch, dinner and healthy snacks help to keep our energy levels where they need to be.

We should not fast for the purpose of losing weight to look good. Vanity in the movement ministry is not diffucult to succumb to. We must serve in the ministry with the right heart. When our bodies are crying out for rest, we must exercise good judgment. We place the lives of ourselves and others in danger if we have to drive after a ministry event and are sleepy. The Lord endorses both rest and eating and promises to provide them for us Himself.

Psalm 4:8 (NKJV)
I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Proverbs 3:24 (NKJV)
When you lie down, you will not be afraid; Yes, you will lie down and your sleep will be sweet.

Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 (NKJV)
I know that nothing is better for them than to rejoice, and to do good in their lives, and also that every man should eat and drink and enjoy the good of all his labor—it is the gift of God.

Isaiah 55:2 (NKJV)
Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.

Ezekiel 34:14-15 (NKJV)
I will feed them in good pasture, and their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold and feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, and I will make them lie down,” says the Lord GOD.

Matthew 15:32 (NKJV)
Now Jesus called His disciples to Himself and said, “I have compassion on the multitude, because they have now continued with Me three days and have nothing to eat. And I do not want to send them away hungry, lest they faint on the way.”

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Fast Forward

There are many of us who already know what the Lord is telling us to do. As a matter of fact, several of us have spent countless years delaying what we know to be our next move. Dance pieces are made up of a sequence of movements. Whether moving backward or forward, the goal is that we continue to progress in ministry. The reason why many dance ministers have become frustrated is due to disobedience. The Lord may have already given us instructions to move forward, but we have allowed fear and doubt to immobilize us.

Remaining motionless when we are supposed to move forward is like walking reverse. We will fall behind if we stop moving! If He gave us instructions to open that school or studio, we should at least have a vision written and a sample class schedule. If we are to launch a television program geared toward movement ministry, we should know the names of the appropriate contacts and available broadcast stations. If we are to start a dance company, we should be aware of rehearsal space options and performing arts venues suitable for use.

Prophetic words and inspirational messages may encourage us, but faith without works is dead. Economics, emotions, and history are no match for the Lord. Television news reports, internet updates, and newspapers do not determine our futures. In order for us to step into the miraculous concerning our lives and ministries, we must believe the report of the Lord. We do not need another year, month, week, or day to get started. The time is now!

Exodus 14:15 (NKJV)
And the LORD said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward.

2 Kings 4:24 (NKJV)
Then she saddled a donkey, and said to her servant, “Drive, and go forward; do not slacken the pace for me unless I tell you.”

Jeremiah 7:24 (NKJV)
Yet they did not obey or incline their ear, but followed the counsels and the dictates of their evil hearts, and went backward and not forward.

Philippians 3:12-14 (NKJV)
Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Range of Motion

God is constantly giving new inspiration and vision to His people. Pioneers of new dance styles became noted for the unique and innovative ways in which they mastered movement. Although we study to understand the skeletal and muscular structures of the body to aid in movement mastery, we are not limited to the traditional movement and dances already known.

As witnessed in music videos and stage performances, choreography is ever-evolving and fresh dances are being invented on a daily basis. For those of us who demonstrate the gospel in motion, what can hinder us from moving as the Spirit leads? Too many ministry groups and soloists exhibit very similar styles, movements, facial expressions, attire, music selection, etc. If we pray and seek the Lord regarding creativity, He will give it to us.

We should not try to be different just for the sake of it. We must always be open to the wide range of motion that exists. When someone experiences limited range of motion, it usually indicates that there is a physical problem in the body. It renders impairment and causes limitations in the limbs. When we experience it in ministry, the problem is a spiritual one. The source of our motion should be Divinely inspired and not just copied from others. If we are experiencing limited range of motion choreographically or spiritually, the good news is that we can be healed from it today.

Job 39:8 (NKJV)
The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searches after every green thing.

John 13:24 (NKJV)
Simon Peter therefore motioned to him to ask who it was of whom He spoke.

Acts 13:16-17 (NKJV)
Then Paul stood up, and motioning with his hand said, “Men of Israel, and you who fear God, listen: The God of this people Israel chose our fathers, and exalted the people when they dwelt as strangers in the land of Egypt, and with an uplifted arm He brought them out of it.

Acts 19:33 (NKJV)
And they drew Alexander out of the multitude, the Jews putting him forward. And Alexander motioned with his hand, and wanted to make his defense to the people.

Sunday, September 7, 2008


When we stand before the congregation to minister, people should see the Lord and not us. We should be so hidden in God that people experience His presence when they come in contact with us. Movement ministry is never about showcasing ourselves.

When we do not take care to get our flesh out of the way, the glory of the Lord cannot be revealed. No flesh shall glory in His presence. Hiding is not about covering up sins, becoming a character on a stage, or faking it until we make it. Being hidden is when only the Lord gets the honor from the ministry that is demonstrated.

We can only hide in Him when we seek Him. If we seek Him, we will find Him. When we find Him, we find everlasting life and the fullness of joy. Having these things will enable us to lead others to Him and receive eternal life. Once we encounter His presence, we must continue to move with Him. We can continue to do that if we hide and seek and remain hidden in Him.

Deuteronomy 4:29 (NKJV)
But from there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul.

2 Chronicles 12:14 (NKJV)
And he did evil, because he did not prepare his heart to seek the LORD.

Psalm 17:8-9 (NKJV)
Keep me as the apple of Your eye; Hide me under the shadow of Your wings, from the wicked who oppress me, from my deadly enemies who surround me.

Psalm 27:5 (NKJV)
For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.

Proverbs 22:3 (NKJV)
A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

By Invitation Only

If the Lord has called us to ministry, we do not have to become 'booking managers' to make things happen. What we do is not a talent show or casting call. Movement Ministry dates are not gigs. Invitations addressed to someone else do not transfer to us because we find out about them. Faithfulness in preparation will open doors without human intervention. What the Lord has called us to do, He will grant us the opportunity to accomplish.

We do not have to call people or send e-mails to ask them if we can dance during a particular program. Often, well-publicized events will result in phone calls from all types of "talent" in search of an opportunity. The Lord sees what we are doing and will place us on someone's heart should He desire for us to move at a particular time or event. Pride and self-importance will cause us to adopt the world's methods for fame and name-recognition. Let that not be said of Kingdom people.

If we have been presumptuous in inviting ourselves to dance at an occasion not assigned to us, it is time to repent. If we feel the least bit of rejection or jealousy when someone that we know and love does not invite us to minister at a particular event, we must come against the works of the flesh. If we fantasize about dancing for large crowds to the sound of thunderous applause, we need to lay on our faces and cry out to God. Trusting Him and staying faithful, even when the phone calls and invitations are scare, will prepare us for the labor ahead. When we wait on the timing of the Lord, we will experience an overflow of opportunity and many open doors.

Psalm 37:34 (NKJV)
Wait on the LORD, and keep His way, and He shall exalt you to inherit the land; When the wicked are cut off, you shall see it.

John 2:2 (NKJV)
Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding.

1 Corinthians 16:9 (NKJV)
For a great and effective door has opened to me, and there are many adversaries.

Revelation 3:8 (NKJV)
“I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name.

Friday, September 5, 2008


Our spiritual immunity must be intact. In order to resist the tempations and attacks that come with ministry, we must be able to stand firm and resist the enticements of the enemy. When we recall that we are being tried for Christ's sake, we know that if we continue to stand still, we will see the salvation of the Lord.

Our stance or position must be sure when we are faced with adversity. Naturally, we should continue to build strength in our legs and midsections so that when we demonstrate standing according to the Word, we are able to convey the concept with truth and accuracy. Th ground on which we stand should be a firm foundation. Before we minister, we should check the layout, if possible, to foresee any dangers (holes, loose carpet, uneven platforms, etc.) that may try to trip us up.

Confidence to stand must be rooted in the Word of God. When the spiritual and the natural elements unite in dance ministry, the result is truth that cannot be denied. We must continue to maintain the balance in movement ministry so that the Word and our actions line up. When the Lord allows us to receive the revelation of His Word, we should stand in agreement in Spirit and in Truth.

Luke 21:14-15 (NKJV)
Therefore settle it in your hearts not to meditate beforehand on what you will answer; for I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries will not be able to contradict or resist.

Acts 6:10 (NKJV)
And they were not able to resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke.

Romans 13:2 (NKJV)
Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves.

James 4:7 (NKJV)
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Grin and Bear It

Ministry is work. Serving in the Kingdom is not about lavish vacations and VIP treatment. It is about getting the work accomplished. Sometimes the work can be stressful both mentally and physically. The joy in it is that when we are working with a passion to please the Lord, He provides solutions to each challenge that we face.

We must each take responsibility for our share of the workload. When dealing with a team of dancers, it is important that everyone have an assignment and assume personal responsibility for the success of the ministry. It is important that leaders provide assignments for each team member, as well as dance ministers to understand and complete each task given.

We are to bear one another's burdens. It is the source of the burden that makes the work difficult or easy. When we see a need, we should be willing to step in and assist with the task. Understanding that we are all in this together will allow others to witness the working of the Lord. God uses people to reach people. Let us make sure to carry the burden with joy, knowing that we have an eternal reward in store for us.

Numbers 11:14 (NKJV)
I am not able to bear all these people alone, because the burden is too heavy for me.

2 Chronicles 2:2 (NKJV)
Solomon selected seventy thousand men to bear burdens, eighty thousand to quarry stone in the mountains, and three thousand six hundred to oversee them.

Psalm 55:22 (NKJV)
Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

Matthew 11:30 (NKJV)
For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.

Galatians 6:2 (NKJV)
Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Hearing Aid

Dance is a visual ministry. Before we can show a picture of the Word in motion, we must first hear what the Lord is saying. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God. We must not only hear the Word, but also understand and apply it. When we put these principles into practice, anointed and effective movement ministry will result.

Music is produced to be heard. It is important now more than ever before that the "words" that we are sending out with movement foster faith in others. Sound systems, CDs, music players, sufficient volume and amplification assist with getting the Word out. If there is anything that compromises the hearing of the Word, the ministry suffers. Though motion can still go forward with technical difficulties, it is important to remember that the Word does the work and the dance is an aid to help people to remember it.

In essence, movement ministry serves as a "hearing aid" so that the Word of the Lord can remain in the hearts of the people. Seeing the Word go forth may help others to recall the message in the song that might not have been as memorable through hearing alone. We paint a picture for the world to see. It is often quoted that "A picture is worth a thousand words." In the Kingdom sense, the Word is far more valuable than pictures will ever be.

1 Samuel 9:15-16 (NKJV)
Now the LORD had told Samuel in his ear the day before Saul came, saying, “Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him commander over My people Israel, that he may save My people from the hand of the Philistines; for I have looked upon My people, because their cry has come to Me.”

Psalm 78:1 (NKJV)
Give ear, O my people, to my law; Incline your ears to the words of my mouth.

Isaiah 50:4-5 (NKJV)
“The Lord GOD has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. The Lord GOD has opened My ear; And I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away.

Revelation 13:9 (NKJV)
If anyone has an ear, let him hear.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Other Side

Divisions in the dance ministry cannot be allowed to permeate our minds. Where talented people gather, there seems to be a natural inclination to strive for the best, most anointed people to be celebrated or revered. Of course, if we are not moving beyond the four walls and stepping out on faith, we may hardly realize that these issues exist. When the focus is on self-promotion instead of Christ, then we will see these spirits manifest.

Organizations, dance groups, and circles of influence may seem great at first, but the key is to seek God concerning each alliance that we make. We should not make decisions based on charisma, popularity, or to increase our chances for ministry invitations. What we do to advance ourselves will eventually wear us out. What we do to advance the Kingdom will bring us before great men.

The enemy is not on our side. In order to stand for righteousness, we must make sure that we are standing with our feet planted in the right soil. The Scriptures often refer to the "other side" as the dividing line between God's people and the adversary. Dance ministers who are serving with the right heart should stand together. We should not align with the enemy by choosing to stand for divisions and fragmentation of movement ministries. When the enemy is at work, there will always be at least two sides to every story. We must know which side we are on.

Joshua 24:14-15 (NKJV)
“Now therefore, fear the LORD, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the LORD! And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.”

1 Samuel 17:3 (NKJV)
The Philistines stood on a mountain on one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side, with a valley between them.

Obadiah 1:11-12 (NKJV)
In the day that you stood on the other side— In the day that strangers carried captive his forces, when foreigners entered his gates and cast lots for Jerusalem— Even you were as one of them. “But you should not have gazed on the day of your brother in the day of his captivity; Nor should you have rejoiced over the children of Judah in the day of their destruction; Nor should you have spoken proudly in the day of distress.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Amazing Grace

We have a reason to be graceful. Dance with an understanding makes a difference between movement as a ministry and merely dancing to gospel music. Not every dance that we minister will be classified as graceful, but when we move we must understand the function of grace in the lives of humanity.

This grace must extend beyond movement and permeate our speech and behavior as well. Dancers for the Lord should never be known as divas or "drama kings." Maintaining humility through our actions is an integral part of ministry. Movement ministry does not begin and end with music and choreography. The message that we deliver carries far beyond the few minutes that we are up moving before people. Our lives should serve as a testament to the grace of God.

We must be as genuine concerning the things of God in person as we are on the platform or stage. When people encounter us in public places, there should be no contradiction as to whether we are His people. Love and care for others should always be a saving grace. We must know that the Lord's grace is sufficient and abounding. His grace is truly amazing!

Job 41:12 (NKJV)
“I will not conceal his limbs, His mighty power, or his graceful proportions.

Acts 11:23 (NKJV)
When he came and had seen the grace of God, he was glad, and encouraged them all that with purpose of heart they should continue with the Lord.

Acts 20:24 (NKJV)
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

2 Corinthians 1:12 (NKJV)
For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.