Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Pay the Piper!

As dance ministers, we often tout the moral values of being properly treated and respected for the work that we do. While it is great to receive a financial blessing to assist with gas or travel expenses, we must also remember that the door swings both ways. We cannot take advantage of others in the name of "ministry." We should treat others in the same manner we would like to be treated.

The most common thing that we use in the ministry of movement is music. Instead of borrowing and burning CDs for dances, we should make sure to invest in the artist by purchasing the disc. If we desire garments for our ministries, we should not expect seamstresses and tailors to render services free of charge. Some movement ministries are fortunate to have people who sew as a token of love. More often than not, we will have to pay for our goods. Why should we be willing to spend top-dollar with merchants who could care less about the Kingdom, while shortchanging those who labor for the sake of the gospel?

In turn, if we have invited guests to minister on a special program, we should provide some sort of love expression for the effort. Money may not always be a viable option, but thoughtfulness can go a long way. Being a good steward does not mean that we have be be stingy with our funds. It is our obligation to render honor to whom it is due.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Collection Agency

Ministry costs. There are no set rules as to how the ministry of movement is financed, but we must be good stewards over every penny we receive. We must let the Lord lead us as to how we raise funds for travel, garments, registration costs, and dance ministry education. Whether we dance alone or have an entire company to run, we must understand the spiritual and natural guidelines when it comes to money.

There is often a struggle for many church-based dance ministries. Some churches may afford the ministry an annual budget, while others may provide little to no funds for the ministry to function. Dance ministries that are community based or evangelical in nature often garner funds from donations or by collecting funds from ministry participants. Dance studios often charge a set fee for classes and require additional finances for special events or activities. An ongoing debate exists concerning whether ministries should charge for the gospel. We must seek the Kingdom of God first...

Financial accountability is a must. If possible, there should be a treasurer that gives an account of all monies received as well as expenses. Larger ministries may need to employ a bookkeeper or accountant. When we track what we have received vs. what has been spent on ministry in one year, we will be better able to determine a budget and financial goals for the following year. Leadership should take the economic environment of participants into consideration when planning garment purchases, travel dates, and activities. We should not be limited due to lack of finances. The Lord is a Provider. As good stewards, let us continue to count the cost as we build from year to year.

Exodus 35:21 (NKJV)
Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the LORD’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments.

1 Corinthians 16:1-3 (NKJV)
Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. And when I come, whomever you approve by your letters I will send to bear your gift to Jerusalem.

Psalm 20:2-4 (NKJV)
May He send you help from the sanctuary, and strengthen you out of Zion; May He remember all your offerings, and accept your burnt sacrifice. Selah. May He grant you according to your heart’s desire, and fulfill all your purpose.

1 Corinthians 9:12-14 (NKJV)
If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ. Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar? Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.

Monday, December 29, 2008

The Blame Game

Our initial reaction to a ministry mishap may be to blame it on the devil or conclude that the Lord is making a public example of someone for wrongdoing. It is rarely expected that a dancer will get injured during ministry or that the backdrop on a stage will come crashing down while dancing. In life, things happen. We must remain prayerful and remember that wisdom is many times displayed by what we do not say...

If we have ever been in a situation where we have witnessed a dancer slip or fall, we understand that it can be embarrasing and bruise the ego. If we have found ourselves in a slippery situation, we may also wonder what it is that we might have done wrong or why the Lord did not shield us from a public faux pas. On the other hand, when the CD skips, lights malfunction, garments get caught, props fail to function properly or any other distraction occurs, we may want to "blame it on the devil." While some of instances of spiritual involvement may be accurate, we must always remember that when human hands get involved with the things of God, there are bound to be some mistakes.

A tendency to be over-spiritual about everything is to be unrealistic. At the same time, we know that God is not mocked and that the thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy. As part of our ministry preparation time, we should seek the Lord in prayer and ask Him to protect all of the elements involved in the dance. While we can prevent many natural distractions by using clean CDs, performing safety checks, or scheduling sufficient practice time for proper movement execution, in the end we can only pray that God's will be done.

Proverbs 11:5 (NKJV)
The righteousness of the blameless will direct his way aright, but the wicked will fall by his own wickedness.

Proverbs 28:18 (NKJV)
Whoever walks blamelessly will be saved, but he who is perverse in his ways will suddenly fall.

1 Peter 2:19-21 (NKJV)
For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps

Jude 1:24-25 (NKJV)
Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His glory with exceeding joy, to God our Savior, Who alone is wise, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Eye Can See Clearly Now...

As worship arts advocates, we battle against competition, comparison, pressure, criticism, and a host of other challenges. Although we should always walk according to the Spirit, we often experience moments of personal battles with being critical of others. Sitting on the sidelines, it can be easy to determine the areas in which our fellow dance ministers may have fallen short. We must learn to recognize the instances when we may verbally or unknowingly tear down our fellow servants by our actions.

If we can always find something wrong with everyone, we must question the lenses through which we look. If THAT dance ministry wears garments that we would not, have we prayed for revelation? If THAT dance ministry selects songs and movements that seem to offend the crowd, have we interceded on their behalf to be led by the Spirit? If we show ourselves friendly to our fellow movement ministers and THEY seem to be unresponsive, do we continue to stand on the Word of God to do good? We must first remove the beam from our own eye before we can begin to correct the vision of someone else.

If we are called to teach and instruct in the area of worship arts, we must not impose our belief system forcefully on others. If we are faithful to study and prayer, the Lord will provide an audience to hear the word He has given us in time. Unwelcome sermons on the elements of movement ministry at a concert, service, or event can cause more division than solidarity. Whatever issues that arise or seem to bother us repetitively concerning movement ministry is the area we should study most. Instead of continually diagnosing the problem, we should be ready to offer a solution to the perceived plagues concerning the ministry of movement.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Microphone Check

When we are introducing a new dance concept, sometimes it may be helpful to give some scriptural references or a short background before we dance. Depending upon the location that we visit, we should ask in advance if any speaking will be permitted. In some sectors, liturgical movement is not yet acknowledged as a legitimate expression. We must continue to walk according to wisdom.

If we are given the opportunity to speak on a microphone, we must not get carried away. Grabbing a mic is not the moment to preach an entire sermon or deal with personal issues in public. If we use a platform as an opportunity to get on a soapbox, we will do more harm than good. Even if we feel the need to provide a brief introduction, the piece should still speak for itself.

If we have to search really hard to find Biblical support for our dances, we may need to ask the Lord if that particular piece will be appropriate for a church setting. Depending upon where we dance, exhortation or speaking may not be allowed at all. This instance may apply to public spaces, or business settings. We should never make assumptions that we can do whatever we please without offense. We must walk in the liberty of the Spirit, while not causing others to stumble in the process.

Friday, December 26, 2008

City of Lights

Our presence should impact the regions in which we live. The gospel is to be shared globally and preached to every creature. Before we venture out into unknown territories, we should gain experience at home first. Many dance ministers have a burning desire to travel to the Nations and minister through movement. We must realize that ministry travel is not about lengthening our resumes, but about going where we are sent to spread the Word.

If we serve as "lights" in our respective communities, we will be more prepared to spread the good news to the world. This does not mean that the people to whom we are closest will always receive us. Even when we are rejected, we are prepared to deal with the ups and downs of ministry from the local to the international level. We must first be faithful over a few things before we are made to rule over much.

Both Jesus and Paul realized the importance of uniting with others. As dance ministries, we should also reach out to other like-minded ministries to come together to make a difference in our cities, countries, nations, and the world. Continued study of the Word and awareness of how the Body functions as one will allow us to join togther for the work of the ministry. Competition is a hindrance to the message. Unity is indicative of brotherhood. It takes more than one light to illuminate a city. Let's come in line to fulfill our part.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

All Talk and No Action

Good stewardship mandates that we make the best use of our time. When we allow ourselves to get too comfortable, we may find that we have lost valuable opportunities to get things done. This is often an area that can be improved during dance ministry rehearsals. Getting carried away with extraneous conversations can shave valuable minutes off of our allotted rehearsal time. It is common to greet one another as we come together for rehearsals, but we should focus on the task at hand once the designated time to start has arrived. Five minutes of conversation at the beginning of rehearsal are five less minutes of learning, improvement, and worshiping.

If the ministry leader has to struggle to regain the attention of everyone during a rehearsal to give instructions, we have also wasted much-needed time. It is not that we cannot enjoy any moments of fun and small talk, but if we notice that can count lost time in increments of a few hours per month, we must admit that some of our rehearsal time has been unfruitful.

Beyond rehearsals, we should be careful to exercise discretion when we are out at ministry engagements. It may be perceived as rude to have personal conversations amongst ourselves while a service or event is taking place. Remaining focused will help us to discern the spiritual climate of a place, or discover someone that may need prayer or encouragement. We each have a voice that is important enough to be heard but must remember that no topic should be more important than sharing the good news, regardless of where we are.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


Let our testimonies not bring glory to the enemy. We should not be terrified or ignorant concerning his methods. We should demonstrate the overwhelming power of God to defeat the enemy. In the ministry of movement, we may minister pieces that depict the defeat of the adversary. Whenever we show this through dance, we must be very careful to highlight that it is the Lord Who tramples down the enemy. There are times when God will use us as instruments to rout the enemy, but it is only at His direction that we triumph.

If our choreography depicts us a "super humans" whose own powers and strength rule, we have missed the truth. When David slew Goliath, he used what may have seemed to be an ineffectual weapon in the form of stones. When the Lord sent people to war, if would often be done with few people to show the Sovereign Power of God at work. Our praise and worship may seem small to some who would like to ridicule our obedience, but is very effective at disarming the devices of the enemy.

We must be prayerful even as we use other dancers to impersonate the forces of darkness. We are not to fear the enemy, but if we exhibit through song and movement that we can easily push over, beat, and stomp on the opponent, we could be making a mockery of a very serious situation. It is not by might nor power, but by His Spirit that we must operate. Evil is nothing to play with. Let us make sure to live sanctified lives so that the Lord may use us in His arsenal of weapons against darkness to bring others into the Light.

Exodus 15:4-6 (NKJV)
Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea; His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them; They sank to the bottom like a stone. “Your right hand, O LORD, has become glorious in power; Your right hand, O LORD, has dashed the enemy in pieces.

Exodus 15:9-11 (NKJV)
The enemy said, ‘I will pursue,I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; My desire shall be satisfied on them. I will draw my sword, My hand shall destroy them.’ You blew with Your wind, the sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters. “Who is like You, O LORD, among the gods? Who is like You, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?

2 Kings 9:24 (NKJV)
Now Jehu drew his bow with full strength and shot Jehoram between his arms; and the arrow came out at his heart, and he sank down in his chariot.

1 Samuel 17:49 (NKJV)
Then David put his hand in his bag and took out a stone; and he slung it and struck the Philistine in his forehead, so that the stone sank into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.

Psalm 69:14 (NKJV)
Deliver me out of the mire, and let me not sink; Let me be delivered from those who hate me, and out of the deep waters.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Climb Every Mountain

When striving to correctly interpret a concept in movement ministry, we can reach a point of challenge. Although it may be simple to show some concepts through written words and literal symbols, it becomes a little more difficult to portray abstract ideas. It is in these instances that color, texture, and Divine inspiration can go a long way.

When we want to show the oceans or bodies of water, different shades of blue billows or flags can be used to show waves and fluid motion. The same ideas can be applied to the demonstration of fire. If we would like to be a little more diverse, we can also incorporate these visuals into our garments, or even by using multimedia including video projection or slides and graphics. Larger concepts like mountains, valleys, flying, and the passage of time can be shown with large props, fabrics, clocks, and other creative imaginings. The sky is no longer the limit!

If we are unable to create these concepts ourselves, consulting with a Spirit-filled master craftsman may provide the exact enhancement we need. Dance ministry does not have to solely rely on fabrics, choreography, or creative tailoring. When we yield to the Lord's leading, He will begin to show us Divine creativity like never before. Breaking out of the mold of doing what we have seen will allow us to walk by faith, not by sight.

Exodus 33:18 (NKJV)
And he said, “Please, show me Your glory.”

Deuteronomy 29:29 (NKJV)
“The secret things belong to the LORD our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.

Isaiah 40:5 (NKJV)
The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”

1 Corinthians 2:9-11 (NKJV)
But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.

Monday, December 22, 2008

My Storage is Empty

When we are excited about something, we will often invest our finances, time, and energy into getting as much of it as we can. Finding websites with beautiful garments, flags, books, videos, and DVDs may prompt us to spend more money that we had planned. Perusing the vendor tables at dance and worship arts conferences can send us into a shopping frenzy. After the initial excitement wears off, we may realize that we are overrun with garments, fabrics, props, etc.

We should make it a practice to assess our inventory at least twice per year. Not only will we know what we have to make use of, we may find that we can save some money by not going out to buy something already in our possession. Listing all of our books and resources will also give us the ability to share this information with other ministries. If a fellow dancer seeks knowledge from a book that we may have already enjoyed, we can choose to share that valuable resource by lending it to them, or clear out some space by giving it away.

If our church storage areas, personal closets, or home garages are teeming with dance ministry items, it may be time to spread the wealth. We can be creative with exhanging resources, blessing another ministry, or re-organizing our supplies to gain the greatest use of them. We must practice good stewardship concerning every area of our lives. The Gospel is to be shared. If we have an overflow and others need resources, we should ask the Lord how we can be a blessing to the saints.

2 Samuel 6:19 (NKJV)
Then he distributed among all the people, among the whole multitude of Israel, both the women and the men, to everyone a loaf of bread, a piece of meat, and a cake of raisins. So all the people departed, everyone to his house.

Nehemiah 13:13 (NKJV)
And I appointed as treasurers over the storehouse Shelemiah the priest and Zadok the scribe, and of the Levites, Pedaiah; and next to them was Hanan the son of Zaccur, the son of Mattaniah; for they were considered faithful, and their task was to distribute to their brethren.

Luke 12:16-20 (NKJV)
Then He spoke a parable to them, saying: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded plentifully. And he thought within himself, saying, ‘What shall I do, since I have no room to store my crops?’ So he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build greater, and there I will store all my crops and my goods. And I will say to my soul, “Soul, you have many goods laid up for many years; take your ease; eat, drink, and be merry.”' But God said to him, ‘Fool! This night your soul will be required of you; then whose will those things be which you have provided?’

Acts 4:34-35 (NKJV)
Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold, and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Clean Getaway

The little things matter. When we are invited to minister at any location, we should leave the place better than when we arrived. If we carry our garments in bags, we should not leave hangers or plastic wrap behind for anyone to have to clean up after us. If we use tissue or water bottles, we should also make an effort to leave no trash behind. Wrappers from candies or mints should not be found left in the back of a pew. How we treat our surroundings is a direct reflection on us as dance ministers.

It should not have to be said, but it is very important to make sure that our garments are clean before we put them on to minister. This includes any tights, leggings, unitards, or undergarments worn under them. Just because we think that they will not be seen does not mean they will remain hidden. When we are changing our clothes in a dressing area, it is also respectful not to leave our clothing strewn about the room, even if we know that we are free to utilize the space for our entire visit. If the room must be used for another purpose, it will still be presentable if we keep things nice and neat.

Another area to consider is our method of transportation. If we are on our way to dance and need help unloading our vehicle, it may be embarrassing to have papers and snack wrappers in the front and back seat. Although many of us lead very busy lifestyles, we must make preparation a part of our pre-ministry to-do list. If we let things get too out of hand, we may find ourselves stressed at the prospect of a missing dance shoe, prop, sign, or garment. When we keep things decent and orderly, we will always be able to assess the situation.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Mother, May I?

As dancers, we are often made aware of how we are to govern ourselves. Beyond the dancer, there are other elements that can affect the ministry. Whether it is intentional or not, there may be people of influence in our lives that may try to use movement ministry for selfish purposes.

As in the Bible with Herodias, she manipulated her daughter into having John the Baptist killed after her daughter's dance pleased Herod. Herodias' daughter was offered up to half of Herod's kingdom. Instead of answering for herself, she chose to please her mother instead. There are some parents of younger dancers that may pressure young men or women into dancing against their will. Even if they are not made to dance, a parent or guardian may be so critical that a dancer is anxious to perform a piece perfectly more than making ministry the mission.

Outside of friends and family, a religious figure may also exert power or control over the dancers. In these cases, dancers are often made to feel like outside of a particular "covering," there will be no ministerial effectiveness. Feelings of guilt may also come upon us if we feel like saying no will disappoint our leaders or seem to be rebellious behavior. Although it is good to respect the roles of people in our lives, we must know that it is better to obey God.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Party Time!

As movement ministry has grown in popularity, it is common to see dance ministries at birthday parties, weddings, receptions, corporate events, etc. While protocol is commonly stressed when attending church-related functions, a little widsom and some common sense must be exercised when we are representing ministry outside of the four walls. Understanding how to respond at all times and planning for common ocurrences is key.

If we are invited as a ministry, we should maintain the mission throughout the event. Remaining friendly and approachable should always be our temperment. If we are at an event where alcoholic beverages are being served, it would not suit the best interests of ministry to partake in the festivities. It may not be wise to preach to the partygoers the ills of beers and cocktails either. Likewise, if there will be dancing to non-Christian music on the dance floor, we may be sending mixed signals if we take center stage and shake it with the best of them. We should lead by example.

We must continue to stay focused and not take anything for granted when we minister in non-traditional arenas. As ministers of dance, we must accept the truth that we are always being watched. Our good should not be evil spoken of. Men who see our good works will be able to glorify our Father in heaven. When representing Christ to a perishing world, we have to remember that we are in the world, but not of it.

Luke 21:34 (NKJV)
[The Importance of Watching] But take heed to yourselves, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that Day come on you unexpectedly.

John 3:17 (NKJV)
For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

Romans 13:13 (NKJV)
Let us walk properly, as in the day, not in revelry and drunkenness, not in lewdness and lust, not in strife and envy.

Ephesians 5:17-19 (NKJV)
Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is. And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Beggars Can't Be Choosers

It is a wonderful thing to express passion and be excited about dance ministry. If we are honest, there are times that we may wonder why someone has not invited us to dance or minister at a certain engagement. Initially, this may not based on arrogance, but a genuine desire to serve in the ministry of dance. Many new dance ministries trying to break into the scene will ask to dance to gain other platforms. The problem arises when there is a pattern of asking many people to "invite us" to be a part of something, when the Lord may not have chosen us for that particular occasion.

A great character-building exercise takes place when we have to wait on the Lord to open doors for us. As long as we make efforts to train in the areas of dance and ministry and are bearing fruit, the invitations will come. If we are truly flourishing in movement ministry, there will come a time when we may have to turn down invitations for wisdom's sake. This puts us in a position where we can choose to go through the doors opened by the Lord. If we have to repetitively ask someone to allow us to dance, we are essentially begging. It is better to be invited...

When the Lord extends an invitation, the setting is richly prepared and we are gracefully received by Him. If we demand an invite, we can make the host or organizers uncomfortable. Even if we get a "yes," we may never be invited again, or even worse, may be talked about due to our imposing behavior. Let us be faithful over the areas that the Lord has given us. If we are found prepared and ready when the bridegroom arrives, we will not have the doors shut in our faces.

Psalm 37:25 (NKJV)
I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread.

Proverbs 20:4 (NKJV)
The lazy man will not plow because of winter; He will beg during harvest and have nothing.

Luke 16:19-21 (NKJV)
“There was a certain rich man who was clothed in purple and fine linen and fared sumptuously every day. But there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, full of sores, who was laid at his gate, desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table. Moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008


Dance ministry can be used as a visual aid to highlight what the Lord has said and is saying. When we demonstrate what He has said in His Word, we embody the living nature of the Scriptures. Using movement to share what the Lord is saying for today or tomorrow can be used prophetically to edify the church. In order for words and movement to mesh and come to life, we have to pray for a keen understanding of both the Word and the nature of God so as not to minister under false pretenses. Whatever He reveals, we can also write down so that we can retain the message that He wants to show through us and demonstrate it accurately.

Whether or not we have technical training, the basis of true movement ministry requires that there be a clear agreement between the movement and the message. Beyond dance, every element of our presentation should be aligned with what we are trying to convey. This includes music, lyrics, garments, worship tools, and the use of color. Bringing all of these elements together will make the vision plain and understandable even to those who have not read the Word for themselves.

Although we do not seek the approval of men when we dance, it may be a good idea to survey some of the observers to discover if what was witnessed by the audience coincides with what we are trying to get across as ministers in motion. A great opportunity to do this arises when people approach us after ministry to encourage us or confirm that they have been blessed in some way. We can ask them what they think the Lord was speaking to them during the dance or ask which parts of the piece impacted them the most. We are always free to revise our dances as the Lord leads so that we may show the clearest picture possible.

Genesis 46:2 (NKJV)
Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob!”And he said, “Here I am.”

Numbers 24:4 (NKJV)
The utterance of him who hears the words of God, who sees the vision of the Almighty, who falls down, with eyes wide open:

Daniel 7:1 (NKJV)
In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.

Daniel 8:16 (NKJV)
And I heard a man’s voice between the banks of the Ulai, who called, and said, “Gabriel, make this man understand the vision.”

2 Chronicles 26:5 (NKJV)
He sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God; and as long as he sought the LORD, God made him prosper.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Coulda... Woulda... Shoulda...

The time for making excuses has passed. If there have been things that we've delayed due to our own choices, we cannot blame anyone else for the areas in our lives and ministries that have gone lacking. If we are still talking about losing 20 pounds an entire year after we first realized the need, we have impeded our own progress. If we sensed the urgency, but neglected to take additional dance classes to increase our vocabulary and sharpen our technical skills, when we find ourselves doing the same old dances the same old way we cannot point fingers elsewhere. Failing to study the Word of God will render us powerless. Time is too precious to waste.

Allowing many years to pass by and regretting missed ministry travel opportunities, potential friendships, and fellowship is only woeful when we know that we have allowed fear to prevent us from enlarging our borders. We cannot simply sit by the sidelines and wait for someone to offer us the opportunity of a lifetime. When we are found faithful over a few things, He will make us ruler over much. If we are not ruling over an area of our lives, this is an indication that we have not been faithful in that area.

With God, nothing is impossible. Faith pleases Him as well as our obedience. If we have been guilty of self-sabotage, we can walk upright today. Growing in movement ministry has little to do with us individually. Although we can grow concerning the things of God, the goal is for us to preach the gospel to every creature by going out and spreading the Word. When we lift up Jesus, He will do the drawing. If we delay in going where He is sending us, we may miss the opportunity to bring glory and honor to His name. When He asks us for an account of what we have done, we want His response to be "Well done."

Genesis 4:7 (NKJV)
If you do well, will you not be accepted? And if you do not do well, sin lies at the door. And its desire is for you, but you should rule over it.

Mark 14:8-9 (NKJV)
She has done what she could. She has come beforehand to anoint My body for burial. Assuredly, I say to you, wherever this gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be told as a memorial to her.

John 8:39 (NKJV)
They answered and said to Him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would do the works of Abraham.

2 Corinthians 13:6-8 (NKJV)
But I trust that you will know that we are not disqualified. Now I pray to God that you do no evil, not that we should appear approved, but that you should do what is honorable, though we may seem disqualified. For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Zero Balance

It's a good thing for a credit card to have a zero balance, because that would mean that it is paid off, and we are free of the debt. Having a zero balance on a savings or checking account would not be good because that would mean that we have no funds to cover purchases or expenses. When in ministry, we must evaluate whether our personal or ministry relationships are draining us, costing more that we can afford, or keeping us in the place where we are unable to contribute.

Not understanding how balance works will usually have us carrying more than we can bear. Knowing when to say no and setting boundaries will help us to keep things in perspective. It is not selfish to make good decisions that will provide us with health, financial awareness, and spiritual longevity. We cannot fear that others are out to take advantage of us, but when we see that we are always giving and seldom receiving, the relationship is not operating according to the principles of sowing and reaping. When we give, it shall be given unto us.

It is easy to get carried away with the fame that movement ministry can bring. When we are not prayerful about each decision we make, we can find ourselves wondering how we got into a bind in the first place. Relationships can be for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. Ministry is no exception. If we wait too long to close an account, we can end up in deeper debt or have the account closed without our permission. We do not want to be in a position where relationships end on negative terms. If we sense that the Lord is leading us into a new season, connecting us with new relationships, or helping us to grow as we move into a new place, proper planning will allow for a smooth transition as we step out on faith.

1 Samuel 20:42 (NKJV)
Then Jonathan said to David, “Go in peace, since we have both sworn in the name of the LORD, saying, ‘May the LORD be between you and me, and between your descendants and my descendants, forever.’” So he arose and departed, and Jonathan went into the city.

Acts 15:37-40 (NKJV)
Now Barnabas was determined to take with them John called Mark. But Paul insisted that they should not take with them the one who had departed from them in Pamphylia, and had not gone with them to the work. Then the contention became so sharp that they parted from one another. And so Barnabas took Mark and sailed to Cyprus; but Paul chose Silas and departed, being commended by the brethren to the grace of God.

Philippians 4:14-17 (NKJV)
Nevertheless you have done well that you shared in my distress. Now you Philippians know also that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church shared with me concerning giving and receiving but you only. For even in Thessalonica you sent aid once and again for my necessities. Not that I seek the gift, but I seek the fruit that abounds to your account.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Save the Date!

Scheduling and attending dance ministry events can be a challenge for soloists and groups. Not only do we have to consider our personal and business obligations, we should also remember the important dates of those we labor with. In order to minimize competitive mindsets, it would be best for us to avoid scheduling major events at the same time as the dancers that we fellowship with. These events may not all be dance-related as many have weddings, baby showers, and other once-in-a-lifetime moments that may cause hurt feelings if they are missed. Since we are all one body, we should work to support one another as a whole.

Whether we keep a handwritten calendar or an electronic one, it may be a good idea to record our ministry dates and refer to them when we are asked to dance for a particular occasion. It is better to follow up with a phone call to confirm than to say yes and have to cancel later due to overbooking. We can also review our calendars to ensure that we have sufficient time to take care of personal appointments and business meetings. If we have an activity at 11:00am and are scheduled to dance at 1:00pm, we may place undue stress on ourselves to try to make it in time for the dance event. Because delays cannot always be anticipated, we should always plan to keep our word.

In addition, planning elaborate activities around national and religious holidays should be done with care. We should not feel disappointed if the event that we have planned near a holiday does not have maximum attendance. Though some may feel that it is impressive to have a calendar full of activities, we must exercise wisdom and schedule necessary downtime. There is no rule that states that we cannot indicate this as a reminder on our calendars as well. Each an every month (if not every week), we should take a look at our schedules to see if we are neglecting important areas of our lives. Most importantly, we should not be so busy that we forget to make time for the One that we dance for in the first place.

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.”

Proverbs 21:5 (NKJV)
The plans of the diligent lead surely to plenty, but those of everyone who is hasty, surely to poverty.

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?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Planes, Trains, and Automibiles

The journey to our ministry destinations should be with as little distraction as possible. In order to plan for the best case scenario, we can prepare in advance so that we are ready to go forth in excellence. When we are aware of the mental and physical pitfalls that plague dance ministers, we can do our best to circumvent them. We may not always be able to intercept every negative occurrence, but we can minimize them as best we can.

When we travel to local events by car, it may not be a good idea not to wear our ministry garments on the way to the location. This can be crucial when attending events that may not provide dressing areas for changing. Garment wrinkling and the potential for getting stains on them increase as we get in and out of vehicles. A good suggestion would be to wear comfortable "praise garments" that can hide the required undergarments we need to wear with our ministry attire. This also makes changing clothes easier as opposed to removing jeans or buttoned shirts. If we wear a unitard or modest underclothes, we can often change our garments even in scenarios that provide little privacy. We can also be prepared to have a "makeshift" dressing room by bringing dark flat sheets with us in case of emergency.

Air travel can be fatiguing when attending national dance conferences or other special gatherings. It would be optimal to arrive the day before we have to dance, or early in the morning the day of so that we can be rested and prepared to minister without being exhausted. Planning to arrive early will also minimize anxiety in case of a missed or delayed flight. In order to avoid the inconvenience of having dance garments lost with our luggage, we should carry our must-have garments and related ministry items with us on the aircraft if possible.

Travel by train or bus often takes longer. Packing food and beverages to refresh us along the way will make us less irritable and allow us to remain focused. Drinking lots of liquids before ministry should be avoided, as well as eating right before we dance. If we practice good habits when journeying to share the gospel through movement, we will find that after we have ministered to our own needs sufficiently, we can more effectively serve others.

Genesis 42:5 (NKJV)
And the sons of Israel went to buy grain among those who journeyed, for the famine was in the land of Canaan.

Genesis 42:25 (NKJV)
Then Joseph gave a command to fill their sacks with grain, to restore every man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. Thus he did for them.

Joshua 9:12-14 (NKJV)
This bread of ours we took hot for our provision from our houses on the day we departed to come to you. But now look, it is dry and moldy. And these wineskins which we filled were new, and see, they are torn; and these our garments and our sandals have become old because of the very long journey.” Then the men of Israel took some of their provisions; but they did not ask counsel of the LORD.

1 Kings 19:7-8 (NKJV)
And the angel of the LORD came back the second time, and touched him, and said, “Arise and eat, because the journey is too great for you.” So he arose, and ate and drank; and he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights as far as Horeb, the mountain of God.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Weak at the Knees

We must be careful what we bow our knees to. We must condition our "spiritual knees" to be strong enough to resist the temptations that come along with ministry. Movement artists are often plagued by struggles with food, fidelity, finances, faithfulness, and the like. When we allow anything to overtake us beyond our power to control it, we end up bowing our knees to serve creation more than the Creator. Only the Lord can give us the power to resist bowing down to ungodly things. Our choices will determine if we are submitted to Him more than the cares of this world.

When we incorporate choreography into our movement pieces, we should not take the act of bowing lightly. Beyond the physical challenges kneeling can bring to those who have difficulty getting up and down with ease, the motion of kneeling on hard surfaces can cause bruising and discomfort. In order to promote physical well-being, we must know how to execute this properly. Incorporating this into choreography should also take into consideration the garments that we are wearing so as not to be obscene.

It can be a life-changing experience to bow in humble adoration in the company of others. It is in these moments that self-awareness must cease, and the honor of God becomes the ultimate goal. Gaining an understanding of the various movements that we employ when we dance will make us stronger and overwhelmingly effective doers of the Word. Bowing and kneeling in worship or sorrow should be done with understanding. We should absolutely know for which cause we are willing to bow our knees.

Job 4:4 (NKJV)
Your words have upheld him who was stumbling, and you have strengthened the feeble knees

Isaiah 35:3 (NKJV)
Strengthen the weak hands, and make firm the feeble knees.

Daniel 10:10-11 (NKJV)
Suddenly, a hand touched me, which made me tremble on my knees and on the palms of my hands. And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly beloved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for I have now been sent to you.” While he was speaking this word to me, I stood trembling.

Hebrews 12:11-13 (NKJV)
Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. Therefore strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Minimum Wage

When we are invited to minister outside of the four walls, we should be very diligent to follow accepted standards and practices where we venture. Travel to conferences and large events may require airline travel, ground transportation, hotel accommodations, and more. Visiting foreign countries may call for adjusted behavior and cultural awareness. Governing ourselves according to standard etiquette and expectations goes hand-in-hand with ministry. How we are perceived in movement ministry is not merely in our ability to dance, but is also related to how we treat others.

Our conduct with baggage handlers, airline personnel, bus and cab drivers, bellpersons, and service staff should never be an issue of contention. Whether dance ministers act as hosts or arrive as guests, harsh words and "forgotten" tips should not be a part of our modus operandi. If we allow others to assist us in a service fashion, not only should we be aware of suggested gratuity, we should also express our thanks for services rendered. Even if we receive poor service in a dining facility or hotel, this does not give us the right to berate the staff or vehemently express our outrage. The times that our character may seem to be the most challenged is when we are in a ministerial capacity.

We can use our kind words to demonstrate love in action. This can open the door of invitation for people to witness the Word in motion, or to simply know that dance ministers truly practice what we preach. Paying our hotel bills in full, calculating our share of food service bills, tipping as appropriate, and saying "thank you" speak as much to our ministry as dancing. Imagine if mistreated persons surprisingly showed up to our dance concerts and conferences. Would they recognize us as hypocrites, or as humble servants of the Lord?

Leviticus 19:13 (NKJV)
You shall not cheat your neighbor, nor rob him. The wages of him who is hired shall not remain with you all night until morning.

Jeremiah 22:13 (NKJV)
Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by injustice, who uses his neighbor’s service without wages and gives him nothing for his work

Matthew 23:23 (NKJV)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have neglected the weightier matters of the law: justice and mercy and faith. These you ought to have done, without leaving the others undone.

Romans 13:7 (NKJV)
Render therefore to all their due: taxes to whom taxes are due, customs to whom customs, fear to whom fear, honor to whom honor.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


A key technical element for dancers is often building a strong "core" of the body. Being centered allows the freedom of movement and minimizes injury from falls or muscle strain due to imbalance. It takes more than abdominal work to have strong bodies for movement. Excess weight can be a hinderance physically and affect our health. We can keep our instruments tuned by adopting great eating habits and educating ourselves about nutrition. We perish for lack of knowledge.

Although it is wonderful to hear testimonies from those who are dancing in spite of health problems, we need to take the necessary steps to stay as healthy as we can. Eating properly may come more easily to some than others. Many struggle with food addictions and eating disorders in the ministry of movement. It is easier to determine those who struggle to keep eating under control by observation. On the other hand, dancers that may look fit and disciplined may be bulimic, anorexic, or starve themselves frequently.

Prayer and confession will aid us on the road to recovery. When we allow righteousness to govern us, we will not obsess over body image and concern ourselves with the opinions of others. Spiritual balance will help bring our flesh under subjection. The Lord can deliver us from our struggles with food and win the battle-of-the-bulge once and for all. Learning about calories, fiber, carbohydrates, fats, sugars, starches, and liquid comsumption for healthy living will assist us in obtaining the wisdom we need to make proper dietary choices. When the Spirit dwells in us, we will realize the importance of treating our bodies as His temple.

Proverbs 23:1-3 (NKJV)
When you sit down to eat with a ruler, consider carefully what is before you; and put a knife to your throat if you are a man given to appetite. Do not desire his delicacies, for they are deceptive food.

1 Corinthians 6:19-20 (NKJV)
Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Romans 14:16-18 (NKJV)
Therefore do not let your good be spoken of as evil; for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men.

Philippians 3:18-19 (NKJV)
For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Don't Drink the Juice!

The story of Jonestown is infamous in that many followers drank a poisoned beverage as a result of brainwashing cloaked under the guise of religion. With the explosion of information, knowledge, and teaching today, we have to be more studious than ever regarding the Word. Popularity in dance ministry is often sought through affiliations, networks, institutions, ordinations, licenses, and titles. Although is it wonderful to desire to know more about what we do, it is not good to drink from every cup.

We need deliverance from preying teachers, desiring to build a brood for fame and fortune. Dancers need to be freed from thinking that we cannot make one step without the approval or sanctioning of others. Clean hands and pure hearts will reign and rule. We need to pray to be connected with whomever the Lord desires to pour into our lives along the way. Movement ministers and worship leaders can be great models to glean from, but we cannot allow idolatry to enter into our hearts as a result of these relationships.

Cynicism cannot be allowed to make us paranoid, questioning the motives of everyone. If we maintain a lifestyle of prayer and submission to the Lord, we can rely on the Holy Spirit to warn us of impending or certain danger. Along with that, we can also pray for wisdom concerning how to be released from toxic ministry relationships. We must be careful who we allow to "curse" or "bless" us with swelling words. If we are seeking approval of men over the approval of God, we may find ourselves left with a bitter taste in our mouths.

Psalm 140:1-4 (NKJV)
Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; Preserve me from violent men, who plan evil things in their hearts; They continually gather together for war. They sharpen their tongues like a serpent; The poison of asps is under their lips. Selah Keep me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; Preserve me from violent men, who have purposed to make my steps stumble.

Acts 8:22-23 (NKJV)
Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.

Acts 14:2 (NKJV)
But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles and poisoned their minds against the brethren.

James 3:8 (NKJV)
But no man can tame the tongue. It is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Watch and Prey

When we are doing effective work for the Lord, we become targets of the enemy. In the ministry of dance, there are various pitfalls that we have to be aware of so that we may remain planted with the least disruption. Those that have the ability to impact us the most are usually the closest to us. This is why we have to be careful to guard against division within the ministry itself, as well as maintain balance at home.

Movement ministry itself can be used as a tool against us. If we obsess over dancing and devote more time to rehearsals, choreography and activities than we should allow, we can open the door for dance ministry to become a "god" in our lives. It is easy to point the finger when a sin is committed, but it is a little more challenging when the good work that we are doing leads to our demise.

Opportunists will also try to use the dance ministry for gain. It is not uncommon for dancers to be invited as a "draw" on a special event, and not so much as receive gas money for the trip. It's not that we should be mercenaries for ministry, but we must be wise. We should continually watch for wolves that would like to misuse or abuse the ministry of dance. If we neglect to watch, then we can become prey for the adversary.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Name That Tune

We must give honor to whom honor is due. When we select songs to minister to through movement, we should be able to correctly identify the artist, song title, and album. If the ministry piece is effective, there are many times that people will approach us and ask for this information. Just as we must be sure that our dances agree with the Word of God, we must know how to continue to share the ministry with others.

Often when a person has seen a piece with a particular song, every time thereafter, they will remember parts of the dance that was witnessed. Sharing artist information allows the viewer to support the ministry of song and recall what movements personally ministered to them. This is also a way to give back to the artist. We reap by the same measure we sow.

If possible, we should also research the artists that we select to know more about his or her lifestyle and beliefs. Some songs that may sound "uplifting" may not necessarily be in line with the Bible. Artists may often choose to do inspirational music, but have careers that in no way give honor to God. When we are not ignorant and operate in wisdom, obedience, and knowledge, we can more effectively spread the Word.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Clock Watching

We must be aware of God's timing. If we are not sensitive to His leading, we will find ourselves moving behind schedule, or stepping out before our time. When we receive vision from the Lord, we must pray about bringing it to pass as well as the right time to get it done. When movement ministers are in sync with the Lord's timing, we will always bring a rhema (right now) word through dance.

There may be times when we hear a song that we are to dance to, but the time to minister it may come months, or even years later. There are also seasons during which a particular song may speak to people, but if we continue to dance a piece after it's relevance, it will not be as relevant or effective. There is nothing spooky or strange about hearing the voice of the Lord. Because each of us are unique, there is no formula for discerning the time except for obedience. When we are prompted by the Holy Spirit, we will be able to operate in Divine timing.

The same thing goes with ministry-related activities. If we are impressed to organize a dance concert or conference, we must pray about dates and times. Wisdom would lead us to avoid duplicating similar events or competing with dates of other dance ministries in our geographic areas. Staying connected to fellow dancers and being aware of other events will help us to be supportive and remain united. Keeping in line with the leading of the Lord, we cannot let the dates of others hinder us either. Finding the time to keep watch will help us to move in the timing of the Lord.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Eminent Domain

In the age of technology, a ministry presence entails more than having a church address. As the worship arts grow, we are witnessing more liturgical dance studios, performance companies, garment manufacturers, websites, social networking pages, and more. The tools of technology can be used to reach a wider audience than ever before. Though word-of-mouth is still the best form of advertisement, reaching out to others can be accomplished with just a few clicks.

Relying on flashy websites and stunning graphics does not make us any more anointed or qualified than the next dance minister. The reality is that people will judge us based on our appearance, and that includes printed materials and online presence. If we have a website or social networking page, there should be no conflicting images or messages posted. It is quite surprising, yet common, to see "praise dancers" post images of themselves in both dance garments and swimwear. No one should have to correct us as to the appropriateness of how we represent the Kingdom. As most social networking sites require little more than an e-mail address, we are really without excuse for not being accessible.

Having a ministry website can be the equivalent of purchasing "cyber real estate." We can use our websites as territory claimed for God to get the glory. Most common dance ministry phrases have already been chosen for domain names. Tweaking a few words can still result in a page that accurately captures the ministry name. It is difficult to locate websites via search engines that have domain names that are too lengthy or are difficult to remember. Having an online presence today is relatively affordable. It can also be very costly, but the results are typically professional and provide interactive features. We can always do it ourselves if we learn the basics of design and frequently spell-check. Using these resources can allow us to reach people far beyond our own borders and cultures.

Proverbs 22:29 (NKJV)
Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.

Luke 19:13 (NKJV)
So he called ten of his servants, delivered to them ten minas, and said to them, ‘Do business till I come.’

2 Corinthians 4:7 (NKJV)
But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.

Romans 10:18 (NKJV)
But I say, have they not heard? Yes indeed: “Their sound has gone out to all the earth, and their words to the ends of the world.”

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Better Done Than Said

What we say matters little if we are not faithful to do it. Standing before a congregation as a testimony to the delivering power of God is hypocrisy when we knowlingly "test-a-lie" instead of testify. Making a mistake does not mean that we immediately submit a resignation from the ministry of dance. Discipleship means that we do what we say according to His will.

If we know that we are walking in a way that is contrary to the word of God, we should excuse ourselves for a season. Pride may try to prevent us from admitting our struggles, but it is better to practice self-discipline than to be forced to obey. Sitting down from a ministry does not mean that allow sin to take over and indulge in it. Stepping back may simply mean that we do not take the platform during times of ministry, but still actively support the ministry by our presence during rehearsals and engagements by remaining committed. Doing this will most likely lead us back to the path of righteousness. Just because we were once lost does not mean that we need to be lost again.

Movement ministers must be careful when dealing with sin in the ministry. Continuing to seek the Lord and maintaining avoidance of such temptations is evidence of redemption. We should not cause fellow dance ministers to be "castaways" because of struggles with sin. We all have fallen short. It is our duty to hold each other accountable as believers. Sin is not to reign in us, and we should not allow ourselves to make accommodations for it either.

Numbers 30:2 (NKJV)
If a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by some agreement, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.

Ecclesiastes 5:3-5 (NKJV)
For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool’s voice is known by his many words. When you make a vow to God, do not delay to pay it; For He has no pleasure in fools. Pay what you have vowed— Better not to vow than to vow and not pay.

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.

James 2:14 (NKJV)
[Faith Without Works Is Dead] What does it profit, my brethren, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him?

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rings and Things

The reasons that we choose to do something or not in movement ministry has to be based on the Word. When we begin to preach against wearing make-up, jewelry, or certain garments, we must verify that we are not teaching our own biases and preferences as the gospel. There is nothing inherently "wrong" in having an opinion, but when we judge others by our individual standards, we can become legalistic.

Some dance ministry leaders believe that no jewelry should be worn at all during ministry. Others will allow a wedding or engagement ring and small earrings for women during ministry. For many, a wedding ring is symbolic of the God-ordained covenant of marriage, and is not removed during ministry. Necklaces are often removed so that garments or fingers are not a danger to the dancer if caught. Whatever the option, safety is a genuine concern. Others put restrictions or wearing large earrings or specify that none should be worn at all due to potential injury risk.

The key to such debates is the application of the Scriptures and unity. We should not batter people with rules and standards that are based on assumption and tradition. At the same time, we must obey the Lord when He instructs us to wear specific things for the piece to be ministered truthfully. If leadership decides that we are to wear no jewelry or the same jewelry, we should walk in agreement and on one accord. Even if it means leaving our own preferences unmet, it is better for all involved to dwell together in unity.

Proverbs 25:12 (NKJV)
Like an earring of gold and an ornament of fine gold is a wise rebuker to an obedient ear.

Isaiah 61:10 (NKJV)
I will greatly rejoice in the LORD, My soul shall be joyful in my God; For He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

Haggai 2:23 (NKJV)
‘In that day,’ says the LORD of hosts, ‘I will take you, Zerubbabel My servant, the son of Shealtiel,’ says the LORD, ‘and will make you like a signet ring; for I have chosen you,’ says the LORD of hosts.”

Malachi 3:17 (NKJV)
“They shall be Mine,” says the LORD of hosts, “On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.”

Ezekiel 16:11-13 (NKJV)
I adorned you with ornaments, put bracelets on your wrists, and a chain on your neck. And I put a jewel in your nose, earrings in your ears, and a beautiful crown on your head. Thus you were adorned with gold and silver, and your clothing was of fine linen, silk, and embroidered cloth. You ate pastry of fine flour, honey, and oil. You were exceedingly beautiful, and succeeded to royalty.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Say, "It Ain't So!"

There is a sense of embarrassment to the Body when there is an apparent sin that has taken place. Whether we realize it or not, when we fall, we take others with us in the form of disappointment and diminished hope. Many that are striving to walk upright must be assured that holy living is a matter of choice. Although we are aware that we are not perfect, we should never get comfortable living lives contrary to God's plan for us. When dance ministers get caught up in scandal, the impact reaches beyond the person and affects many.

For members of a group, the resulting effects of exposed sin can cause division, spark gossip, and attempt to discredit the work that has been done. It should not be said among us that we are practicing sinful lifestyles while professing the gospel in front of others. Movement ministers should not be known as the crowd that likes to smoke and drink, or a group that promotes lust internally or externally. Although no one should throw stones, the truth is that when we serve in ministries that are in visible positions (dancers, choir, worship & praise team, musicians, preachers, etc.) there is a bigger "spotlight" on our lives than someone who may remain hidden in the pews. Nothing is hidden from the eyes of God.

We must daily commit to living the lives that we dance about. If we dance songs of freedom, we should be free. If we encourage others to lay aside lives of sin and receive the Lord as Savior, we should lead by example. Worship in spirit and truth is not something that happens for a few moments in front of an audience. If we are proponents of movement as a ministry, our actions must speak louder than our words.

Matthew 23:27-28 (New King James Version)
“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which indeed appear beautiful outwardly, but inside are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. Even so you also outwardly appear righteous to men, but inside you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.

Luke 6:42 (NKJV)
Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me remove the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the plank that is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

2 Corinthians 12:20-21 (NKJV)
For I fear lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I wish, and that I shall be found by you such as you do not wish; lest there be contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, backbitings, whisperings, conceits, tumults; lest, when I come again, my God will humble me among you, and I shall mourn for many who have sinned before and have not repented of the uncleanness, fornication, and lewdness which they have practiced.

Romans 12:9 (NKJV)
[Behave Like a Christian] Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.

Monday, December 1, 2008

No Explanation Necessary

Although the Bible has been contested and open to many interpretations, there should be no dissention on the basics of the gospel. If we allow ourselves to do whatever we want "in the name of Jesus," we can also unknowingly promote a false gospel through movement. Just because someone decides to call something "gospel" or "holy" does not make it so. Labeling something "praise dance" also does not validate it as such.

If we are left wondering if we heard "God" or "Jesus" or anything remotely connected to the Scriptures after a dance piece, then we have to wonder what type of dance it was. Many styles of dance can be used to glorify God. When approaching "radical" movement styles, we must be sure that the Lord is leading us, and not a rebellious attitude. What God ordains, He maintains. Inspirational songs may be encouraging, but if the words of the song are not supported by the Bible, it does not qualify as dance ministry. Our message must continue to be clear and without compromise.

Beyond the overt message we are trying to convey, we must also be careful to watch for any subliminal messages that we may send. Some things may not be labeled "sin," but are nevertheless very distracting and self-centered (which leads to sin). If our garments reveal more of us than they should, people may pay attention to what we are wearing and miss the message. Artistic hairstyles may be trendy, but if we get more inquiries about our tresses than the ministry, we may want to reconsider self-expression during ministry times. We all do not have to fit into the same mold and embody the dance ministry stereotype. As long as all that we do can be supported Biblically and is Spirit-led, we are free to move in Him.

1 Corinthians 3:16-17 (NKJV)
Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are.

2 Corinthians 11:3-4 (NKJV)
But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ. For if he who comes preaches another Jesus whom we have not preached, or if you receive a different spirit which you have not received, or a different gospel which you have not accepted—you may well put up with it!

Galatians 1:6-7 (NKJV)
I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

James 3:16 (NKJV)
For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.