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.

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