Thursday, January 29, 2009

Don't Break the Bank!

It is wonderful to seek to build our arsenals with information concerning the ministry of movement. If we are not careful, we can let our hunger for knowledge overrule good common sense and stewardship practices. We must seek the Lord regarding our annual activities and plan in advance to see the greatest benefits.

Dance Conferences and Workshops
There are several wonderful conferences hosted every year all over the world. In my role as dance ministry leader, I require that the dancers attend at least two workshops or conferences per year. These gatherings can be local or distant, free or paid. The purpose is to get the dancers connected to the larger dance community and glean from others. Sometimes dancers will learn what not to do at these events, but that is another story for another day...

For this requirement, I had a budget in place for conference and workshop registrations to be paid for the group. Most conferences and workshops offer an Early-Bird Registration discount. In some cases, registering early can save hundereds of dollars per person! Some churches and organizations have the ability to pay for registrations, travel, and hotel expenses for dance ministries. This kind of support is wonderful, but not as common.

Sharing hotel expenses between 2-4 people can save us money. If we are planning to travel with a large group, we may be able to request a group discount with airlines, or contract a chartered bus company for transport if the group is large enough. If we plan ahead, we can begin raising funds for knowledge-building without breaking the bank.

Garment Purchases
This is also an area that requires planning in advance. In a tight economy, it is not enough to expect every dancer to purchase new garments just because the leader said so. If we know that we will need a garment by a certain date, we should contact a seamstress or tailor in advance so that the job is not rushed. If we are ordering from a catalog or online, we may be able to get discounts for bulk purchases, but must also collect the money in advance. Dance studios and organizations can apply to purchase dance attire wholesale by submitting the proper documentation to cut costs.

Another way to trim down the price is to request fabric store gift cards as a fundraiser for the organization. This will reduce the cost of the fabric, zippers, and notions from the final price of the garment. Cheaper is not always better. We must have people who can create garments for us in our price range, while maintaining the quality and the vision that God gave us for the garment.

Ministry Vendors
Often when we attend dance ministry events, vendors will exhibit garments, books, worship instruments, etc. It can be exciting and overwhelming to see many things that we desire in the same setting. We must not let our emotions get the best of us. Before we decide to spend our money, we should make a list of the items that we need, and plan for them appropriately. Even if we are unsure about what the vendors will offer, we can set a budget for what we would like to spend, and stick with it. Supporting ministry vendors is crucial for many who buy tables at conferences. This can be a win-win situation for all involved.

Let's Get Practical!
If we make purchases but cannot pay our bills at home, we are not practicing good stewardship. Spending every weekend away from home at ministry events to the detriment of family and children may cause division and hurt. Careless purchases without regard to our current credit report and debt load can make us appear hypocritical. Seeking the Lord regarding Kingdom steward and handling of finances: PRICELESS!

Proverbs 23:23
Buy the truth, and do not sell it, also wisdom and instruction and understanding.

Luke 12:42
And the Lord said, “Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his master will make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of food in due season?"

1 Corinthians 4:2
Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Dance Ministry Detox- Las Vegas 2009

July 16th - 18th
Hilton Garden Inn- Las Vegas Strip South
Las Vegas, Nevada

Rain Rein Reign Ministries is blessed to serve as conference host of "Dance Ministry Detox" on July 16th-18th, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

It is time to address, confront, and remove the "toxins" that have invaded the ministry of movement for far too long. This will be a ministry of healing for the wounded "sole" and is designed to liberate the movement minister to dance without limitations.

I am serving as a Conference Host, Keynote Speaker and Workshop Presenter along with the incomparable:

Dr. Yulonda Z. Lewis- Keynote (Georgia)
Pastor Tony Howard- Keynote (Nevada)
Minister Lakita Humber- Workshop Presenter (Illinois)
Sherry Traylor- Workshop Presenter (California)
Pastor Henry Black- Workshop Presenter (Nevada)
Elder Michael Harris- Workshop Presenter (Nevada)
Corey Ellis- Conference Psalmist (Michigan)
... And more to be announced!

Classes will include instruction in dance technique as well as practical applications to "detoxify" your life and ministry spiritually and emotionally. As we want the maximum impact for this event, seating is limited to the first 125 registrants. We ask that all registrants be over 12 years of age.

Register Online TODAY!

You may also download a Registration Form to mail in with a check or money order.

Registration Includes:
All-Access Passes to Conference Sessions
3 Meals Included! Friday- Lunch (1) and Saturday- Breakfast & Lunch (2)
Conference Bag and Materials
Opportunity to Make Complimentary Appointment at the "Oasis SPA"

Classes Include (General Descriptions):
Modern Dance
Prophetic Dance
Praise & Worship Dance
Internet Protocol
Purity in Ministry

Spread the word. Seats are already filling fast!!!!

See you in Las Vegas!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Judgment Day

There is a growing sector of those who seek to capitalize off of worship arts ministries. While we can all creatively justify our reasons for doing something, we must always remember that the Lord is a Just Judge. When it comes to competition in ministry, we must be careful that we are not vying to claim any glory for ourselves. We are working for an eternal reward.

Recently, I was asked to serve as a judge for a Praise Dance Competition. This was the second time in a week that I was made aware of this type of event happening nearby. While this is nothing new, it is still disturbing to me nevertheless. One advertisement for a similar gathering proclaimed that the dancers were competing to defeat the devil. I could only shake my head in astonishment at the state of many dance ministries today.

If we are one Body, can we truly compete against ourselves? If one of our arms is significantly bigger than the other through weightlifting more on one side of our body, will we not be looked upon as deformed? This is the equivalent of competition in ministry.

No matter how "friendly" we aim to be while competing, it is human nature to try to be the best at what we do. As a result, we may exhibit ungodly behavior as the intensity of competition arises. In order to win, that may mean that our opponent may suffer some sort of setback (falling during ministry, flags and props that are not functional, etc.), be ill-prepared (unpolished choreography, less-than-spectacular garments, etc.), have less of a "fan base" (which makes it a popularity contest), or a multitude of other disqualifiers.

Would I judge the ministry of dance based on who is the most "anointed?" Is the winner determined by who has the most complicated choreography? Should I give an honorable mention to the group that has the best garment design? As I have previously written, not every invitation is to be accepted. While I can only answer for myself due to my personal conviction of advocating for the education and development of ministry through the worship arts, I will have to respectfully decline all such "opportunities."

New King James Version

Matthew 7:1-2
Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you.

John 7:24
Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.

Romans 14:13
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way.

1 Corinthians 4:5
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

1 Corinthians 9:25
And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Updates and Events

Hello All!

The Lord directed me to write 3-4 paragraphs daily for a year straight. Since I began the blog, doors have opened up for me beyond what I could ask or think! As of January 1st, 2009 that assignment was completed. The writings are now being compiled into a book format, and after the book is published, we will only feature the "best of" Company Keepers: Dance Ministry Talk. I will self-publish this book through Reignaissance Publications ( Purchase info for the book is coming soon!

Please leave me a comment if you have any questions or issues that you would like me to address. I will keep your information confidential, but will publish the question and answer on this blog. I am still about my Father's business, and am in the midst of launching a liturgical dance company in Las Vegas, planning a National Dance Conference in July, publishing several books, and developing a product line. To God be all the glory!

In the meantime, I will continue to write as the Lord inspires, as well as keep you updated on upcoming events and conferences that I will attend.

Please plan to join me at the following events:

May 30th
"Glory Revivial Tour"
IDC West Coast Regional Workshop
(I serve as Regional Coordinator)
San Diego, California

July 16th-18th
"Dance Ministry Detox"
Las Vegas, Nevada
Hosted by: Rain Rein Reign Ministries
(I am serving as conference host)

August 5th-9th
Dancing Preachers International 2009
Puerto Rico
Hosted by: Sabrina McKenzie Ministries

September 10th-13th
Equipping the Saints Dance and Worship Arts Conference
"Thy Kingdom Come"
St. Louis, Missouri
Host: Paneh Praise Dance and Mime Ministries

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The End of the Road

Although we may continue in ministry until we leave this earth, many of us may reach the day when we no longer minister through movement. We may choose to serve in a different capacity or to pass the baton. Although not everyone will become a veteran of the worship arts, we should strive to make sure that our journey has not been run in vain. Whether we have served as founders of a movement ministry or inherited one, our participation should have made a difference in the places that we were able to dance. We can take steps now to make sure that our work will endure the fire.

Fully educating ourselves concerning the ministry of movement will open up doors to us beyond what we can imagine. We should be able to take this knowledge and greatly impact the lives of others. Inspiring someone to join the movement ministry is awesome, but serving as an usher into the Eternal Kingdom will result in a great reward. We are not dancing for our own pleasure. What great joy it would be to see many walking in righteousness and proclaiming Jesus as Lord because we were obedient!

It is my prayer that somewhere within these writings contained a blessing, word of encouragement, admonition, incitement to action, or just knowing that there is someone out there who can relate. Over the years, the ministry of dance has been a great blessing in my life, allowing me to travel, teach and minister in various territories and countries. I have personally heard many testimonies of people whose lives have been changed as a result of this ministry. It has been a humbling experience to see the captives set free, both inside and outside of the church. For the detractors, I have no argument. I have seen the hand of God in operation and know that He is a God of action. My hope is that you have experienced this work and as a result, will glorify my Father in Heaven.

His Servant,
Rekesha Pittman

Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NKJV)
The end of a thing is better than its beginning; The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

Habakkuk 2:3 (NKJV)
For the vision is yet for an appointed time; But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; Because it will surely come, it will not tarry.

1 Corinthians 15:23-25 (NKJV)
But each one in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, afterward those who are Christ’s at His coming. Then comes the end, when He delivers the kingdom to God the Father, when He puts an end to all rule and all authority and power. For He must reign till He has put all enemies under His feet.

2 Corinthians 2:9 (NKJV)
For to this end I also wrote, that I might put you to the test, whether you are obedient in all things.

2 Timothy 4:5 (NKJV)
But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

Revelation 1:8 (NKJV)
“I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”