Friday, February 27, 2009

Who Done It?

There always lies the temptation to try to make things happen for ourselves when we feel like our time has come. Launching new endeavors is wonderful when God is the Mastermind behind what we are aiming to accomplish. Everything done in the name of Jesus is not necessarily "Kingdom." Whenever we are building something, it must be commissioned by God, or else we are doing the work in vain.

We should not seek to praise ourselves through bragging or highlighting our own accomplishments in order to make someone else appear inferior. Even if this is not the intent, it can be the end result. There is room for all of us to coexist in the dance ministry realm. If we begin to think that we are more anointed, skilled, powerful, effective, popular, radical, or important than our fellow ministers of dance, we miss the essence of the importance of the Body. Although we may not all follow the same method of doing things, we should not think of ourselves more highly than we ought.

Sometimes dance ministers think that we are the "first" to do this or that. We may be the "first" in our area, but we should not take pioneering to the extreme and become prideful. Promoting our ministries or businesses should never reek of selfish ambition. There is nothing wrong with advertising to get the word out about something, but the words that we choose to use to promote events and businesses will expose what is inside of our hearts. God exalts the humble but resists the proud.

It is my personal belief that it is better to be asked to dance, teach, travel, and share than it is to call people to book ourselves on a worldwide tour. Having business cards ready when someone asks us about our ministries is great preparation, but hunting down potential clients unsolicited will have us labeled as self-ambitious. If we ever allow the thought to enter our minds that other dance ministries are powerless in comparison to us, then we will merit the same unfortunate ending as other prideful characters in the Scriptures.

New King James Version

Isaiah 14:12-14
“How you are fallen from heaven,
O Lucifer,son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,
You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:

‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’

Proverbs 27:2
Let another man praise you, and not your own mouth; A stranger, and not your own lips.

Matthew 23:12
And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Spread the Word?

Ministry conferences and events abound more than ever! While it is wonderful to see so many take an interest in worship arts training, there are some common courtesies that should fall into place when getting the word out about events.

Here are a few of my personal suggestions for advertising protocol:

Consider Your Target Audience
Is your e-mail list primarily worship artists and supporters? If not, a separate mailing list may need to be created so that the reader receives items of interest that is of specific interest to them. For instance, if I am not a bowler and I keep getting multiple e-mails about a bowling league, I may either delete the e-mail or stop opening e-mails from that particular sender entirely. If I am really feeling overloaded by an individual, I may mark the message as SPAM.

Too Much of a Good Thing?
If there is no new news to report about an event, it may not make sense to send out multiple e-mails on the same day or even over a short time period. We want people to be excited about our events, but not feel as though we are trying to "hustle" them out of their money. We also do not want to leave the impression that we have an ulterior motive. If there is a new development or important announcement to make, it may be a good idea to let prospective attendees know. If not, who wants to read the same information over and over again?

Social Networking Sidebar:
If using MySpace or a smiliar social networking site, posting multiple bulletins in a row may be unsettling as well to someone not associated with the event. Multiple bulletin postings give a sense of desperation and appear as though the main focus of the poster is for personal gain. Oversaturating the board with personal posts pushes other information out of view. While that may be the goal of some posters, it also undermines the sharing efforts of others. Spreading them out over a period of time may serve as a reminder without appearing to be greedy. Posting comments of extremely large flyers or dance ministry videos on as many pages as possible may also raise some eyebrows... Not being considerate can get you deleted as a "friend."

Don't Be Pushy!
If someone is attending your event as a presenter or dancer, it may be a good idea for them to share it with others who may wish to join them. This choice should remain up to the individual. The invited individual may also need to consider his or her network and remain considerate as well. Blatantly demanding that someone send event information to his or her entire e-mail list may not only be offensive, but downright pushy. It may be especially questionable when the person receiving the email is not on the program, not in the area of the activity, and may not endorse your particular event.

Divine Advertisement
While we pray that we will receive maximum support for the events that we host, we must pray for Divine wisdom when promoting our gatherings. We must allow the Lord to raise us up in season, and also accept when it may not be time for us to have a multitude of people with us. We must trust God and not lean on people to sustain us. No one wants to feel bombarded with "junk mail" at home, in an inbox or online.

Tips for Success
Faithfulness in ministry yields results. If we are faithful over a few things, we will be made ruler over much. Showing success in the ability to handle small and medium-sized events with excellence will cause others to spread the word and bring even more people to experience what we have to offer. Advertising alone does not guarantee a great turnout. Jesus was followed by thousands as a result of the fruit of His ministry. Millions still follow Him today. The church in Acts grew out of word-of mouth. If we allow the Holy Spirit to lead us, we will lift up Jesus, and He will do the drawing.

New King James Version

Proverbs 25:17
Seldom set foot in your neighbor’s house, Lest he become weary of you and hate you.

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

Isaiah 1:13-14
Bring no more futile sacrifices;
Incense is an abomination to Me.
The New Moons, the Sabbaths, and the calling of assemblies—
I cannot endure iniquity and the sacred meeting.
Your New Moons and your appointed feasts
My soul hates;
They are a trouble to Me,
I am weary of bearing them.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Move It!

In this time of "recession," we who labor for the sake of the gospel may be swayed by reports of what is going wrong in the world. In a time of massive layoffs, financial crisis, foreclosures, widespread anxiety, and general uncertainty, we cannot allow ourselves to be moved away from our priorities. This is not a time for dance ministers to sink into oblivion. It's time to move!

If God has called us into leadership, we must continue to pray and seek His instruction regarding how He would have us to operate in this season. Procrastination is no longer an option. Obedience is the pivotal point which will open doors or keep them closed. We must walk in Divine favor now more than ever before.

Many things that were once too expensive to obtain are now more affordable. If we continue to practice faithful stewardship, we will be able to accomplish the assignments given to us with minimal difficulty. Honestly answer the following questions:

What is the Lord telling you to do now that you have waited to long to act on?

Have you managed your finances well?

Are you serving in the area that you know God has called you to?

Is fear hindering you from starting that business or opening that facility?

Do you constantly make excuses for why you have not finished the work you started?

Have you prevented forging new relationships due to past hurts?

Are you still dreaming about something that should already be a reality?

This is not the season to delay! We can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us. We must pray for wisdom and guidance regarding any endeavor that we have set our hearts and minds on. When the Lord calls a thing into existence- IT IS SO!

New King James Version

Joshua 1:8-9
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 1:1-3
Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.

Proverbs 12:24
The hand of the diligent will rule, But the lazy man will be put to forced labor.