It is exciting to see so many worship arts conferences spring up all over the world! In most cases, we are able to find workshops near us, or some that we may want to travel to. Deciding to attend a conference and workshop should be coupled with prayer, planning, and wisdom.
Not everyone with a website and a workshop is called to teach concerning the ministry of movement. Some of the best conferences that I have attended have been a result of word-of-mouth testimonies to the organization's effectiveness and spiritual power. Great advertising may be a good indicator of the type of quality that we may receive at a conference or workshop, but advertising is not enough. What we allow to be spoken into our lives can have a lasting impact. When the Lord leads us, we will leave enriched and encouraged to grow in our field.
We also cannot disqualify an event based on assumptions. There are many new conferences hosted that can be awesome because they are untainted by the "celebrity factor" of other conferences. We can learn something from the experts in movement ministry as well as the up-and-coming visionaries in the making. Whether we learn what to do or what not to do, we are learning nevertheless.
Here are some of my personal tips on selecting dance conferences and workshops:
1- Support Other Ministries!
Let's not fall into the trap of attending events only as invited guests.
2- Do Your Homework!
Research conferences options online, via brochures, or flyers, and ask about the ministry hosting the event from others who may be familiar with their work. If planning to travel to a different country or culture, we should research the region so that we are not ignorant or offensive concerning the people we will encounter. Pray!
3- Plan Ahead!
Many conferences are listed several months (or even years) in advance. Arranging our calendars to make sure that we are not neglecting our other responsibilities is important.
4- Manage Your Money!
If we would like to travel to another destination to attend a dance ministry event, we should begin setting aside funds for travel without going into debt. We can designate a certain date to buy a plane ticket, secure registration, book hotel accommodations, arrange transportation, etc. We should also budget for food and items that we may want to purchase from vendors.
5- Don't Get Stuck In Tradition!
Just because we travel to a certain conference each year does not mean that we should not remain open to other possibilities. Staying in a comfort zone can actually do us more harm than good. If we are going to grow as movement ministers, we will have to do something that we've never done. "Behold, I do a new thing!"
We can learn so much from other people. Each of us should make it a priority to obtain some type of training throughout the year. We want to continue to give the Lord our very best. Each conference, workshop and event will allow us to develop further in ministry. It's time to enlarge the borders!
New King James Version:
Give instruction to a wise man, and he will be still wiser; Teach a just man, and he will increase in learning.
As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.
And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.