As we continue delving into many dance ministry myths, the purpose of this series is to liberate us from religious bondage. We are not all created to function in the same way, so why should we all look the same, dance the same, use the same music, and become as traditional as the antiquated concepts we fight?
Today, I'd like to examine dance ministry myths at the local church level:
Does every church need to have a dance ministry?
Apparently, we have been adhering to the "turn to your neighbor" philosophy! Just because the church next door has a dance ministry does not mean that every church must have a movement group. Here's the problem: If we start a dance ministry in the local assembly just for the sake of having one, we may select a dance ministry leader who is not equipped for the task. When a group of dancers begin to operate without direction, then the things that banned dance ministry from the church historically may have us relegated to the sidelines again. Church leaders must realize that to everything there is a season, and just because dance ministry seems like a great and popular activity does not mean that it's time to start one just yet.
Bottom Line: Dance ministry is not a requirement for every church, but should be an option.
Ecclesiastes 3:4 (NKJV)
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance
Isn't Dance Ministry Just for Youth and Young Adults?
It amazes me how many churches still categorize the movement ministries under the "Youth Department." Was Miriam a child when she led the women with the timbrel and danced? Did King David's dance happen in his teen years? As a matter of fact, when Miriam danced, ALL the women followed after her. WOMEN! We must begin to embrace the ministry of dance as having no age or gender limits. The Word reminds us in Psalm 149:3 to "Let them praise His name with the dance!"
Bottom Line: Dance belongs in the church, is open to all, and brings glory to God!
Jeremiah 31:13 (NJKV)
“Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, and the young men and the old, together; for I will turn their mourning to joy, will comfort them, and make them rejoice rather than sorrow.
It Seems That There is Such a Limited Selection of Dance Garments!
ALERT: Dance garments are not in the Bible! The Bible does describe the garments of ministry for the priesthood, but we must realize that we must worship Him in Spirit and in Truth! Not all dances are "priestly" dances. I personally love beautiful garments, but over the years have discovered that certain garments may not work for the message. We do not wear costumes, but are to demonstrate the truth of the relationship or circumstance being shown through the use of the garments.
We are not limited by the garments presented to us in catalogues marketed to the masses. We may have an anointed seamstress or tailor in our midst who may be willing to provide what we need. We do not have to copy what everyone else wears at national and international dance conferences, but we must understand that modesty and forethought are key components as we go before the congregation. What we do not have (or do not understand), we need to pray about.
Bottom Line: We must consult the Lord concerning His pattern for our garment needs.
Matthew 6:30 (NKJV)
Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?
Shouldn't My Church Pay for All of My Dance Ministry Needs?
This would be nice, but the truth is that many churches simply do not have a budget for the dance ministry. This usually means that we are each responsible for purchasing ministry garments, paying for travel, financing dance classes, etc. We must take personal responsibility for our growth in ministry.
Planning in advance for purchases will help to ease some of the financial burden for the group. Fundraising may provide assistance for ministry needs, but we must first verify if the church is in agreement with our fundraising efforts, and that the products or cause behind the fundraiser do not compromise the Gospel message or ministry in any way. If the church is able to bless us financially, then we should express our appreciation by showing demonstrated growth in the ministry.
Bottom Line: The Lord is our Provider.
Proverbs 16:16 (NKJV)
How much better to get wisdom than gold! And to get understanding is to be chosen rather than silver.
Shouldn't We Be Allowed to Dance Whenever We Want In Our Local Church?
It is better to be invited to dance then to be told to take our seats. While we may have liberty, everyone may not be in that place as of yet. For years, dancers have complained abou being "Christmas, Mother's Day, and Easter" dancers. The Lord will show us favor at His appointed time. We must also be honest enough to know if the ministry has demonstrated enough excellence to go forth on a regular basis.
Some churches frequently support the movement ministry operating each Sunday through Praise and Worship dance! While it can be an awesome sight to see all of the arts ministries coming together, we must not pressure our local church to accommodate something for which it is not ready. If our church has granted us this liberty and we visit another church, we must not assume that the same grace applies. As difficult as it may be for us to stay in our seats, it is better to obey.
Bottom Line: You'd better ask somebody!
Acts 21:39-40 (NKJV)
But Paul said, “I am a Jew from Tarsus, in Cilicia, a citizen of no mean city; and I implore you, permit me to speak to the people.” So when he had given him permission, Paul stood on the stairs and motioned with his hand to the people. And when there was a great silence, he spoke to them in the Hebrew language, saying...
There are still many more myths to debunk! We must earnestly seek the Lord concerning every step we take. What works for us may not apply to someone else's ministry or local church. Let's walk in liberty!