Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dance Ministry Myths

We must make sure that we are not so steeped in tradition and "catch phrases" that we fail to worship in truth. Many times I have spoken about throwing away the "dance ministry handbook" and choosing to follow God. This does not mean that we do not have operating standards and a written code of conduct for our ministries. I am encouraging all of us to be open to the Lord's leading, even if someone has tried to convince us otherwise.

Many of the misconceptions in the movement ministry could be resolved with a simple Bible study. I am still alarmed by the amount of dancers all over the world who have very little knowledge of who danced in the Bible, much less a basic understanding of their function in the Body. I am grateful to have the opportunity to pour into the lives of many, but also reminded that it not my assignment to keep people in bondage through the "rules."

Here are a few recurring dance ministry "myths" that I have encountered over the years:

Did David really dance out of his clothes?
How many times have we heard this from the pulpit? The concept that many seem to embrace is that David was naked or almost nude when he danced before the Lord with all his might. Let's look at what the Scripture actually says in 2 Samuel 6:14: Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod. The concept that he "uncovered himself" came from the same person who mocked him in the window- his wife! 2 Samuel 6:20 records, "Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, “How glorious was the king of Israel today, uncovering himself today in the eyes of the maids of his servants, as one of the base fellows shamelessly uncovers himself!” Kings traditionally wore royal garments, but if we want to accept him as nude, then we would also have to accept her opinion of him.

Bottom line: The Bible does not actually say that David danced out of his clothes... He was wearing something!

Is wearing jewelry, make-up, nail polish, etc, banned in dance ministry?
The Word is rich with symbolism and meaning. When we are wearing anything for ministry purposes, we must understand its significance.

Brides and bridegrooms adorned themselves for weddings. (Isaiah 61:10) Rings and necklaces were often given as a sign of honor by the king. (Genesis 41:42) Wearing jewelry itself is not a sin, but we must remember safety when doing so while dancing. Some cultures may have a problem with men wearing earrings in the church. Let's not be a stumblingblock, where possible.

Bottom line: If we are wearing jewelry merely to impress others, then we already know that we have the wrong intentions...

Make-Up and Nail Polish
This too can be more of a traditional preference or modern liberty. Wearing heavy make-up and dancing in white may yield interesting results... Some dance pieces may call for specific characterization with make-up to assist with the meaning of the piece. Too much enhancement may be a distraction as well. Vivid nail polish and fancy artwork may be a potential distraction in a ministry piece.

Bottom line: Let's walk in humility and wisdom...

It's not sound doctrine to criticize others for beautification efforts, but we must exercise wisdom and consult the Lord for ourselves and our ministries. If we are in a ministry that does not embrace wearing jewelry, make-up, or nail polish, we must follow suit to be on one accord.

Is it a requirement to have a dance ministry license or professional training to join the dance ministry?
Show me a license to dance in the Bible! It is amazing how knowledge can puff us up. While education and dance technique can greatly increase our ability to be able to teach and be more effective, God will use whomever He chooses!

Must I wear elaborate garments to dance?
Every movement piece does not require extravagant garments; however, we must read the Word concerning proper attire before the people. When we are open to hearing the voice of the Lord, we may be surprised at some of the unconventional ideas He will give us!

There are many more myths that we can cover, but the misinformation that so many dancers have is astounding. For dance ministry educators: Let's make sure that we are teaching according to the Bible, and not our own opinions. We do the Body a disservice when we use our influence to promote our preferences over teaching people to obey the Lord. Let no one mislead us: God is in control!

(New King James Version)

Matthew 15:9
And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.

Ephesians 4:13-15
Till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—

2 Timothy 2:15
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

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