Monday, December 27, 2010

Worship, Incorporated

***In March of 2007, the Lord inspired me to write about the importance of unity in the Body as it concerns worship. In August 2011, dancers, musicians, and singers will gather as one tribe to bring glory to God in Las Vegas, Nevada. Here is the original inspiration behind this movement and a preview of what's to come.***

In my time of ministering through dance, I have been (more often than not), the spectator in the waiting. Whether ministering during a dance concert, church service, or special occasion, there is a time to stand back and observe. Have I felt frustrated? Yes. Bored? Yes. Impatient? Yes. I have also experienced overwhelming joy, thankfulness, and the desire to break out into spontaneous praise. What is it that makes others seek to worship Him along with the dancer?

I agree that some dance presentations resemble a performance more than a ministry. Some ministries have been classified “angels” on the platform and deemed “divas” offstage. It is often a challenge to get up and “minister” in an atmosphere that has been saturated with entertainment.

It is at these times that I feel the most vulnerable. There is the mounting pressure to “set the atmosphere,” “tear down strongholds,” and “usher in the Presence of the Lord.” Several times after ministering before people, I have been approached by many who said that they “didn’t know how to respond to what they felt on the inside.” I do not believe that this is the design for public worship.

As a movement minister, I realize that I am not merely a spectacle for others to sit back and critique. For corporate worship to occur as a result of the dance ministry presentation, I realize my responsibility is that of a Praise & Worship “Usher.” In understanding my position as a dance minister, I agree with Michael & Vivien Hibbert’s statement in the article Expressing the Moods of the Holy Spirit: “The ultimate in worship is not the expression or worship, but the knowledge of His presence. It is not the music or the songs of the Lord or the dance – these expressions must come out of knowing Him- they must be a result of worship rather than being acts of worship.”

Worship Defined

I have realized that the definition of worship of today unfortunately, at times, is viewed as a one-person or small group responsibility (i.e. the recent rise of "Superstar" Praise & Worship Leaders and the explosion of Praise & Worship teams in most churches). Upon studying the Scriptures regarding worship, I found many instances of Worship, Incorporated. This is how Webster defines incorporate: 1) To unite or work into something already existent so as to form an indistinguishable whole: to blend or combine thoroughly 2) To form into a legal corporation b: To admit to membership in a corporate body 3) To give material form to: EMBODY.

One Hebrew word for worship is tsaba' (Strong's 6635) or tsbadah (from Strong's 6633); meaning, a mass of persons (or figuratively, things), especially reg. organized for war (an army); a campaign, literally or figuratively (specifically, hardship, worship): appointed time, army, battle, company, host, service, soldiers, waiting upon, war (fare). Tsaba'(Strong's 6633) to mass (an army or servants): assemble, fight, perform, muster, wait upon, war.

For instructions concerning New Testament worship, we see a few Greek words that point to the Lord’s desire for a unified body in worship. Episunagoge (Strong's 1997) from 1996; meaning, a complete collection; especially a Christian meeting (for worship): assembling (gathering) together. We also see this in a few other words: Homothumadon (Strong's 3661) unanimously: with one accord (mind), and in Sumphoneo (Strong's 4856) To be
harmonious, to accord or stipulate: agree (together, with). Sumphoneo is akin to the word Symphony. A symphony consists of many different instruments, but they all play the same song, in the same key, in time together, to be complete. This reminds me that, as a movement minister, I have to be careful not to think that the dance is the only component being used to impact the worship experience. It is indeed an awesome sight when all aspects of worship including instruments, singing, and movement function together to produce Worship, Incorporated.

The Incorporation Process

There are several passages of Scripture that highlight the importance of Worship, Incorporated. Let’s take a look at 2 Chronicles 29:27-29 (NKJV): “Then Hezekiah commanded them to offer the burnt offering on the altar. And when the burnt offering began, the song of the LORD also began, with the trumpets and with the instruments of David king of Israel. So all the assembly worshiped, the singers sang, and the trumpeters sounded; all this continued until the burnt offering was finished. And when they had finished offering, the king and all who were present with him bowed and worshiped.” Though the Lord has appointed many to dance, we must also remember that dance ministry is not assigned to everyone, but movement (bowing) was done by all of the assembly!

Yet another Scripture points to the power of corporate unity: “And Ezra blessed the LORD, the great God. Then all the people answered, “Amen, Amen!” while lifting up their hands. And they bowed their heads and worshiped the LORD with their faces to the ground.” (Nehemiah 8:6) We see here again, that all the people lifted their hands and bowed (movement) corporately. Just to make sure that we understand how powerful corporate worship is, 2 Chronicles 7:3 informs us that, “When all the children of Israel saw how the fire came down, and the glory of the LORD on the temple, they bowed their faces to the ground on the pavement, and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying: “For He is good, For His mercy endures forever.” Unity is essential to the worship incorporation process.

The Present Worship Report

We often use Scripture to talk about worship in spirit and in truth. Though the Bible accounts for us many instances of Worship, Incorporated, it seems as though, for a season, many factions of the worship department broke off into their own “companies.” The choir, praise team, musicians, dancers, and ministers of the Word often decided separately what was the most important concentration for themselves, while ignoring the corporate umbrella of congregational worship. Competition inevitably arises as to which unit is the most responsible for leading the people into a worship experience. Recently, I have begun to witness musicians, singer, and dancers participating together in corporate praise & worship in major congregations. A return to the biblical model has begun: NOW IS THE TIME!

Future Worship Projections

Not only was this a pattern for the past, but we are informed that future worship shall also be Worship, Incorporated. The Bible gives a several glimpses into the future worship portal: “All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You." (Psalm 22:27). It is wonderful to see that neither denomination, race, nor geography will hinder the future of Worship, Incorporated as prophesied in Revelation 15:4: “Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name? For You alone are holy. For all nations shall come and worship before You, for Your judgments have been manifested.” Not only will this happen in the Earth realm, but in the heavenly Kingdom also: "All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God." (Revelation 7:11)

The Bottom Line: Business Matters

Worship, Incorporated must lead to a return on the investment that our Heavenly Father has placed in us. Although He created each one of us uniquely and with great care, He orchestrated it in such a way that we as many members fit together. He has designed us to succeed and has plans to prosper us. We must realize that each of us is essential to the success of Worship, Incorporated. Like Jesus in Luke 2:49, I must be also about my Father’s business!

Sources Used: (Hebrew and Greek Word definitions)
Make His Praise Glorious Manual (119)
Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture references are from the NEW KING JAMES VERSION of the HOLY BIBLE.

Rain Rein Reign Ministries Presents...
"Worship, Incorporated" National Worship and Dance Conference
August 11th-13th
Las Vegas, NV
Details in January!!!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

We Need More

***This is a throwback article from Company Keepers: Dance Ministry Monthly online newsletter that I wrote regarding Christmas for praise dancers in December of 2005. ENJOY!***

We are being bombarded in the name of "Political Correctness." As I have listened to the news recently, there is controversy over the use of "Happy Holidays" vs. "Merry Christmas." Stories vary about employees who are told not to use the word "Christmas." This is nothing new. We have seen the use of 'Merry X-mas,' 'Seasons Greetings,' and the like. Santa, reindeer, and excessive spending are encouraged in advertising, commercials, and in stores. What is the larger statement here?

As I prepared for Christmas service one year, God gave me a revelation that I have held dearly ever since. I will share it with you. The word "mas" in Spanish means "more." When I see or hear the word Christ-mas it now means "Christ MORE!" In a culture that is trying to deny our Lord and Savior, should we not proclaim the name of the Lord even louder?

When we prepare to select songs and choreography for ministry, let's remember to employ the name of Christ Jesus MORE! Inspirational songs may be great, but as the Word says in Acts 4:12 (NKJV), "Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Our commission remains to spread the Gospel to every creature. There is no Gospel without Jesus Christ!

As ministers of the dance, we have many wonderful opportunities to minister the Word of God in many non-traditional settings and programs. As doors continue to open for us, let us never forget Romans 1:16, which states, "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes..." Review your current song selection and ministry pieces. Have you unconsciously omitted Christ? The world needs Christ now more than ever before.

Dance with boldness. Dance with authority. Dance with power. Dance in the name of Jesus!

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Night in Shining Armor

Obey God! He gives vision and instructions. When we follow His voice, the blessing is beyond what we could imagine! I am blessed to be the Artistic Director of Reign Dance Company of Las Vegas, NV. After praying about the Company for 4 years, the Lord instructed me to open the doors of RDC in April of 2009 and He hand-picked the members.

This past October, we presented our 1st Annual Dance Production entitled, "A Night in Shining Armor." Along with RDC, Kingdom Worship Arts Ministry, Expressions Dance Company, Witness Performing Arts, Shonica Murray, and Passion for Christ joined us as we put on the whole armor of GOD! We were tremendously blessed and would like to share this experience with you.

To order your DVD copy, please visit our website:

Price: $20.00 + $4.90 USPS Priority Shipping (2-3 days).

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Gift of Dance

Many dance leaders and ministries are constantly looking for resources to sharpen and develop their ministries. I am blessed to say that I published my first (of many) books this year! Company Keepers: Dance Ministry Daily launched successfully and we have sold many copies online and at dance conferences throughout the USA. If you have not purchased your copy, discounts are being offered now through December 31st. This book is a great option for group study and discussion.

Reignaissance Publications
Buy Online:
List Price: $20.00
Priority Shipping: $4.90

For your viewing inspiration, Reign Dance Company has released a DVD of our annual dance production entitled, "A Night in Shining Armor." This DVD features several dances and includes selections by RDC, Expressions Dance Company, Kingdom Worship Arts Ministry, Witness Performing Arts, vocalist Shonica Murray, and Praise & Worship by Passion for Christ. This professional production is a must-see!

Reign Dance Company
Buy Online:
Price: $20.00
Priority Shipping: $4.90

Order by Tuesday at 10am to guarantee arrival by Christmas!

Thanks and blessings to all who have supported the ministry of movement. Your financial support enables us to continue to take the Gospel to the masses through movement. Continue to pray for dance ministries worldwide as we spread the message for the building of the Kingdom.

Living and Moving in Him,
Rekesha Pittman

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Clothes Minded

Many times we have heard that David “danced out of his clothes,” but the Scriptures do not say that. (File this under "Dance Ministry Myths"). We must know what the Word says, not only about dancing, but about many of our long-held beliefs, traditions, and quotations.

2 Samuel 6:14, 20
14) Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.
20) 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!”

In the Hebrew (#1540-galah) the word for uncover here is not translated as naked, but to “reveal” or “remove.” He was wearing a linen ephod, but kings at the time wore elaborate robes. He appeared to be common in this sense (by only wearing linen- which was thin and breathable), thus experiencing ridicule by Saul’s daughter (and also his wife) for being “foolish.” David rebutted that he would be even more undignified! Priests wore linen as one of their garments. (King and Priest? Go Jesus!)

Not all dance in the Bible is praise dance, but was an essential part of Old Testament tradition and expression (folk dance). Miriam and David danced unto the Lord. Women, men, and children danced. The return of the prodigal son in the New Testament was celebrated with a party and dancing (Luke 15:25). Of course we have heard the infamous account of Herodias’ daughter, which resulted in the death of John the Baptist.

Since I will not turn this into a long rant, here is the summary: Praise unto the Lord in dance is an acceptable expression. Just because people are dancing does not qualify it as praise (not only dance, but singing, preaching, and more can fall into the category of entertainment when it pleases our flesh more than it pleases God- but I digress…). God is looking at our hearts, and we must seek to glorify him in all that we do.

(New King James Bible Version)

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.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Post No Bills

Have you visited a website, blog or discussion board and read messages completely unrelated to the topic in the comments section? Even if the comment is relative, someone may try to sneak in an advertisement for their own blog, website, or sales business. Ever open your email inbox and see a SPAM folder?

Shady marketing practices are nothing new, but why are Kingdom citizens adopting similar habits? There are many avenues for free or inexpensive advertisements that aim to provide these services to the community and welcome them. While our friends and relatives may become our supporters, we should not automatically enroll them in our sales forces.

It is standard now for many movement ministries to have eye-catching flyers, websites, postcards, and graphics to promote ministry-related events. Because we have a visual ministry, this can work very well to give the potential participant an idea of what to expect. Spread the Word, by all means, but when we become reckless self-promoters, we run the risk of being labeled opportunists and may even cause others to question our true motives.

In the ministry realm, we may not hear from someone until they have an event to promote. This gathering may not include your ministry as a participant, but in essence, an endorsement is being requested or implied. When we receive emails in our inboxes with a request to forward the contents to our entire lists, we have the option to oblige or not. We must carefully consider what we are sending! Constantly bombarding our friends and associates with every event happening worldwide may make us operate like e-blast services (which businesses charge for) instead of concerned friends.

If we want to share the good news about upcoming dance conferences, concerts, and products, it is natural to send that information to people who share the same interests. We should always grant people the option of whether or not they want to participate. They should have a choice whether or not their entire database or friends list receives your information. Forcing ourselves in the faces of others may not only get us rejected, but diminish our respect among others.

In public areas where construction is taking place, we may see the words "POST NO BILLS." This is a request by the builder for promotoers and advertisers not to place posters or advertisements in places where persmission has not been granted. Someone paid the price for the wood or other materials to be there. We do not have the "right" to obtain free advertisement from anyone without permission or invitation.

Comes from era before electronic communications. One way to advertise, especially shows, was to "post" or put up on building, lamp posts, etc., "bills" or advertisements. "Post No Bills" meant don't clutter up this space with your advertisements.


In social networking, the current trend is to "post" ads, flyers, and pictures on the pages of others without permission. If we do this in our own territory (websites, blogs, social media, etc), this gives supporters the opportunity to share the good news by choice. When we request associates and friends just to increase our marketing base, we may unintentionally (or intentionally) use each other for our own gain.

When I want to get the word out about an event, I contact a graphics designer (who I pay) to produce the image. If I want postcards with the image, I order postcards/posters/promotional items (for which I pay). To reach a larger audience, I may reach out to my radio or print media associates for advertising (and pay for the benefits). I also praise God for favor in these areas. There have been times that I have been blessed with complimentary graphics, ads, materials, etc, but I did not expect these services to be provided without blessing the provider.

Posting ministry or personal information on the pages, websites, homes, cars (ouch), and other areas without invitation or permission could very well mean that we are using our neighbors for our own gain. Only the Lord truly knows our motives. While some of us may innocently copy the practices of those around us, when we know better, we must do better. Consider your neighbor. Networking and advertisement alone do not make events and ministries successful, but can be a tremendous help. While promoting events and ministries greatly blesses the Kingdom, without honest motives, we only cause division. Ignorance is not a defense. When all is said and done, true promotion only comes from God!


1 Chronicles 21:24
Then King David said to Ornan, "No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing."

Jeremiah 22:13
Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by injustice, who uses his neighbor’s service without wages and gives him nothing for his work

Proverbs 4:7-8
Wisdom is the principal thing;
Therefore get wisdom.
And in all your getting, get understanding.
Exalt her, and she will promote you;
She will bring you honor, when you embrace her.

Proverbs 12:2
A good man obtains favor from the LORD, but a man of wicked intentions He will condemn.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Technical Difficulties

There is a difference between dance and dance ministry. The danger of focusing on technique as the prominent qualifier for dance ministers is that some will think that the power is in the movement. It is the Word that works. When we connect the movement with the Word, it comes to life in us and through us.

We can have emotional experiences and see movement that overwhelms our senses. This does not mean that a dance is anointed or lines up with the Word of God. Many talented individuals can move a crowd to its feet or garner thunderous applause. Imaging if the thunder of God met our dances with approval! Our ways must please God, including the motives behind our movement.

Dance technique gives us a broad vocabulary from which to communicate a message. When we exalt form over substance, we eliminate the Lord from the process. I have witnessed intensely technical ministry that received a "WOW" from the crowd but did not move a spiritual atmosphere toward the miraculous. Specific signs follow them that believe. Splits, leg extensions, and challenging physical feats may be amazing, but if there is no relevance to the Word going forth through them, the only thing on display are the works of the flesh.

All dance ministries are not the same, but we must remember that the Lord is Holy. We are set apart for Him and must study, pray, and remain pliable in His hands. If we are not careful, we will legitimately offend people with movements and garments that appear to be obscene. If we are truly ministries and not "entertainers," we will not focus on crowd reaction. If we want to move in a way that pleases God, we will be blessed to find an abundance of choreographic movement in the Scriptures.

The world may be interested in your resume and accomplishments, but God is not. Technical training is a great asset to the ministry of movement and should never be a hindrance. Let us always to remember to make obedience to Him our first priority. When we move under His direction and guidance, we will never miss a step!

New King James Bible Version

Psalm 4:2-3
How long, O you sons of men,
Will you turn my glory to shame?
How long will you love worthlessness
And seek falsehood? Selah
But know that the LORD has set apart for Himself him who is godly;
The LORD will hear when I call to Him.

Acts 17:28
For in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’

1 Corinthians 6:12
[Glorify God in Body and Spirit] All things are lawful for me, but all things are not helpful. All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

Colossians 1:9-10
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God

Saturday, August 28, 2010

"Boaster" Seat

This post may not prove popular, but must be brought to light. Many movement ministries have fallen into the deceptive practices of the world when advertising conferences, events, and ministries. Many of us have subconciously allowed competitive lingo and behaviors to direct us when trying to rally crowds to attend events and support our endeavors. Ministries even "stretch the truth" (Ok, outright lie!) to make the ministry seem larger or more powerful than it is. Power does not have to announce itself. True power illuminates its surroundings to the point that others will express how bright the light is.

Jesus told us that if He be lifted up from the earth, He would draw all men to Himself. This does not mean that we cannot let people know what is available to them with flyers and announcements, but let's make sure not to step on the toes of fellow laborers when doing so... Time for a spiritual motives test!

For instance, if we use the words "Best," "Biggest" "Most Anointed," or other descriptives words that imply superiority, we are heading to the danger zone. When we think we are the best or most excellent/popular/requested, the spirit of pride has already taken a foothold in our ministries and destruction is around the corner. Someone else may categorize our ministries in this manner, but if we are walking with the Lord, we will maintain a spirit of humility and not use the accolades of others as bragging rights.

This reminder also extends to our ministry biographies and website content. When we imply that we have the greatest ministry, we diminish the glory of God from shining in our lives and ministries. Years ago, one of my best friends read my online ministry and immediately told me, "When I read your bio, all I see is I, I, I!" Instead of arguing with her, I took a look at my bio and discovered that she was right! Although it was not my intention to magnify myself, I realized that I was following the world's pattern of self-introduction. I revised it immediately. It now says that GOD has blessed me to... HE directed me to... The LORD has opened doors for me!

For many of us, it is time to take another look at the written and spoken words that we use to describe ourselves and ministries. Yes, God uses people, but without Christ, we can do nothing. Let's take some time out today to review how we present ourselves to others to reveal if we are glorifying God or ourselves.

(New King James Bible Version)

Psalm 100:3
Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.

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

2 Corinthians 1:12
For our boasting is this: the testimony of our conscience that we conducted ourselves in the world in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom but by the grace of God, and more abundantly toward you.

2 Corinthians 12:6
For though I might desire to boast, I will not be a fool; for I will speak the truth. But I refrain, lest anyone should think of me above what he sees me to be or hears from me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Who Cares?

Many in ministry start off with pure intentions, but that can change later down the road if we are not mindful. Along with ministry comes the lure of celebrity if we are deemed "great" at what we do. We must diligently avoid the trap that Lucifer set for himself in relishing the worship of others. We must also refuse to accept unjust criticism of those who seek to stop us in our tracks. Since dancers are often out front, we are open to compliments as well as criticism of what we do.

I recall a few critical moments from people who thought to give unsolicited advice after a ministry offering including comments like, "Next time, wear some shoes!" "You need to point your toe," "I would have chosen different choreography..." "You are anointed, but have no technique," and much more (since then, I have taken dance classes, but technique does not make an anointed dancer!). I have learned to chuckle at many comments over the years, but when I first experienced them, I was not so warm and welcoming.

On the other side, I often hear statements like, "You are so unique," "You are so anointed," and "I have never seen praise dance like that before!" While receiving compliments may be wonderful for opening doors, I must constantly tell my flesh that God gets the glory out of my story! I cannot let the opinions of people determine my dedication to service, one way or the other.

I said all of this to say that we cannot listen to unspiritual comments to determine our next move. David was harshly criticized by his own wife, but settled within himself that he would not be limited due to his title as king or position of leadership as he danced with abandonment. Who are we listening to today that may be causing us to stumble along the way?

If you have heard any of the following comments, keep moving ahead!

"Aren't you a little too old to be dancing?"
"Maybe you should lose some weight..."
"Dance is for girls and isn't very masculine.."
"Dance is for the 'young people.'"
"What you are doing is not real ministry"
"You are not anointed"
"You'll grow out of that phase..."
"I just don't get it..."


Who cares about you? The Lord does! Let us not be overly concerned with people. There will always be advocates and antagonists, but the only opinion of us that matters is what God thinks!

(New King James Bible Version)

2 Samuel 6:14, 20-22

Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.

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!”

So David said to Michal, “It was before the LORD, who chose me instead of your father and all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the LORD, over Israel. Therefore I will play music before the LORD.

And I will be even more undignified than this, and will be humble in my own sight. But as for the maidservants of whom you have spoken, by them I will be held in honor.”

1 Peter 5:6-7
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Teach Me How to "David!"

Each generation seems to have several dance crazes that come out, especially in the Summertime. Some of these dances "miraculously" find their way into our churches during praise dance presentations (shocking, isn't it?). Nevertheless, the sight is more common than not. Many unassuming congregations have no idea that the dances done before them have been newly acquired from MTV and BET.

While teaching at workshops and conferences, I often ask the dancers to tell me who danced in the Bible. Most are familiar with David, and even fewer with Miriam. For most groups, the familiarity stops there. This week, I was blessed to teach a group of very young children at a Summer Arts Camp. During class, the Lord led me to teach them how to dance like David and Miriam. I led them in movement according to the descriptions found in the Scriptures.

We played a game called "Jesus Says..." similar to the traditional "Simon Says" response game. I would say, "Jesus says, 'Dance Like David!'" The children joyfully began to leap and whirl as instructed by the Word. They then replied, "That was FUN!" The experience reminded me that we still have a responsibility not only to train our children, but those who are in ministry as well.

How Did David Dance?

2 Samuel 6:14, 16
14) Then David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was wearing a linen ephod.

16) Now as the ark of the LORD came into the City of David, Michal, Saul’s daughter, looked through a window and saw King David leaping and whirling before the LORD; and she despised him in her heart.

The Hebrew word used here for dance is karar, meaning to dance (i.e. whirl): - dancing (Source: The New Strong's Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible)

David reserved nothing for himself, but gave his all unto the Lord while dancing before Him. Leaping required his feet to leave the ground, and whirling would ensure that he danced in all directions! The sight of David dancing provoked his spouse to rebuke him for such an open display of abandonment (for which she paid a hefty price!).

Dancing is nothing new. The unique style in which certain individuals express it has often garnered the acknowledgment of having a dance or technical style take on the name of the originator. We all know that the true Originator of movement is the Spirit, who moved first in Genesis 1:2! Instead of learning the latest dance craze to demonstrate, wouldn't it be a wonderful exercise to train our dancers to learn the style of those who danced according to the Word? Instead of our children singing popular songs about dances (and doing them in church, school, and everywhere else), we would be blessed to hear them say, "Teach me how to David!"

New King James Bible Version

Exodus 15:20
[The Song of Miriam] Then Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took the timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.

1 Samuel 18:7
So the women sang as they danced, and said: “Saul has slain his thousands, And David his ten thousands.”

Psalm 149:3
Let them praise His name with the dance;Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.

Jeremiah 31:13

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.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Get Write, Church!

As many of you know, I have been blessed to publish my first book, Company Keepers: Dance Ministry Daily. This blog was the launching point for that book and many more to come. Obeying God is crucial! While writing daily on 365 different subjects, I was challenged, stretched, and strengthened. Out of that experience, I am blessed to assist others with the mandate to write the vision.

On Saturday, Novemeber 6th, I will be hosting a Book Writing and Publishing Seminar entitled, "Get Write, Church!" All aspiring, current, and established authors and publishers are encouraged to attend this intensive course. I will assist you in removing the frustration of figuring out what comes next and provide you with solid, current steps to get your book published professionally, while remaining financially viable. If you have been waiting to publish "that book" this is your opportunity to get it to the press!

Registration is now open! Early Registration is available until October 1st, and then the cost will increase. Space is limited to the first 35 registrants-- Don't delay, register today!

All sessions will take place at the Hilton Garden Inn- Las Vegas Strip South. Registration materials, reference manual, and lunch will be included! As a bonus, a panel of industry experts will be on hand to assist you and an optional Writer's Workshop will be conducted after the session for feedback on your current writing projects. If you are serious about becoming a published author, make plans to join us in Las Vegas!


See you in Fabulous Las Vegas Saturday, November 6th!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rekesha Pittman's Radio Interview July 19th!

There is a growing trend of praise dance in the church and community as a viable expression of joy for people of all ages, sizes, and abilities. After dancing, teaching and training praise dancers for many years, I was inspired to write a book of practical application and guidance, Company Keepers: Dance Ministry Daily.

Join me when I’m interviewed by Flora Brown this Monday, July 19, 2010 at 11AM PST on on the topic “Color Your Life Happy: Dance on a Daily Basis!” I will share how this amazing form of worship has added happiness to many lives and organizations and discuss the highlights of my book.

To participate in the show live, call in at 11AM PST on Monday, July 19, 2010 to 347-539-5700 or sign in at where you will be able to ask questions, comment, or just enjoy the show.

All shows are recorded, so if you are unable to listen live, you may listen later or download the show at the show page, under On Demand Episodes.

I look forward to having you join us. You’ll be glad you did.

In Him,

Rekesha Pittman
Author, Company Keepers: Dance Ministry Daily

Friday, June 25, 2010

Also Known As...

We are fooling ourselves if we think that people are not observing our lives beyond the platform. Many dancers don glorious garments, display perfectly coiffed hairstyles, and have rehearsed the answers in advance in response to praise received from those who witness the dances ("Well, bless the Lord!" "No, don't thank me, thank God!" --While inwardly relishing in the comments made to them about anointing and skilled technical execution and repeating them to all who will listen...). Away from the spotlight, who are we, really?

There will always be critics. The Word declares that we are blessed when persecuted for the sake of righteousness. What if the things being said about us are true? Are we also known as money-hungry? Mean-spirited? Difficult to work with? Unfaithful? Argumentative? Controlling? Manipulative? Divisive? Selfish? While none of us may want to confess to these areas of weakness, if we keep hearing people say the same things about our character over and over again, we need an emergency appointment with God so that he is able to give us a much needed transplant.

Our good works should be known by those we work with, as well as to our surrounding friends, families, and communities. We cannot be consumed with defending ourselves against those who persecute us without cause. Any character flaw that is not submitted to the Lord's correction will affect our ministries in the long run. As much as it is possible, we should seek to have a good name as a byproduct of living lives submitted to the Lord. A well-crafted advertising campaign is not what makes a great name. Let's aim to serve the Lord both in word and deed.

(New King James Bible Version)

Proverbs 22:1
A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, loving favor rather than silver and gold.

Ecclesiastes 7:1

[The Value of Practical Wisdom] A good name is better than precious ointment, and the day of death than the day of one’s birth

Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Titus 1:16
They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

GPS: God's Positioning System

Today, most modern cell phones and vehicles are equipped with GPS. The idea is that you will never be lost because you have step-by-step instructions on how to get to your destination. We can choose not to follow the prescribed instructions with the possibility of losing our way. GPS systems are not infallible; however, as they cannot anticipate changes in the road, detours, accidents, or other unexpected delays. God is not like that, He knows where we are going, how to get us there, and what is to come along the road.

Since God's Positioning System is best, why is it that so many in movement ministry are striving to compete, compare, and contend with one another? Many dancers are looking at websites of others and trying to "top" what they see. Others attend conferences and events and instead of being inspired, become envious and attempt to create the next "big thing" in dance ministry. Many more look at merchandising, clothing, books, seminars, and speaking engagements as a way to build a larger marketing base and make a quick buck. While the Lord gives us witty inventions, if we are only producing product to make the largest profit, but are not making a Godly impact on lives, who really benefits?

Beyond the spotlight, rivalries in dance ministry begin in the simplest form. One desires the dance ability of a fellow minister. Another feels skilled enough to choreograph pieces, but had not sought the power of the anointing in their lives. People follow leaders who they curse instead of bless, but hang on for the benefits and perks. Moments of disagreement become fractures in the Body when rumors are spread and speculation runs rampant via telephone, email, text, and social networking. Meetings to discuss the shortcomings of leadership develop into plans to overthrow the leader in rebellion. Division pits organizations against each other and breeds cultish behavior among dance ministry followers.

Inwardly, dancers begin to desire to be "the best," and "the most anointed," or "the expert," boasting as "the most requested," as several in the ministry clamor for positions of power. In the name of "Jesus," people invite themselves to events and demand to have their images placed on conference marquees. Trying to find common ground, others will lobby to convince others that Kingdom is about working together with them as they hold a special access code to our destinies.

When we sincerely serve the Lord with a pure heart, obey His Word, and give Him our very best, He will show us where we are to be positioned. Just as we learn to position ourselves through technical training to build strength, proper posture, and alignment, the Lord will position us successfully to prevent injury, correct us when needed, and point us in the right direction.

(New King James Version)

Job 34:24-25
He breaks in pieces mighty men without inquiry, and sets others in their place. Therefore He knows their works; He overthrows them in the night, and they are crushed.

Psalm 62:4
They only consult to cast him down from his high position; they delight in lies; they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly.

Psalm 75:7
But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another.

Daniel 4:25
They shall drive you from men, your dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field, and they shall make you eat grass like oxen. They shall wet you with the dew of heaven, and seven times shall pass over you, till you know that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He chooses.

James 4:1-3
Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Going Through the Motions

Even though I have experienced people "borrowing" God-breathed dances many times, I am still not over the fact that praise dancers feel as though it is acceptable to blatantly copy one another. God is THE Creator. We are made in His image and likeness, which means that we each have creative ability within us. When we do not allow the likeness of God to operate in us, we have a form of godliness, but deny the power thereof.

Simply doing what others have done does not make us effective. Jesus said that we would do greater works than He did. There are pre-qualifiers for proficiency in certain areas of ministry. For example, Simon the Sorcerer became a believer, but thought that he could offer money to operate in the power of the Holy Spirit as witnessed through the apostles. Purchasing prophetic flags, props, an ark of the covenant, streamers, billows, tambourines, and garments does not endow us with the power of the Holy Ghost.

Desiring to get the results of others through dances that we have seen and embrace as our own can also be dangerous, especially when doing it under false pretenses. The Sons of Sceva saw the power with which Paul operated and decided that if Paul could do it, so could they. "Going through the motions" without seeking the Lord can be detrimental to our lives and ministries. The Scripture notes that unusual miracles were worked by God at the hands of Paul. How many dancers see unusual manifestations of the Spirit and then decide to mimic what they saw in an attempt to reproduce the effect? Lord, have mercy! Let us not operate outside of the assignment that the Lord has given us.

Many would argue that the dance is not ours. Several will say that as long as God is glorifed, it should not matter if we copy dances from YouTube, Facebook, or those we see in person. The same people will argue that movement is a ministry. If dance is not merely an activity, but a viable way to minister the Word of God, then the same principles of ministry apply to us as well. We cannot make up special rules and exceptions to justify those who are not willing to consult with the Lord. Though we cannot judge the intents of the hearts of men, the truth is that good intentions can never replace God's intention.

(New King James Version)

Acts 8:18-23
And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.” But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money! You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God. Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you. For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

Acts 19:11-17
Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Unfollow the Leader

We have to be careful when we make decisions based on what looks popular. A current social networking site encourages us to "follow" and have "followers." What are the underlying implications of this in life and ministry?

In the ministry of movement, many of our woes are a result of people following what they see, instead of asking the Lord what to do. Garment controversy is largely related to the "follower" mindset ("Every one else is wearing it..."). Predictable movements are birthed out of a "watch and repeat" mentality (many similar movements seen among praise dancers for "heart," "love," "Jesus," "time," etc...). Countless people join organizations, ministries and churches based on where the crowd may be gathering. We cannot be led by outward appearances.

We must be especially careful when we join ourselves to certain leaders. The decision to connect or walk in covenant agreement with someone else can result in a blessing or utter destruction. Deciding to submit to a leader based on peer pressure ("I'm doing it, and so should you!"), perceived benefits ("Get your ministry license/ordination..." "Special doors will be unlocked for you..."), or popularity ("My leader is a published author..." "Our conferences are the largest...," "My mentor is on television...") can result in disaster if we are not following the Holy Spirit.

Sometimes, we decide to hook up with leadership without realizing that our choice is based on personal gain. Many dance ministers may feel as though aligning with a particular leader may give them more credibility, provide bigger platforms, and give access to a larger network of dancers to build associates. While this can actually be a byproduct of great relationships, entering into fellowship with people based on selfish motives reveals the true condition of our hearts.

Let us decide to follow God. Relationships that God joins together produce fruit and bring glory to His name. Praying and seeking the Lord for discernment will allow us to see who to join and who to avoid. It is indeed better to obey God rather than men.

(New King James Bible Version)

2 Chronicles 20:35-37
After this Jehoshaphat king of Judah allied himself with Ahaziah king of Israel, who acted very wickedly. And he allied himself with him to make ships to go to Tarshish, and they made the ships in Ezion Geber. But Eliezer the son of Dodavah of Mareshah prophesied against Jehoshaphat, saying, “Because you have allied yourself with Ahaziah, the LORD has destroyed your works.” Then the ships were wrecked, so that they were not able to go to Tarshish.

Acts 5:36-39
For some time ago Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody. A number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was slain, and all who obeyed him were scattered and came to nothing. After this man, Judas of Galilee rose up in the days of the census, and drew away many people after him. He also perished, and all who obeyed him were dispersed. And now I say to you, keep away from these men and let them alone; for if this plan or this work is of men, it will come to nothing; but if it is of God, you cannot overthrow it—lest you even be found to fight against God.

2 Peter 2:1-3

But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Who's Buying? Who's Flying?

Jesus paid the ultimate price for us to move freely in Him. In the ministry of movement, dancers who plan conferences, special events, retreats, concerts, etc., may need to fly someone in as a guest. On the other hand, going to conferences and events out of our local areas may mean that we need to make travel arrangements ourselves in order to get there. As I was preparing for an upcoming event, I realized the benefit of receiving the price paid on behalf of another.

Searching for airline tickets can be a challenge for many reasons. The following tips will help us make the process easier:

If you are purchasing a ticket for a guest, it is a good idea to consider the travel schedule. We may cause the traveler unnecessary stress by booking tickets with layovers that last several hours, do not provide enough time to transfer to a connecting flight, or involves multiple stops before reaching the final destination. If you've ever been in these situations, you may be able to identify with the need for extra prayer along the way.

Also, some travelers may need to arrive after a certain time or fly out early to honor previous commitments to work, ministry, or family. We should ask for these requests in advance and be able to collect this information in writing. When we purchase tickets early, not only will they most likely be cheaper, the best schedule will also be more practical to book.

If it is possible, we should not make our decisions simply based on what benefits our pockets the most. In the best of circumstances, direct flights are preferred. Unless the financial difference is major, blessing our guests with the least stressful journey will be appreciated and remembered.

Some airline carriers charge baggage fees, others do not. While many guests may not require us to pay for baggage fees, it's nice to not spend the price of a plane ticket getting the bags to and from the destination. When we are flying, we may decide to "travel light" based on baggage fees. I personally remember one trip where I has to pay over $100.00 in baggage fees alone because I was also vending at a conference! Unless the profit margin is phenomenal, this may not be good for business...

Praise God for rewards! Because someone else paid a price for a ticket, I have been able to reap the benefits. For example:

Free Flights: Many airlines reward frequent fliers with round-trip airfare after meeting so many miles or flight segments. In most cases, the person who earned the flight can give his or her reward to someone else! I have been able to fly for free or at a very minimal fee because someone decided to bless me with their miles or free trip ticket. I have saved LOTS of dollars not only for myself, but for ministry guests using this benefit. (Please Note: This is not the same as a "Buddy Pass" which often means that there is no guaranteed seating or schedule consideration. Let's not make things worse if we can avoid them.) Using the rewards system means a guaranteed seat and schedule.

Paid in Full
It is a blessing when someone is able to pay for a ticket to fly us to a ministry event! Even though the passenger benefits, the passenger does not necessarily have to be the one to pay for the journey. The "buyer" and the "flyer" do not have to be one and the same. The bonus is that the "buyer" does not get to claim the miles toward travel rewards, but the "flyer" does! How wonderful it is to experience the grace of God! Even though the flyer may not have had to provide the finances for the journey, it is still acceptable to earn credit for the flight.

Many times, the "price" paid for those invited to minister is a spiritual one. At the same time, we must not take advantage of the good will of others by then demanding first class seating, luxury vehicle transportation, and 5-Star accommodations. Some may have encountered less than ideal circumstances along the way that make this entitlement seem like a requirement. We must search our hearts and motives. There are people in the world who are suffering, sleep in huts, and walk by foot to every destination. We must be thankful for those who are able to provide for the laborers wages, but we must also be obedient to the assignment given to us, even if it means we must be responsible for the journey ourselves. Take flight!

(New King James Bible Version)

John 4:37
For in this the saying is true: ‘One sows and another reaps.’

1 Corinthians 9:11-12
If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things? If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more? Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of

2 Corinthians 8:18-21
And we have sent with him the brother whose praise is in the gospel throughout all the churches, and not only that, but who was also chosen by the churches to travel with us with this gift, which is administered by us to the glory of the Lord Himself and to show your ready mind, avoiding this: that anyone should blame us in this lavish gift which is administered by us— providing honorable things, not only in the sight of the Lord, but also in the sight of men.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

From the Floor, Up!

Too many leaders have it backwards. Instead of desiring to serve those whom the Lord sends us, many esteem the privilege of leadership to mean that we are to be served. True dance ministry leaders often work long hours planning activities, researching, reading, preparing garments, organizing props, listening to music, counseling and encouraging dancers, maintaining families, serving the congregation, and so on. This is where many of us start... but is this where we stay?

As the Lord has elevated some dance ministry leaders, the temptation to "pass the buck" and feel as though we should be honored for our labor may creep in. While delegation is a sign of good leadership, assigning tasks based on the notion that paying our dues means that we no longer have to work can lead to major problems and division within the ministry. Expecting to be honored financially or lavished with gifts can become problematic when we reward people based on what they can give us personally.

What type of blueprint did Jesus provide? He washed the feet of His disciples in the ultimate expression of what it is to lead by example. Washing the feet of others goes beyond the natural posture of humbling ourselves and must be an integral part of our character and personality as leaders. Making a regular practice of serving and spending time with those we lead will help us remain attached as a unified Body.

As we prayerfully consider those we lead, we must never fail to begin with humility. The view from the floor allows us to find something to look up to in those who follow us. It also reminds us to consider that the feet we train to move deserve to be cared for as well. We must be willing to take off our "titles" and be clothed with humility so that we may serve the people of God in an even greater capacity. If we are not willing to decrease, we do not allow the Lord to increase in our lives and ministries.

New King James Bible Version

2 Samuel 22:28
You will save the humble people; But Your eyes are on the haughty, that You may bring them down.

2 Chronicles 12:6
So the leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves; and they said, “The LORD is righteous.”

Proverbs 29:23
A man’s pride will bring him low, but the humble in spirit will retain honor.

John 13:8

Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!” Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”

Romans 12:16

Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Ministry or Mayhem?

Many who host dance conferences, lead movement ministries, or teach often talk about unity, being on one accord, and being many members of one Body. The stark reality of many groups and ministries is that this unity usually hinges on the requirement that you must join their group, cause or organization for this to occur. This is not "Kingdom" by any means.

I recently posted the following personal quote on Facebook: "Greatness is not intimidated by greatness, but rather submits in order to surpass. If those more experienced, skilled, or wise cause us to feel inferior, then we are operating in mediocrity and not excellence. Iron sharpens iron!" The general point of this is that jealously and envy cannot survive where humility is the order of the day. When we are led by the Spirit, we will have the wisdom to learn from those around us. These people do not necessarily have to be "dance ministry celebrities" or famous preachers. God can use anyone to impact our lives if our ears and eyes are open!

My friend Dr. Franca Fauntleroy chimed in and noted, "I sometimes wonder if we really operate in ministry or mayhem because Christians can be so cruel." I had to agree with this observation, and lament for many of the wounded movement ministers who have been maimed by overly-ambitious, money-hungry, fame-seeking, territory claiming, myopic wolves in sheep's clothing!

This injury is made manifest by excommunication, isolation, expulsion, blacklisting, ridicule, and malicious intent. The weapons of choice are verbal (spoken/written), social (ignoring others/intentional avoidance/animosity), technological (email/website articles/blogging/social networking), and spiritual (twisting the Word to gain an advantage/abusing the pulpit to preach our own agendas/hoping for destruction to befall the ministries of others).

Many of us have different areas of passion or concentration, but we really should have one common goal: Proclaim the Gospel and make disciples. Because many of our leaders have erroneously pushed our own agendas, we have drawn swords against one another. This is not ministry, this is mayhem!

The office, duties, or functions of a minister

The body of ministers of religion: clergy

A person or thing through which something is accomplished :agency, instrumentality

Willful and permanent deprivation of a bodily member resulting in the impairment of a person's fighting ability

Willful and permanent crippling, mutilation, or disfigurement of any part of the body

Needless or willful damage or violence

Now that we have defined the difference, let us make an assessment:

When any of us inflicts damage on a fellow co-laborer, it's not ministry:

It's mayhem!

If we secretly desire the downfall of another and facilitate this by innuendo and threats for followers to disassociate with the offender:

It's mayhem!

When we encourage people to follow us instead of God:

It's mayhem!

When we operate out of impure motives and deception:

It's mayhem!

Each of us needs to examine ourselves today and repent for any actions that were provoked by the flesh and our own personal feelings. Deception has crept in and influenced even the elect among our ranks. We can pray, prophesy, and preach with the best of them, but unless we live the Word, we are facilitating mayhem and not ministry.

New King James Bible Version

Proverbs 10:12
Hatred stirs up strife, but love covers all sins.

Acts 7:26-27
And the next day he appeared to two of them as they were fighting, and tried to reconcile them, saying, ‘Men, you are brethren; why do you wrong one another?’ But he who did his neighbor wrong pushed him away, saying, ‘Who made you a ruler and a judge over us?

Acts 8:23
For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.

Romans 3:13
“Their throat is an open tomb; With their tongues they have practiced deceit”; “The poison of asps is under their lips”

2 Timothy 2:14
[Approved and Disapproved Workers] Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Produce Section

Each of our ministries should be fruitful. Many dance ministries have experienced seasons where there seemed to be more being subtracted than is added. While some may consider this a "pruning" season, there are other times that disease and decay is the reason for the absence of fruit in the ministry. There is a difference between the two, and we must know how to discern it so the ministry is not destroyed.

Some of the things that will help your dance ministry bear fruit is determined by several factors:

Is It The Right Season?

Many churches want dance ministries just because it is popular to have one. These same facilities may have no room for dancers to go forth because of extremely limited spacing, immobile (or sacred) church furniture, low ceilings, insufficient sound systems, narrow aisles, and more. In these instances, it may be difficult for even the solo dance minister to move with ease. When we are planting, the ground must be able to accommodate the size of the tree that will produce the fruit. If not, the ground will be damaged or the fruit will be unable to grow. If we are not using wisdom and moving in the timing of the Lord, our harvest will be compromised.

Are We Cultivating an Atmosphere that is Ripe for Growth?
I cannot tell you how many dance ministries balk at the idea of frequent Bible study! My heart is heavy every time people reject the Word and choose "work" over "worship." I can gladly say that these same ministries often sing a different tune after the revelation of the Scriptures helps them to stay rooted in Christ. Each and every dancer should be able to pray, understand the Word as it relates to dance, and understand his or her function in the ministry of movement in addition to what the church or group is assigned to do in their area.

What Are We Planting and What Fruit Do We Expect?

A lack of understanding breeds destruction and infects the fruit of the ministry. If dancers come just to participate in an activity, the seed has no root. When the leaders do not recognize "weedy" behavior, it will attempt to choke the life out of the ministry. When there are arguments, lack of humility, envy, superiority, faithlessness, immaturity, and sabotage, there is evidence of disease. This can be treated with prayer, care, and Scripture-based confrontation and resolution. If we reason together, we can agree so that we can continue to minister as one.

Is the Fruit Lingering Too Long?

We must be able to move when God moves. Fruit that sits around for too long eventually stinks. People should be fed with the Word that we bring forth from our ministries. If we hoard the produce within the four walls of our churches, we can become rotten. Many churches even forbid their dance ministries from extending beyond the local church. At other times, we are happy for the current harvest and fail to realize that old fruit will become unhealthy for our bodies after a period of time. Who wants to feed off of spoiled fruit? Many of us have been doing dances out of season, holding on to relationships out of season, and failing to fortify ourselves to endure for several seasons. We must continually stay in a place where the fruit is growing, being shared, and continually being reproduced.

Where Do I Find Fruit?

The Bible is our instructional manual! When people want fresh fruit, they often visit the produce section of a local store to make the selection. If we are looking to the wrong sources (approval of others, celebrity status, wrong motives) we will not find what we are looking for. Each of us needs a personal relationship with God. If we dance in a group, leaders should be anointed for the work and reproduce Christ in others (not make clones of themselves). Clean hands will allow us to handle fruit in a healthy fashion. If anyone is is a place where growth does not seem to be happening, be encouraged. The Holy Spirit will leads us to a productive land. We should be known to bear good fruit that remains.

New King James Bible Version

Psalm 1:3
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.

Matthew 7:20
Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

John 15:5

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

John 15:16
You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.

Colossians 1:10

That you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God

Friday, April 23, 2010

A Running Start

Gaining ground ahead of time will help us to remain stable in the long run. There are some dancers who wrestle with getting everything "perfect" before they make a move forward. Humans are imperfect, but the Lord is perfect. When we allow Him to lead and guide us, His will can manifest in our lives. Stepping out on faith means that we may only have one Word from the Lord, but that one word should be enough to get us moving.

Preparation in advance will sustain us over the journey. Waiting to read the Word of God until we are in a bind or failing to give ourselves sufficient time to dedicate to prayer and worship will become evident as we minister. On the natural side of things, training, reading, research, and linking with experienced people will allow the dance ministry to operate realistically and wisely. We do not have to wait to begin a work until we have all of the elements in place, but counting the cost beforehand will let us know what it takes to complete the work.

As a personal testimony, the Lord told me to start a dance company in Las Vegas several years ago. He instructed me to prepare in advance before making a call for dancers. I got on my face and prayed for 4 years, asking Him to send the dancers for the company. I wrote down the vision and wrote class descriptions. Then I waited for His signal to go forth. You could say that I was in position at the starting line. In the meanwhile, He opened doors for me to minister solo throughout Las Vegas, meeting many dancers and connecting with the community and pastors. He then let me know that it was time to start the company. I stepped out on faith and secured a dance studio, spread the word, and the dancers showed up! One year later, Reign Dance Company is over 25 strong and growing. GOD IS FAITHFUL!

Preparation starts long before we show up for the race. We can get a running start by: Reading the Word of God (not for dance specifically, but to be able to know His voice. Knowing the Word will also greatly aid in Divine choreography), writing the vision God gives, praying faithfully, taking dance classes, researching other dance ministries, reading dance ministry books, attending conferences and workshops, obtaining proper garment resources, and staying open to the Lord's instruction- just to name a few. Though we may not have all of these elements in place at the same time, when we prepare to obey in advance, we will gain ground that will allow us to endure even in difficult seasons. How we run this race matters. Let's make sure to have what we need to obtain the prize.

New King James Bible Version

2 Samuel 22:30
For by thee I have run through a troop: by my God have I leaped over a wall.

Psalm 119:32
I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.

Habakkuk 2:2
And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

1 Corinthians 9:24
Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Philippians 2:16
Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

My Sole Has Been Anchored

The ministry of movement seems to be under constant assault. Church politics, ministry infighting, lack of understanding, impure motives, vainglory, competition, pride, and more seem to plague dancers non-stop. All we have to do is remember David. When he danced, he was criticized by his own wife (Michal). When the women sang and danced about David's victories, King Saul became jealous of him from that day on to the point that he sought David's life. Criticism and envy come with the territory. We must know how to respond so that we are not shaken when the attacks surface.

If our feet are not stable, we are likely to fall. The impact can result in little injury or even cause breakage. Remaining firmly planted in the Word of God will allow us to "keep our feet" when the shifting comes. Dance ministries who are not applying the Word of God on a regular basis will find themselves on a slippery slope. Ministers of movement who seek the positions of others or look for approval from people will discover that the same people who kiss them on the cheek may later betray them.

None of these things will move us when we are aware of our God-given assignments and keep His promises to us in front of our faces. We should not be surprised at the opposition we face, and neither should we take these things personally. When we decide to follow Christ, we should also be aware that suffering comes with this walk.

The key to standing firm is prayer, study, and clear direction from the Lord. Even when we are facing what seem to be impossible circumstances, we must proclaim that we will continue to stand even after having done all. When we have securely placed ourselves on the True Foundation, we have found an anchor for our soles that cannot be severed.

New King James Bible Version

Jeremiah 17:8
For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters, Which spreads out its roots by the river, And will not fear when heat comes; But its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit.

Luke 6:48
He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock.

Acts 20:24
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Working Relationship

Busy schedules... A myriad of activities... Managing calendars/dancers/events.... Organizing... Projecting... Planning... A few minutes here, a few hours there, then days... weeks... months! Before we know it, we may find out that we only have a "working relationship" with God. Some of us are so busy doing what we call "kingdom business" that we end up re-enacting the Mary and Martha scenario in Luke Chapter 10. Many of us have become so immersed in doing the work that we neglect to worship the One Who makes it all possible.

When Jesus visited Mary and Martha, it is noted that Martha was distracted through much serving. How many times do we neglect to spend time in prayer because we have lengthy dance rehearsals? Are we so exhausted after dancing all weekend that we cannot seem to find the time to read the Bible frequently? Do we only worship when we are before people and neglect to offer the Lord the fruit of our lips privately? If so, we merely have a "professional relationship" with the Lord that does not extend beyond the workplace (the church building or event location).

It is wonderful to do things for the sake of the Kingdom. When we find ourselves making our assignments a priority over true fellowship with our Father, we will begin to be unable to hear from Him clearly, feel exhausted, become negligent, and fall into disobedience. It is time to repent from being ministry "workaholics" and return to our proper posture before God: WORSHIP!

New King James Version

Luke 10:38-41
Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

Galatians 2:16
Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified.

Titus 3:5
Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Let God Do It!

Many times, we are so anxious to serve that we may fall into the trap of inviting ourselves to take a place not designated for us. The timing of the Lord is perfect! When we strive for name placement, platforms, and invitations, we are, in effect, trying to make room for our gift instead of letting our gift make room for us. When the Lord opens a door, no man can shut it!

This is not to say that we do not put forth effort to be excellent. There is nothing wrong with being prepared when a door opens. Websites, business cards, social networking pages, and up-to-date contact information are helpful when people want to contact us for an invite. Studying the Word and taking classes will pay off at the appointed time. While the networking world may urge us to hook up with as many "friends" as possible and promote our ministries like a marketing firm, many of these practices do not line up with Scripture. We must allow ourselves to be led of the Lord.

I can only testify to what the Lord has done for me. It is somewhat disturbing to receive dance ministry resumes, unsolicited requests to teach or minister, or see message boards and social networking sites flooded with "BOOK ME" "INVITE ME" "CONTACT ME" messages from ministries. Let me encourage someone by saying that I am amazed at the doors God has opened for me and His way of promotion. I have chosen not to pay for a platform to "minister" at conventions or special events. The Lord has not instructed me to search for every potential connection in cyberspace to let them know that I am available for ministry. I do not maintain connections with people on the basis of what they can do for me. I am constantly examining my own motives to make sure that I am not looking at new dance ministry contacts as potential conference invitations. So far, the Lord is doing a fantastic job!

This is not in reference to missions work or evangelism. I am addressing the platform mentality that so many seek: Comfortable accommodations, luxury travel, pictures on brochures and advertisements, name recognition, large honorariums, reserved seating, keynote distinctions... shall I continue? When the Lord allows us to be requested and celebrated by His doing, we are more likely to honor Him. If we feel as though our labor entitles us to reap these benefits, we honor and glorify ourselves.

I am writing this to encourage those who labor for the Kingdom that we do not have to force our way into any door. When we are faithful to His work, He will amaze us with His perfect plan. I have said it before, but it bears repeating: "The door that you open, you will have to keep open through your own efforts. The doors that the Lord opens requires no added assistance on our part." Let God do it!

New King James Version

Psalm 118:23
"This is the LORD's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes."

Matthew 20:16
"So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen."

Romans 10:2-3
"For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God."

Philippians 2:3
"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself."