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