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