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


Nichole said...

Hello Sister in the Lord,
My name is Nichole Allen from Pa area. By the grace of God, He's given me an opportunity to be used by Him to start up a dance ministry, named: Revolution Dance Ministry.

I was led to your blog and was inspired and strengthened in my faith by reading this particular topic about "technical difficulties" - how true! Me being a former secular "performer" can SO relate to this post and am learning daily to turn my dance into ministry. May I copy w/your name and blog to my dance site for my students to read this post??? Let me know at your convenience. God Bless you!

DancingWorshiper said...

I'm afraid I don't really share this viewpoint.

If I wanted to be a music minister, it would be necessary for me to be able to play an instrument and/or sing, to a standard that was sufficiently high for public ministry. If I don't meet this requirement, then my calling must lie elsewhere. The technical ability is seen as absolutely essential for the ministry. Yet we seem happy to give people the label of "dance ministers" when they have no technical ability and have probably never done any training. Whilst their hearts may be perfectly right with God, their dancing does not minister to a congregation and should be done in private, not public.

There's a balance to be struck. Technique isn't everything, but it is necessary.

I've seen a lot of dance in my time, and I've never seen something that was highly technical but lacked spirituality. Rather, I've seen dozens of examples where people claim that a non-existent spirituality or anointing is present in dance that, quite frankly, is an embarassment to watch. This is the real problem, not an idolisation of technique.

Rekesha said...

Hello DancingWorshiper!

Please take a second look at the post... I am emphasizing the difference between dance and dance ministry- the prominence of the Creator over creativity and human ability. I do not recall writing that skill and ability were unecessary.

Here is another take on technical ability being absolutely essential: Are there musicians who can play well that have not had formal training? Yes; however, the inability to read music may be a hinderance, but not a banishment from public performance. Are there singers in church that have not had formal singing lessons but a natural talent from God? Yes. Are there people who seem to be able to pick up dance movement like second nature without training? Of course.

As a dance minister, I did not start out with training, but am glad that I answer to God and not man. I have always been able to dance naturally. Formal training removed the limitations for me and gave me a greater vocabulary to use and mutliply in others.

We are not all called to the same audience, but praise God that He does not disqualify us based on what man thinks. To all of the dancers He has called, who am I to call what they do foolishness and bring a curse upon myself? (See David and Michal's criticism of His "foolish" display of dance).