Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Has Everything to Do with It

This is my latest article written for "The Answer Newspaper." ENJOY!

Love Has Everything to Do with It

by Pastor Rekesha Pittman

February is one of the months that entrepreneurs plan on making profits from the ways that we choose to express ourselves to those we are most intimate with. Do we expect people who are not in a committed relationship with us to load us with flowers, candy, cards, meals and other personal expressions with no further investment or exchange? Yet, this is what we encourage people to do every time that we come together and call it praise and worship!

Have we missed what gets people to the place of connection with our Lord and endlessly berate those who wonder why we profess our love so profusely on every microphone, stage, and platform available to us? If we commit to live like a ministry more than we promote it… When we choose to love people, even at the point when they feel most undesirable and abandoned… When we love each other without fail, we manifest the love of God more than a melody, praise dance, or musical masterpiece can! Our true commitment makes the worship that we bring even more extravagant.

How many of us have deterred unbelievers, new converts, or disenfranchised sons and daughters from a closer encounter with God because of our lack of love shown toward them? How can we say that we love God and hate our brother (1 John 4:20)? It is easy for those passionate about the worship arts to become enamored with our own images, projects, appearances, social media interactions and ministry networking, that we forget the basic meaning of ministry: to serve!

I don’t know about you, but I have been heartbroken, or at the very least disappointed, when prominent ministry musicians, singers, preachers, and teachers fall from grace. We realize that there is no perfect person walking this earth, but we inwardly cheer for these popular personalities from the sidelines, hoping that someone is really walking out this thing in which we faithfully invest our money, rehearsals, and emotional milestones by adopting their music, messages, and movements into our hearts. Maybe I am the only one who ever wondered: How can they do “that” and still be anointed? This is a perfect example of the love of God and His grace.

He gives us lavish gifts and deposits talents into us that He does not take away; however, I am a firm believer that our failure to walk in integrity may grant us the ability to still sing, play, write and dance, but will restrict our overall ability to win more souls or influence others for Christ. Did He call us to preach, sing, prophesy, or worship through movement only for us to mismanage that which He so freely gave us? Let’s love God enough to keep His commandments, the greatest of which is: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” – Matthew 22:37-39 (KJV)

Pastor Rekesha Pittman serves as the Artistic Director for Reign Dance Company and is a highly-requested conference speaker. As a Worship Arts Consultant, she has provided direction to churches and ministries that have resulted in growth and continued development of artistic staff and volunteers.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Arts in the News

I have been blessed to write for "The Answer Newspaper" in Las Vegas for the past 3 months. It is a monthly newspaper that has over 65,000 readers! Here is my latest article that I want to share with you... EMBRACE THE NEW!

I DO A NEW THING by Pastor Rekesha Pittman

Success can easily be the worst thing that can happen to an artist. Thunderous applause, excited hugs and gushing testimonies can cause us to want to replicate what we just accomplished. To an extent, utilizing the wisdom gained through our creative process is a good idea, but is it a "God" idea?

Are we living to please people, or do we desire to let God have center stage? I am often under pressure to outperform myself with a bigger-better dance routine, larger dance conference, or increased book sales. People say things to me like, "I do not know how you are going to top this," and "I cannot wait to see what you are going to do next!" If I let this type of commentary give me direction, I will be inspired by my own ego instead of by Divine assignment. When I keep my focus on doing what the Lord says, He has this wondrous way of doing His very best through me!

Who really wants to be a one-hit wonder? If we are honest, when we buy music that we enjoy from an artist, we immediately begin looking for the next big hit from them because we want more of a good thing. If you are anything like me, you've purchased a CD because you really liked the single and then experienced major disappointment when there were no other hit tracks on the album. Oh the joy that floods our souls when we do find that masterpiece that we can groove to from beginning to end!

We must remember that there are times and seasons for everything. There are some dance pieces that I have been blessed to choreograph that would not have worked five years ago, even though the song was released at that time. Others I have started, but could not complete because it just didn't "click." I have already outlined entire books to be released in the future when the timing is right. Even though God gave me a preview, I still need to develop more expertise in a few areas before publishing those best-sellers.

You may be envisioning something now that is for the future. Having a true relationship with God will help us to discern what is current, what was for yesterday, and what we need to do to now prepare for where He is taking us. He is doing a new thing, but do we even know how to recognize it? (Isaiah 43:19) For some of us, we need to leave the familiar and connect with people who manage things differently. It may be time to take a trip and see how others execute events meticulously and take good notes. Researching educational opportunities and reading materials that will propel us into excellence will give us a keener sense of vision and fine-tune our hearing. Doing all of this without first surrendering to God will only result in brilliant failures. We must be willing to be developed both naturally and spiritually.

God's plan is to prosper us. If you host an annual conference, promote concerts, or produce events, do not allow yourself to be driven by the desire to please people. I have not once regretted listening to God when it comes to doing His work. After all, He is my Producer, and I am His artist.

Pastor Rekesha Pittman serves as the Artistic Director for Reign Dance Company and is a highly-requested conference speaker. As a Worship Arts Consultant, she has provided direction to churches and ministries that have resulted in growth and continued development of artistic staff and volunteers.