Friday, January 3, 2014

10 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR DANCE/MIME MINISTRY




1-Be Positive You 
Are Chosen to Dance


Just like we can tell a great preacher and teacher from one that is struggling, people can usually also spot the dancer that is having a hard time getting their message across. You either have been called or you called yourself. This is why is becomes a struggle. We see someone who is anointed and is used mightily in this gift and we immediately go buy an outfit, memorize a dance seen on YouTube and perform it the next week. Notice, I said, perform. Performing is totally different to ministering. I'm not saying if you like this, you shouldn't join just because God hasn't shown up at your door and said, "Dance." There has to be a fire in your bones that makes you want to use movement to bring glory to the Lord.



2- Be Original

I can't stop repeating how disturbing it is to watch praise and worship dance groups and mime groups on the internet or church. Too many groups have this same look and feel that I will just call, "EMPTY." Creativity comes from the assurance that this is your area to flow in. With the calling, comes the gifting and the equipping. Don't rely on imitating others, pray for ideas with movement and dance.


Video after video, I see the same dry, lifeless dances. Then you see the little ones doing the same thing and once more, the church goes wild in applause. For what? I wonder. Has Heaven been brought to a standstill at the end of this performance? Be original. Be you. What can you or your team do that can shake this world with God's Word through your ministry? Copying someone's complete dance is not originality but imitation. God deserves our best gift.



3-Talk to the Creator 


Originality and creativity come with a price. It's called, Time with the Creator. Have you prayed? He has made all things. And, He's made them all good. Don't you think that if you have a dance ministry, you need to seek the Lord's guidance and direction? Isn't the Lord the one to place ideas and creativity into your mind? I can tell you that since childhood, I would hear a song and see the entire song choreographed in my mind in seconds. Other songs, I knew not to even try because it wasn't the message the Lord wanted me to share. He would give me the song and the movements immediately. 

This came from spending time in prayer, trusting Him and asking Him to show me what to do. Will you take time to pray?



4-Know Your Purpose 


Is your purpose to perform and be seen or is to do God's will? If it is to get recognized and admiration in church, then you're not walking with a mind and heart set on Kingdom concerns. If you desire to do God's will, then you must seek to have a clear purpose of why you do what you do? 
Isaiah 61:1-4 became my mission statement when the Lord allowed me to move in the Ministry of Dance. I understood that my purpose was not only to make Him shine and point the way to Him, but I had been called to use every motion and movement to push back darkness and declare Life in Jesus Name. Do you know your purpose?




5-Choose The Right Song

You visit a church and they dance to, "Awesome God." You go back to your church and begin to teach dance steps to Awesome God. Deep in your heart you know that it's not working but hey, it's the song every dance team from your church to the planet Mars is doing. 

So, stubbornness creeps in, you shut out the Spirit's voice telling you, "No, not that one." And you get everyone to believe the Lord told you to perform this song. After all, God has moved in every other church you saw it done, right? Your time to "minister" comes and at the end of it all, the church rejoices and applauds but deep inside, one of two things is happening. You are either really proud it all went well and the Lord anointed your efforts and lives were touched. Or, the emptiness or knowing you were out there on your own fills you and you want to cry and need to repent. 

The right song is like praying for the right passage in scripture to preach and teach on. You have to pray and you also have to do your homework. Listen to new songs during your prayer time. I guarantee you that something amazing will happen if you against the normal and the routine and sit before the Lord in worship and praise. The curtains will open and God will make all things clear if you seek Him. Will you ask the Lord to guide you in selecting new songs for this year?



6-Put on the 
Garments of Praise 

Putting on garments of praise means we know that what we are about to do is give our all to the Lord, Clothing in the professional world of dance, like ballet and lyrical, is very minimal. Erotic dance barely has a costume and other forms of dance limit the amount of clothing because the look either needs to be sensual or to allow movement. 

Yet, as Christians, doing what we do for God's glory, we cannot imitate the world. With this I mean that everything we see other churches or non-Christian groups doing is for us. Yes, it is great to have the modern, urban look if you are doing a street service. Of course if your dance is for the holidays, you also want something amazing to wear.

With all respect, I too want to look nice but I cannot forget who I am representing when I get up to minister through each movement. If people are too engaged in looking at me or what is sticking out of me, my purpose and my calling will be unknown to those watching me.

I am not trying to sound old fashioned, just sensible. I personally will cover my body and wear loose clothing and layers when I am ministering in dance. If I am wearing lyrical clothing that is tight around the body, I will buy the correct undergarments to wear under my clothing. The right padded or fitness bra will go a long way. Wearing leggings, tights, dance pants and full underwear help your costume look even more amazing. 
Can you take time out to look at your garments of praise? What needs to stay the same? What needs to be changed? What ideas do you have to stand out this year?


7-Prepare For War

After more than fourteen years in dance ministry, my time to sit and wait is before me. I was blessed to start dance ministries as well as help churches begin and develop them. 

Many times I was asked to find others who desired to minister through dance and teach them.  Soon afterwards, the leaders would take it upon themselves to remove me and take over the dance ministry. I dealt with the spirit of jealousy and lies.

I learned that when you are serving the Lord, the enemy will use even believers to discourage and hurt you. Jealousy and envy is not part of God's Spirit. Jealousy gives birth to division, hatred and selfishness. Jealousy keeps God's glory and presence out. 

Once I was told, "The group has decided it has a different vision and you're in the way." I was also told to find a new church. Being me, with all that, I still gave my all to any pastor that was allowing dance ministry to begin. The las t place I was told I was too old and too Biblical. This person shared that because they were the youth minister, they should lead the dance team. With no questions, I was commanded to step down from the group I had poured myself into for months. I was also told that maybe this was not the church for me.  You see, if we are called of God we will go through hardships even in church. 

Just like at work jealousy rises up to try to destroy us. It is everywhere, but the Lord can still use us in the midst of churches walking out of God's will.
Have you been hurt by others in this area. Do you want healing to take place. Then take time today to forgive and surrender it into the Lord's hands. You will never fully minister in power if you are still hurting from what was done to you. Are you ready to move on?


8-Remain Humble




No matter the applause, remain humble. God moved when you ministered? Give Him, and Him alone the glory. You are falsely accused, told to step down or leave a church after spending years investing in the ministry, surrender it all to God and remain humble. The Lord gave me verses to help me get through difficult times birthed through spineless and Godless church leaders and members who to me are the blind leading the blind. Maybe they can be here for you:




Psalm 46:10- "Be still and know that I am God"
James 4:10- Humble yourself befor the Lord and he will lift you up in honor
Psalm 27:14- Wait for the Lord: Be strong and let your heart take courage. yes, wait for the Lord.

To present, I have only helped when asked for an opinion, advice or idea in regards to dance ministry. If given the opportunity, I will pray and do what is in my heart, give the Lord my all through movement. Although I miss it greatly, I have learned to wait on the Lord who allows all things for a reason. You see, it has never been and never will be about me. It has always been and will always be about Him.
What scriptures keep you remembering that it's all about Him? Don't have any. Search the Scriptures this week and identify verses that represent your heart before the Lord.


9-Be Covered with Prayer

Throughout my years in various areas of ministry, not just dance, I learned that standing alone is not God's way. The Lord showed me that the older people in the church were not only awesome with loving on you and sharing their years of experience in the Lord with you, they are the most powerful prayer warriors on this earth. 

If you are in any type of ministry, prayer is like food. You can't put it aside. You will be attacked with people saying lies, with jealous people planting division, church members always saying what you do if from the devil, and so on. You have to be plugged in to the Source of Life. The elderly people in church are usually ignored and not given the honor I believe they should have. To me, they are so important. I always go to them and ask them to pray with me, for me, and teach me. Every time I would minister in dance or in the Word, these prayer warriors were lifting me up before the Lord. I never felt alone. Find people you can pray with. The battle is always before you. God's got an army ready to fight, on their knees, with shouts of praise and who are fearless.
Are you ready to connect with some prayer warriors?


10-Never Stop Learning

Always keep updating your skills by attending workshops, not just Christian dance workshops, but any area of dance you feel called to, go find out what the world of dance is doing. 

Have meeting times with your group where prayer and study of scripture is part of choreography and learning dance steps. As a Godly Dance Team, your first responsibility is to be filled with the Lord's presence and His Word. Empty vessels cannot produce anointing. You cannot give what you don't have. 

Challenge the dance team to know why they do what they do. Do they even know any other scripture besides King David danced? There is so much to learn about when it comes to praise and worship in movement, spiritual warfare in dance and street ministry. I will pray about writing about this at a later time. Make a plan and write it down. How will your dance ministry and team stand out when it comes to knowing and understanding scripture and their call? How will you guide them as a leader?



Here you go. Ten ways to improve your dance and mime ministry. I hope this has blessed you in some way.
Questions and comments can be sent to me at aduran1118@gmail.com or find me on facebook and write to me. I will most definitely answer any and all questions and comments as the Lord gives me. I pray this year be an amazing year of breakthrough and power for your dance ministry. God bless you!


I'd love to hear from you. Your thoughts, comments, areas you disagree or questions are always welcomed. God bless you all.

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