If anyone knows the author of this powerful quotation, please let me know so that proper credit can be given. Words and movement are used to communicate thoughts, feelings and actions to others. Even before we learned to talk, we moved, threw objects or used facial expressions or gestures that others responded to. The God-inspired blending of words and movement has the ability to transcend the intellect and go directly to the heart of a captive audience. Movement ministers have the unique ability to speak volumes without a word, telling a story that will be remembered long after the music stops. Dance ministry is a visual representation of God’s Word and the message being communicated should have an exact beginning, middle, and ending.
Movement does not have to be set to every word of a song; it is possible to interpret one sentence of a song in 5 inspired movements. The use of sign language and gestures can also be added to express the message. Understanding stage directions such as upstage, downstage, stage right, stage left, and center stage help in making the most of available space.
As movement ministers proclaiming the Good News, remembering that our messages should be so clear that they can be received even if the music is turned off will always create a clear visual expression that will leave a lasting impression on the audience.
The proliferation of movement ministries over the years has been phenomenal. All styles and genres of dance are now being represented everywhere. The rapid growth of these ministries always brings questions about finding and wearing appropriate garments. Everyone I know has at least one story about dance or mime ministries dressed in ways that, well...let’s just say that they didn’t go to garment class at the conference! It takes time and planning to shop for ministry garments that exemplify God’s glory and beauty (Ex. 28:2), and are affordable. Contrary to the belief that says “it doesn’t matter what you wear as long as you are giving God the glory”, the garments we wear are part of the overall presentation of the dance.
Fortunately, there is a new book to help you learn about the ministry aspect of garments along with resources to guide you in obtaining garments for your dance ministry and budget. I highly recommend Garments of Glory by Jocelyn Richard, director of Visual Praise Ministries and Dance Studios in Augusta, GA. Jocelyn has done all of the “footwork” for you by creating a comprehensive downloadable e-book that is full of Biblical teaching and resource information. This full color ministry guide is available at www.thepraisedancelife.com, and is very reasonably priced. It will be an excellent addition to your dance library. So, pick up your copy of Jocelyn Richard's Garments of Glory today, and start looking glorious for Christ!
The word excellence means many things to different people. The term is used all the time when it comes to the ministry of the arts. For some, it is a subjective response to one’s personal taste, while for others, it is nothing short of perfection. Webster’s dictionary defines it as: the fact or condition of excelling; superiority; surpassing goodness, or merit.
I would define excellence as being the best I can be at this moment, yet always looking for ways to improve. Excellence is not static, it is a continual journey. What is excellent for me today, should not be excellent next week, next month or next year; rather, whatever I am doing now, should give me latitude for next week, next month or next year. I should be able to look at myself a year from now, and see progressive change. As a wise person once said, either we are moving forward, or backwards; standing still is not an option. This does not mean that I cannot be kind to myself in the process, or that I am to judge others harshly, or reject them because they do not meet my standards, because in God’s economy, excellence includes kindness and humility (Gal. 5:22-23). Excellence requires focus, self-examination, and of course, hard work. It means encouraging myself when no one else seems to notice me, or when I don’t see immediate results of my efforts. Most of all, it means making the most of what I have, to please God and to share with others for His purposes.