All of my art experiences weren't bad ones, but I always looked forward to creating something that no one had ever seen before. Once I started working with children I realized that art was the one time that they didn't fight, enjoyed what they were doing, and stayed on task. They would constantly ask: '"Is this art day?" Even the ones who didn't want to participate at first changed their minds and joined in for a few minutes. I have directed art projects for service learning projects, where kids created artworks for patients at the Children's Hospital, put up a mural at the Police station, and made a Freedom banner that was carried in the Independence Day Parade.
This is the gift that God has given me, and I am believing that someone will see what I do, catch the vision and that He will prosper me with it, while inspiring kids to create art that will help others. It's not about becoming a great artist, it's about creating beauty in a sometimes not-so-beautiful world. I encourage kids in my art classes to look at the concept, and then create something of their own that is different from everyone else's.I sending this out to the universe and praying for the four winds to carry the voice...of UrbanArtsLive!(TM)
Please go to: urbanartzlive.blogspot.com
Billow cloths are another beautiful enhancement to worship dance, and can be made in various fabrics, colors, and sizes. As with flags and streamers, they must flow freely and not shaken quickly (which gives the effect of shaking out a rug)! There is no limit to how the billow cloths can be used, they can be wrapped around the head or the body, or can represent different objects depending on the dance that is being ministered. Whatever you do, never let it look like you are bullfighting with the cloth; keep it moving and mostly above your waist and head, so that the congregation can receive the full message of your ministry.
Enjoy these videos of worship dance with streamers and billow cloths. Both are excellent examples of their use:
Flags, banners and streamers can add a very beautiful dimension and visual effect to worship when used correctly. If not, they create little more than a flag show. When the dance ministry was restored to the church, worship instruments were used by a few ministries who understood their complete purpose and use. As the dance ministry continues to increase in popularity, there are many who are using them with good intentions, but often appear to be "going through the motions" because it's the thing to do. Many of the comments on YouTube and similar websites confirm that what people are observing either does not line up with the Word, or does not make sense to them, so that the flags and banners are just another spectacle in God's House.
Let's do some homework, and learn where the use of flags, banners, and streamers originated so we can have a knowledge base for our framework. Historically, banners were used as a point of consolidation for armies to rally, and where the flag was, the king was. Our King is Christ! In the Old Testament, the word
Nissi from Nec = banner, flag, standard is interchangeable with the word miracle. Banners that glorify God testify to His miracles and chase away darkness (Ps 20:5; Ps. 68:1; Ps. 60:4; Zech. 9:16; Deut. 26:8). God is the miracle worker,and His banner over us is love! (Song of Sol. 2:4)*
The colors of the worship instruments used are important. One mistake that is often made is to automatically match the color of the flags or streamers to the garments. Don't get stuck in a box--Different colors carry different spiritual meanings, and God may direct you to change flags in the middle of a dance, or to have different dancers use different colors at the same time, so be led by the Holy Spirit! Be sure to use the appropriate sized worship instruments. An adult should always use an adult-sized flag or streamer, and a child should use one that they can carry comfortably. Keep the flag or streamer high in the air, not too close to your body, or directly in front of your face. Relax, breathe, lift your arms from your back, and allow the flags to flow freely with the air, otherwise it will look as if you are fighting with the flags, and that they are winning! I have seen this before, and it doesn't look nice. If you drop your flag, or your streamer gets detached from the rod, keep dancing! One of two things will happen: Someone else in the group will pick it up for you on beat if you can't, or if you can gracefully sweep the streamer up from the floor at some point, you can do it and keep dancing with just the streamer. I have been in both situations and God still got the glory. A flag can become tangled around its rod if you don't hold the cloth properly between your thumb and index finger. Ask your leader how to do this, and practice!
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our study...and in the meanwhile, enjoy some excellent examples of worship with flags and streamers.
* From God's Processions: His Victorious Army from Warriors of Praise, teachings by Jan Hamel, Julie Eymann, Charlotte Baker and Alison Garies