The Ministry of Ministry

If we are to assume our position in the kingdom as sacred dancers, we must embrace the reality that we are called to bring healing, salvation, prophetic revelation and joy to the world through the sacred use of our bodies.~Author Unknown
     I was recently in a popular budget dancewear store, and overheard the following conversation between a young lady and an older woman who were rummaging through the piles of dance clothes:

YL: "...But I don't want to give her my skirt!"
OW: "You can't fit it anymore, and I already cut it so what are you going to do with it?"
YL: (no response, rolls her eyes, arms folded)
OW: "Well, if you aren't going to help me look, you need to go get back into the car. This is for you"
YL: "I don't want to!"

    You can probably see where this was going. Not wanting to get in the middle of their conflict, I waited to see if the Lord would lead me to say anything or to simply be quiet and keep looking for what I wanted. After a long period of silence and an increasingly growing pile of dance clothes, I asked the older woman if I could switch places with her and continue to look for my items. Then the Lord led me to speak to the young lady, and ask her where she danced, etc. and the older woman said that she was the choreographer at her church. I felt so sad for her, because she was so angry and wouldn't even look me in the eye or talk to me when I was speaking to her. The young lady was still standing there with her arms folded, and rolling her eyes at the older woman when I left.

A servant of the Lord must not quarrel but must be kind to everyone, be able to teach, and be patient with difficult people. Gently instruct those who oppose the truth. Perhaps God will change those people’s hearts, and they will learn the truth. ~ 2 Tim. 2:24-25 (NLT)

    Without knowing the back story of what was going on, it's not fair for me to make a judgement about the situation, but I came away from there with the understanding  that there is so much more to the dance ministry than just the dance. Everything that we do is connected to it, even those things that we feel are a waste of our time. From sorting through clothing, finding music, and to the ways in which we respond to other people around us, is all part of ministry. The truth is, we could find anyone from the street, teach them a dance, dress them up to present a piece somewhere and they would probably do a wonderful job, but unless God was in it, it wouldn't matter. We often spend so much time on externals, and our hearts are not right. We're so busy looking for just the right garments, the right song, and the right steps to move the crowd that we have forgotten about The One in whom we live, move, and have our existence. Some of us are rude, bitter, competitive, abusive, and jealous of anyone we think wants our position. Some of us operate in fear of man, and will think nothing of sacrificing those around us to keep or gain their approval. Many others are so determined to get recognition in the dance ministry circuit that we form all kinds of pseudo-alliances and run behind whomever is the most popular, saying "Amen" to their every social network post, just to say that we are friends with them, when they don't even know our names...really?

No one from the east or the west
or from the desert can exalt themselves.
 It is God who judges:
He brings one down, he exalts another. ~ Psalms 75:6-7 (NIV)

     Worshipers, no matter how young or how old we are, there is no ministry if we only see what we do as an activity, a hobby, or a job. Just because we call something a ministry, doesn't mean that God says the same thing. Doing an activity in a church building does not qualify what we do as ministry. Anyone can dance, or even teach others to dance, but once we bring it into the sanctuary as an offering to God, everything changes. Let's start examining our lifestyles, our habits, and our attitudes. Do they agree with God's Word? Are we concerned about the children and teenagers enough to encourage them in the right ways, or do we just want to keep them busy in church? Are we showing them good examples of Godly behavior at all times, or do we act one way at the church, and another way when we leave? Children know, see, recall and imitate whatever is shown to them. And remember, that once we answer the call of the Lord, everything that we do is connected with our ministry, which is our service to Him and to humanity.

These are the words of him who is holy and true, who holds the key of David. What he opens no one can shut, and what he shuts no one can open. I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name. ~ Rev. 3: 7-8 (NIV)

     I don't know whatever happened with that young lady, but I often think of her and wonder how she is doing,  and pray that she and others will one day understand the true meaning of ministry.


     *If anyone knows of author of that profound quotation, please comment so that they can be given the proper credit here.


Just Like David!

...When the men carrying the Ark of the Lord had walked six steps, David sacrificed a bull and a fat calf. Then David danced with all his might before the Lord. He had on a holy linen vest. David and all the Israelites shouted with joy and blew the trumpets as they brought the Ark of the Lord to the city.~ 2 Samuel 6: 13-15 (NCV)

There are many Godly men dancing for Christ, as quiet as it's kept. Although we always see the women giving thanks and praise, the men aren't always noticed. But when we do see them, they dance with all their might, just like David did. Many churches who still only view dance as an activity and not a ministry of worship to God are not sure about allowing men to dance, because they still associate it with being feminine or frivolous. But if we read the Word, we see that David was a worshiper who rejoiced and gave praise to the Lord, because of the ark that carried the presence of the Lord was being brought into the city.  David didn't dance to entertain the people, he danced from a greatful heart and also gave burnt offerings to the Lord and blessed the people with food.

David put up a tent for the Ark of the Lord, and then the Israelites put it in its place inside the tent. David offered whole burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. When David finished offering the whole burnt offerings and the fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord All-Powerful. David gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates, and a cake of raisins to every Israelite, both men and women.  Then all the people went home.~ 2 Samuel 6: 17-19 (NCV)

There is something very powerful about seeing a man dance for God! It has nothing to do with him experimenting with his feminine side, but has everything to do with him being free to praise the Lord with his entire being. So...let the men dance, just like David did!

Enjoy the dance ministry from the men of Caanan Baptist Church of Christ, in NY:


Don't Give Up!

"...Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!”
~ 1 Kings 19:18 (NLT)

Have you ever felt like giving up, or walking away and never looking back from the worship arts ministry due to all of the competition, compromise, and other ungodly behavior that you have witnessed?  Do you feel that participating in dance, drama or music ministries is just not worth it anymore because of being mistreated, taken for granted, disrespected, or intimidated?  What about being:
  • persecuted
  • ostracized
  • criticized
  • exploited
  • lied on
  • talked about
  • excluded
  • humiliated
  • threatened
  • etc...
Guess what...you're in good company! Elijah the prophet was on a mission from God. He challenged the prophets of Baal to see who the true and Living God was, and destroyed them and their altars. When Ahab's wife, Queen Jezebel learned of this, she threatened him with death...and Elijah went on the run. Queen Jezebel's goal was to overthrow the worship of God, and would destroy anyone who got in her way:

When Ahab got home, he told Jezebel everything Elijah had done, including the way he had killed all the prophets of Baal.  So Jezebel sent this message to Elijah: “May the gods strike me and even kill me if by this time tomorrow I have not killed you just as you killed them.”
 Elijah was afraid and fled for his life. He went to Beersheba, a town in Judah, and he left his servant there.  Then he went on alone into the wilderness, traveling all day. He sat down under a solitary broom tree and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life, for I am no better than my ancestors who have already died.” 1 Kings 19: 1-4 (NLT)

Imagine for a moment, what Elisha must have been feeling. He had done everything that God commanded, and was now running from Jezebel's threats. He knew that she was very capable of making good on them, and went to find shelter in a cave. But look at God's response:

[...And a voice said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?”
 He replied again, “I have zealously served the Lord God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.”
 Then the Lord told him, “Go back the same way you came, and travel to the wilderness of Damascus. When you arrive there, anoint Hazael to be king of Aram.  Then anoint Jehu grandson of Nimshi to be king of Israel, and anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.  Anyone who escapes from Hazael will be killed by Jehu, and those who escape Jehu will be killed by Elisha!  Yet I will preserve 7,000 others in Israel who have never bowed down to Baal or kissed him!"~ 1 Kings 19: 13-18 (NLT)