New Year, New Start!

Trust the Lord with all your heart,
    and don’t depend on your own understanding.
 Remember the Lord in all you do,
    and he will give you success.
~ Prov. 3:5-6 (NCV)

      2014 has officially arrived, along with all of the New Year's Resolutions, goals, aspirations and good intentions that we promise to fulfill in the coming months. Some of them are realistic, and sometimes as humans we make promises because others are making them and we don't want to feel left out, knowing that we don't have the drive or real intention on following through with what we said that we would do. But...I have a suggestion: Why not think about the things you were working on, struggling with, or moving towards, and instead of making new resolutions, continue your work on whatever you were doing in 2013? If you were planning to start a workshop that God inspired you to do, and it didn't happen last year, prayerfully look at your plans and rethink them, seek out guidance from a trusted source, and keep focusing on your goal. Have a budget and a target audience, do your research, find your facilitators and plan your deadlines. Think about how much everything will cost and count the cost of the entire project. Good events require a lot of planning to be effective, and need many hands and much prayer to be successful. In fact, a very wise Prophetess, Pastor Sarah Morgan of Women of Vision L.A. states: "Whatever is not birthed in prayer, is illegal"*. That is a very profound statement, but it means that if you haven't spent time praying and getting guidance from God in what you do, it should not be done!

     While we are on the subject of goals, what are you doing to improve your dance ministry presentations for the coming months? There are always new ministries being formed, some have knowledge of how to start and maintain a dance ministry, some have the heart for ministering but no idea of how to prepare themselves. Maybe God has called you to be a solo worshipper, and you need to know about choreography or exactly what to do with your singular ministry. Find out where your place is, and assume the position! There are several sources available to help you in your endeavors that are of good quality, easily accessible, and an affordable investment. Many ministries are faltering because of lack of preparation, or they fail to invest the time in learning about their art. The ministry is whatever God wants to accomplish through your art form, whether it is dance, poetry, theatre, mime, step or flagging. Just because we call something a ministry does not automatically make it one, which is why we can look around and see so many things going on in church that do not glorify God and actually bring confusion and disgust to the church. So many are turned off when they see us calling ourselves ministries (servants) but what we are serving is not fit for consumption. Selah...

     My mind goes back to a video I watched in which there were two dancers presenting a song to the church. The song was about who God is to us. Instead of one dancer representing God speaking to the other dancer, they appeared to take turns being God, and neither one was receiving what the other was giving. At one point in the song, it looked like a war between good and evil. It was a very beautiful song, but extremely challenging to choreograph if you don't study the scriptural basis of the song and plot out your movement theme based on (1) Who is speaking? (2) Who is being spoken to? (3) What is the through-line or pervasive message of the song? (4) What is the resolution? (The end point of the song). If you don't take time to study that, your audience will walk away confused, empty, turned-off, or even think that what you are doing is comical. Although they may never tell you this, they may tell it to other people. Don't be the ministry that people start texting on or decide to go to the bathroom on because you are not effective!

     Again...make this the year that you make plans to attend a workshop in your area, take classes, or avail yourself of some of the many media resources for dance ministry that are available online, on DVD, or in e-books. All of these are relatively inexpensive and are brought to you by people who have many years of experience and want to share their knowledge with you. There are also many ministries who have taken time to study and are eager to have you join in their learning journey along with them: A few are:
  • The Praise Dance Life with Jocelyn Richard - Minister Jocelyn Richard of Visual Praise Ministries has a wealth of information on dance ministry, choreography, garments, technique, nutrition, music, and many other resources on DVD and in e-book form. She also has podcasts that are archived that you can listen to, teleconferences, and does local workshops as well as some traveling to dance conferences where she teaches classes. You can find out more about her ministry at: www.thepraisedancelife.com.
  • Dancing for Him Ministries with Pastor Lynn Hayden - Pastor Lynn has a profound ministry that focuses on the prophetic in movement and dance, and holds regular worship dance workshops around the country. She also has many resources in book form, and on DVD for dancers on all levels that you can use in the privacy of your own home. For more information, you can find her at: www.dancingforhim.com.
     All of these ministries have video on YouTube for you to see, and find out which one would be best suited for your needs. There are many wonderful worship dance resources to choose from, but these are the three that are being highlighted this month. More will be shared as space and time allows.

     Whatever you do, acknowledge God in all your ways, and allow Him to direct your ministries this year. Be original, and be your best!

*Quote from Pastor Sarah Morgan, Women of Vision/Trees of Righteousness Mentoring Class
 - www.womenofvisionla.org

Shekinah Glory Ministry - Just for Me