Put it in Writing!

The Lord gave me this answer: “Write down clearly on tablets what I reveal to you, so that it can be read at a glance. ~Habakkuk 2:2 (GNT)

     Wow! It's been like forever since I've blogged, but I kept my promise to only post when I had something to say. I was appointed as dance ministry leader at church, so we have been working on getting our ministry revamped, up and running since the beginning of this year and are off to a great start.
     There is a lot of good information online and in books about how to get a dance ministry started in your church, so I won't restate everything, but I will share about the process that we went through. First, we approached our pastor and asked permission to have a dance ministry; he in turn referred us to the Minister of Music. After much prayer and several planning meetings to discuss the vision, mission, purpose and scope of the ministry, including our name, I was formally introduced to the church as the leader of the new dance ministry and we started sign-ups at our information table that included brochures, information flyers, streaming video and treats for anyone who came by with questions.
     Next, we e-mailed everyone who signed up to notify them of our start-up date with all pertinent information as to what to expect, what to wear, and what we would be doing at our first meeting. At our first rehearsal, we introduced the vision again, had prayer, scripture reading, and did a short warm-up and combination to get an idea of what people would do with movement they were given. We chose not to  have auditions for our ministry.
    This leads to the one of the most important parts of getting a dance ministry started, which is having a ministry handbook that clearly states all expectations, rehearsal times, dress code, code of conduct, and any other important information that you want dancers to know. They can refer to the handbook at any time if issues arise. Your handbook should always be reviewed by the leaders you work with, in our case, Minister of Music and Senior Pastor for approval, and any revisions are always to be checked in with them. The reason for this is, in case of a conflict, everyone has the same information and all resolutions will be fair and "by the book".
     It probably will take many weeks to develop your handbook, so take your time, make sure everything in it is biblical, practical, reasonable, and agrees with the vision and core values of the church you attend.  Make sure you are completely familiar with the doctrines and practices of your church so that you don't incorporate elements that are not part of their regime, although you can refer to other ministry handbooks to see how they are arranged, and the types of information they contain. Be comprehensive without being too lengthy.  Make certain that your handbook is written to accommodate basic reading and comprehension levels. If you need help in editing, ask someone to look over your draft before submitting it for approval and revisions.  You can also add clip art or pictures to give your handbook more eye appeal. In the back of your handbook, have two copies of your ministry agreement page, one signed copy for your files, and that remains in the book. If there are minors in your ministry, make sure that a parent or guardian also signs the agreement. Please note that a signature is neither a contract or binding legal document. It simply indicates that they have read the handbook, and agree to abide by the rules of the ministry.
    You will find that putting all expectations for your dance ministry in writing helps to maintain a safe environment and keeps a level playing field for everyone, including the leaders. In this way, all are held accountable to the same rules. So...put it in writing!
    Please enjoy the first ministry presentation from Resurrection Sunday by A.C.T.S. of Grace Liturgical Dance Ministry:



Happy New Year!

Happy 2017! I took a break from blogging, but I'm back! I promise to be more present this year. Here is a repost from last January. Keep worshiping Christ!

   If you won’t plow in the cold, you won’t eat at the harvest.
Proverbs 20:4 (TLB)
 I recently attended a program where someone I knew was going to minister in praise dance. We both knew that she had a love for dance, and was called to dance for the Lord, but had challenges with taking advantage of available resources that would help her learn more about what she was called to do. Her work and life schedule was extremely busy, so she bought a DVD to work on at home and never got around to it. Every time she was invited to a workshop or class, she was always doing something else...still she had a love and a calling to dance.
     At the program, she was beautifully attired and had prepared her heart with prayer. The music started, and then something went wrong. She froze. Not knowing what to do, she began moving randomly and nervously until the music finished. That had to have been one of the longest 5 minutes of her life!
     Afterwards, she realized what had gone wrong. She hadn't prepared herself  with knowledge beforehand. All of the opportunities she had to learn about her ministry weren't taken seriously. Although she meant well, the message didn't get to the people due to lack of preparation. That day, she learned that it takes more than emotion to bring a message in public ministry. We can all learn a lesson from that experience.
     In the first week of the New Year, let's prepare ourselves for what we plan to do. If a class is needed, please go. If there are no local classes or transportation available, many ministries offer DVD's for sale at reasonable prices. If funds are tight, There are short instructional videos on YouTube that can be watched for free. There's never an excuse for lack of preparation! Even on short notice, if you have been practicing already, you can minister a dance with God's guidance based on what you already know, that will bless people. If you are really serious about ministry, you'll find a way to prepare yourself to be effective, or wait until you can make the time commitment. You don't have to be a professional dancer to minister in dance, but it's necessary to know something about what you are doing, so that your message is clear. Very few people are able to do this without some type of basic knowledge of movement. But, if you want to learn, there is lots of information that is easy to find. (You can type in "dance ministry instruction" in your web browser or on You Tube, and many pages will come up). If you are looking for dance ministry resources, please look at some of the links on the blog page that may be of interest. Be prepared in 2016!

     Here is a wonderful example of what being prepared for ministry looks like: Please enjoy the 13:46 Dance Ensemble from Maryland!