Starting an Arts Ministry – Praise Dance, Pantomime, Drama

Starting and Arts Ministry

 

“Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it: the watchman waketh but in vain.”

Psalms 127:1

 

The truth of the matter is no one starts a ministry or should try to start a ministry. God is the one who starts ministries and gives the workers the grace to operate in it. A great example of this is in the book of Nehemiah. God made all of the provisions and graced Nehemiah to rebuild the walls of the city in Jerusalem. God had put it in his heart to do it (Nehemiah 2:12).

 

 

It is of no surprise that we are living in a time of great renewal or transformation and I think I can safely say that we all perceive that something great is going to happen and soon. The TRUE uncompromising Church is going to rise up; they are rising up even now, to proclaim the TRUTH of God’s Word. They are no longer settling for “old wine” (tradition and religion) and the gospel of the flesh -which is centered upon living the best “Christian lifestyle”, a life that has no limits in terms of how one can use their imagination, words (“name it and claim it”) and thoughts to frame and obtain a life of one’s passions where everything will orbit around one’s aspirations.

 

The gospel of the flesh is focused on personal problems, relationships, situations and etc. It simply defines and magnifies the fallen nature of man because it centers on circumstances of life that disconnects the soul from the grace of God. This is NOT the Gospel of Christ but another gospel. We (the Church) need to REPENT and return to the Headship of Christ! Christ did not come to help us live a better life here on earth and to get all that we can in this life and prosper in it. What I am saying is this is not the purpose of the Gospel! The gospel and the redemptive work of Jesus Christ is for the SALVAGING of our souls. This is faith exploitation. Christ came to restore our relationship with the Father by cleansing the soul and healing it so that we can function perfectly in faith toward God as His sons.

 

Ministries are popping up left and right because believers globally want to be apart of something and are beginning to realize that we all have been called to do something. As a result, there is an overwhelming desire to get involved in some level or other, but often times these desires are driven without any direction.

 

I believe that every ministry must be birthed (brought forth) through intercession and much prayer for direction. God has put it in all of our hearts to “do something” and that “something” sould be under His leadership. It is not wise to start a dance ministry (or any other ministry) because someone thinks it is a good idea, or because there isn’t one in your church. It must be birthed in the spirit of your leader and in your own spirit. Serving in the dance/arts ministry is an awesome responsibility and if you are not called you will not last or be able to withstand the attack which comes with the territory! Now, I know that this sounds heavy but the price is heavy and the call is one of sacrifice.

 

First and foremost : Pray! Pray! Pray! Seek God for wisdom and His will regarding this endeavor.

 

Know, not just believe that you have been called and pray that God gives you confirmation, the ability, and the wherewithal to carry out what you believe in your spirit that you have been called to do. You have the Word of God and you have the Holy Ghost! God will tell you what He wants you to do, when He wants you to do it and how He wants it done! There is no mystery concerning His will.

 

Questions to consider:

 

A.     Are you being called to start a ministry totally independent and on your own (apart from your local church organization) or are you being called to start a ministry and work within a church organization (which depending on the organization and often times resources, will help you get started)?

 

B.     What type of church do you worship in? Is it traditional, a little old fashioned or is it contemporary? If your church is made up of older saints they may not take to well to Christian hip hop or rock.

 

C.     Would your church welcome the arts as a form of ministry (serving the saints to encourage, comfort and edify them in their faith)? Ask yourself these questions and think of  other questions that might help you get a better understanding of who you would be ministering to if your leadership allowed it.

 

Formulate a mission statement:

 

Your mission statement should be one or more sentences that summarizes what the ministry is to accomplish. Write down the vision that you know God gave you for the arts ministry. Also write down a plan or a proposal and present it to your leadership. By writing it down it shows your leadership that you are serious!

 

How do you know what the mission of your ministry is?

 

It’s not a matter of your making it up out of thin air. Rather, you must carefully and prayerfully consider the following questions:

 

  • What are God’s mandates in Scripture as it relates to dance (this is important to know because dance ministry has been overly mystified and made out to be more than it actually is)?

 

  • What does He require all Christians to do as priests?

 

  • What gifts has He given you and your team naturally and spiritually?

 

  • What kind of people do you and your team have a deep burden for (is it the young, old, abused, married, etc.)?

 

If you can answer the above questions, you will be better prepared to determine what kind of people you should be reaching out to, and what kind of service (ministry of love) you’ll provide them, and why your group should exist.

 

Communicate the vision:

 

If God has put it on your heart to start a ministry at your church talk to your leadership and see how they feel and continue to pray about this endeavor together. If you can get pastoral support you may be able to slowly educate the congregation on about the arts. Some suggestions on how to do this is to minister on special occasions or have a night or service dedicated to artistic praise. Also show them that artistic praise is scriptural. For instance take dance. There are many scriptures in the Bible concerning dance. Before you or and your group minister in dance or in any other form of artistic expression show it to them in scripture.

 

Remember that there are many ways that we can praise the Lord but there is only one way to worship Him and that is in spirit and in truth. Also be sure that your leadership and everyone on the team, now and in the future know and understand the vision of the new ministry. Everyone should know the reason why the ministry exists. That way, the whole team will work together in the same direction. It also prevents certain individuals from dividing the ministry and pulling it apart. A boat goes nowhere if everyone is rowing in different directions, no matter how hard everyone rows. In the same way, your ministry will go nowhere unless you communicate to everyone the direction that the ministry is supposed to go.

 

Below are some ideas for effectively communicating the vision of your ministry.

 

  • See that your vision also lines up with the vision of your church or organization

 

  • Develop an easily remembered name or slogan

 

  • Have ministry leaders sign the mission/vision statement to prevent individuals from dividing it.

 

  • Include a summary of the vision in any literature that you hand out.

 

  • Review the vision statement (concept of ministry) regularly at your meetings. 

 

Understand that some churches don’t see the arts as a form of praise unto the Father and as a form of encouraging the saints. This is the hardest obstacle to overcome. If your church leadership is not for having an arts ministry DO NOT operate in disobedience. Pray and ask God to open the door and use that time to train and learn all that you can about what God has placed in your heart to do and His Word. Maybe He is preparing you to go forth in ministry in a different way or maybe He will move you to a different church or ministry in the future.

 

Start Planning:

 

Now that you have pastoral support, your proposal/vision/mission statement, start planning.

 

  • Who will be apart of your ministry?

 

  • Is it only you?

 

  • What are the requirements of participating in ministry at your church (get guidance from your pastor or leadership) and also prayerfully set some of your own.

Advertise the new ministry through whatever media is available at your church (bulletins, projectors, announcements). Include practice times, ages welcome, what to bring / wear (you should have covered this already in your proposal).

 

Set objective goals — Goals bring your vision to a clear focus. Your vision will have more concreteness if you set concrete goals. Good goals should be specific, measurable, attainable yet faith-stretching, and time-limited. For example, one of the goals of PDCM is to cater to the needs of Liturgical/Praise Dancers, Mimes, Steppers, Pageantry and all who worship God through the arts with new, relative and timely information to better equip them for ministry.

 

Preparation:

 

Your preparation should be physical as well as spiritual. Depending on your level of experience you may want to consider taking some basic training classes in the style of dance of your choice, to better equip you for excellence in ministry. Pray about linking up with established ministries in your area. Attend workshops and conferences regarding your ministry or order DVD’s from other ministries. Remember iron sharpens iron! Be prepared to invest in your calling! Books, videos, workshops and whatever else will better equip you to do what God has called you to do.

 

Organize:

 

Organizing is turning something complicated into something simple. Organizing is the task of gathering all the endless details so that they will make simple sense. This is important, because sometimes missing a small detail may be catastrophic to the ministry. For example, forgetting to announce your first meeting in the church bulletin may mean that no one will come.

 

Also:

 

  • Be sure to always put God FIRST!

 

  • Visualize and strategize – You’ve already “visualized,” i.e. you have articulated your ministry’s vision. Now “strategize,” i.e. list the steps to get there.

 

  • Plan your first meeting well – The first meeting is crucial. It should start off with a bang. Pray about how God wants the meeting to go. It is also a good idea to minister or have someone with more experience minister to your prospective team members in order for them to get an idea of what they will be doing.

 

  • Don’t forget to plan your follow-up process – Send thank you e-mails and feedback invitations

 

  • MOBILIZE (when the vision becomes reality) – This is where actual ministry begins. In this phase, it is the leader’s responsibility to delegate tasks to the team members, encourage, teach, support and care for the team as well as minister to the people.

 

As a new ministry you may not be called often to minister. Be encouraged! Your gift will make room for you and your time will come. During your waiting period use the extra time to build up and stir up the gift that God has given you(naturally and spiritually).

 

An arts ministry is not something to be entered into lightly. Our call is to minister the heart of God through the movement of our bodies and the humble giving of our gifts and talents to encourage the saints. Remember, its all about God. Put God first and always keep Him at the forefront by seeking Him every step of the way!

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10 comments on “Starting an Arts Ministry – Praise Dance, Pantomime, Drama

  1. Hi,
    Your method of sharing information to assist in the development of an individual by extention the body of Christ was remarkable and I guest timely for me.

    I was asked to lead our first pantomime ministry at our church. I was reluctant at first but the pastor insisted that I take up the challenge.

    The information will be helpful for me.

    All the best your endeavours as you press on to develop the boby of Christ.

    Can you direct me where to puchase ballet shoes as well as dvd’s on pantomime to be used in our rehearsal sessions. I live in Trindad (Caribbean)

    Servant

  2. Bless the Lord! Your comment is very encouraging. For ballet shoes, I think it would be best to locate a dance supply store nearest you to avoid high shipping costs. As for dvd’s on pantomime, I highly suggest dvd’s from K&K mime. They are the fathers of mime ministry. You will learn so much just by watching their dvd’s: how they engage their audience, facial expressions & movements (they will demonstrate as they are ministering how to use everyday gestures, and synonyms of the words in the song through interpretive movement. For instance, sometimes we want to demonstrate the word like “cross” exactly by crossing our arms. If you watch them closely they will perform a totally different movement in a more expressive way and the audience will totally comprehend the meaning. You will say to yourself..”oh wow I never would have thought of that”. You can learn a lot from them and other ministries as well. On this site there is a link to sign languages and biblical sign expression. They will help you out tremendously. Also check out Youtube. you can learn interpretative vocabulary from them also and best of all, it is FREE. I am praying for you and your ministry and if you have any more questions please feel free to ask here (just put for your eyes only if you don’t want it to be published).

  3. I TRULY APPRECIATED YOUR INSIGHTFUL ADVICE ON PRAISE DANCE.IT SOMETHING THAT I THOUGHT I HAD NEED TO BE CONFIRMED.I HAVE BEEN THE PRAISE DANCE LEADER AT MY CHURCH FOR ABOUT 10 YRS.I DESIRE TO EXPAND OUR TEAM BUT THERE SEEMS TO BE LACK OF COMMITMENT TO THE TEAM ONCE THE INDIVIDUAL STARTS TO DANCE(IE COMING TO PRAYER,FASTING AND EXCERCIZE) PLEASE PRAY THE PRAYER OF AGREEMENT WITH ME ..THAT GOD WOULD SEND COMMITTED,WILLING WORKERS.

  4. Praise God for you and the vision that He has given you for this ministry. I found your information very helpful and informative for the drama-arts ministry at my home church. Much of what the Lord has laid upon your heart to speak is already in place, but we could never say when it is enough when we are in the kingdom building business. Please pray for our continued growth and commitment to the work of the Lord. Peace and blessings, Gail Woodson, director of Jeremiah’s Call Drama Arts Ministry.

  5. Thank you so much for your information on how to start an arts ministry. I have been chosen to start my churches first mime ministry. I am a solo mimer and am skeptical about being able to teach others the art but I want to be obedient. The information that you have shared on this site will help me tremendously.

  6. Praise god for this site on how to start a dance or drama ministry. I am the drama coordinator of my church based in nigeria and I also dance and do rap music I mean xtian rap. well I just want you to give some tips on how to develop this gift in me also to bring about growth in the drama unit of my church. Also to say the truth I always found my self sometimes too reluctant to bring up a drama story and even write lyrics or even if i should start, to complete the lyrics up to the required number of verses will b too difficult for me, i guess i’ve been too lazy and i always wait for what i call inspiration to come while carrying it in my heart for too long a time. Even now i have more than four songs for me to complete i just always feel too reluctant to write. Pls help me out I don’t want this gift to die this is urgent and requires urgent attention pls. remember the my drama ministry also. Thanks and God bless you.

    • Hi Hun, You develop your gift by doing. The more you do it be more you will learn and gain an understanding. If you really want to do it you will. Fight that procrastination and seek God in His Word and He will lead you. Be blessed

      PDCM

  7. Hello,

    Is it out of the will of God starting a praise dance ministry based on 1 invitaion? Also is wise to do so if the Leader of the ministry does not have a local church home?

  8. I loved this site! I was born wanting to become an actress on the big screen or t.v. but it never happened. I was raised in church and have served God and worked in different churches along with my older sister’s in Kid’s Crusades and vacation Bible Schools with puppets and clowning and singing. ministries. I loved all of this, but still felt that God was leading me into something more or different. I was given the opportunity to take a sign language class and then I knew in my heart what God was calling me to do. I took the sign language, along with christian songs and just elaborated on my signs and the door was opened for me to do a sign language type solo drama in church as if I were the soloist for that service. I can’t explain what I feel when I’m signing but that God’s annointing is there. Later, God opened another door for me to teach kids, teens and mixed-age groups christian drama, dance, christian skits, monologues. I had the opportunity to go to several christian drama conferences and I knew I had found my calling. I have been involved with mime, human video, pantomime, dance, syncronized. creative movements, and skits I used all kinds of materials and props to get the message from the words of a song in visual form. I am older now and have always wanted to open a studio and teach others what I have learned and God has given me. I want to share my ministry. Do you know if there are any studios like this or anyone that has done this and had any success? I’m in Alabama! Thanks and God Bless!

  9. I am a liturgical danc instructor. I was born and raised right here in the SE DC area, were they say SE children will never be anything when i was growing up. So as a part of my giving back I currently volunteer my time by teach dancing at A rec center in SE DC, that has about 22 girls. I love doing what I do, going out to the communities such as performing at nursing homes, retirement homes, rehab centers,hospitals, community day or whereever invited to are most of the things I will do just to give back to the community. I also teach liturgical dancing at the church I attend. I have beeen dancing since i was 5 years old, and lirturgical dancing for 15 years. With MY LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST we are goung to take liturgical dancing to a higher level….THANK YOU JESUS

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