- Lesson Two: Misconceptions about Dance Ministry

Lesson Two: Misconceptions about Dance Ministry

July 14, 2008

Misconceptions about Dace Ministry

Let’s address some common misconceptions about Dance Ministry:
1.         Some say it was not done in the 1st century church as a form of worship.

According to scripture worship and praise are not the same, even though we use them synonymously. Anyone or every thing (creature) can praise God (Ps. 150:6). However, anyone cannot worship God. In order to do so, it must be done in spirit and in truth (John 4:24).

Scripture teaches us in Psalms 150 to celebrate God or to praise Him. It does not matter what century we live in or whether it is in the worship service or in our homes. I personally think that some believers have their own hang ups with dance in the church and that is something they will have to workout for themselves. If leadership in the local church has no problem with it and everything is done decently and in order, then who can contest it?

We are to praise God
Where?      In his sanctuary

Who should praise Him?    Everything – every creature

Why?    For His mighty acts and according to his excellent greatness

How?    With the sound of the trumpet, with the paltry and harp, with the timbril and dance, and with instruments.

Some other biblical expressions of praise are:

Declaring of thanks (Heb. 13:15)

Clapping hands and shouting (Psalms 47:1)

Singing praise songs (Psalms 9:11)

Psalms, hymns, & spiritual songs (Eph. 5:19-20)

Making a joyful noise (Psalms 98:4)

By lifting our hands (Psalms 134:2)

By being still (Psalms 4:3-5, 46:10)

By being loud (Psalms 33:3, 95:1-6)

The Praise Dancer’s role in the Body of Christ is simply to edify, comfort and encourage the saints (1Thess. 5:11). When we dance we demonstrate, declare, and make known, through movement the truths of God, His mighty acts, and His promises.

2.    Another misconception is that dance has spiritual authority.

It is important to understand that Dance in itself does not have power or spiritual ability. God can use anything to carry out His will, but the things (people, methods) in themselves do not have any power unless the truth of God’s Word is attached and if it is anointed [set apart for His use - and we know that we are anointed because God has anointed us with the Holy Ghost who is the Spirit of truth (Acts 10:38)].

In scripture we find that God used many things (Mosses staff, a donkey, a fish net that Jesus told Simon to use to launch out into the deep, the pots that the widow used and the oil was multiplied in 2 kings ch. 4., pillars, alters, and the objects in the tabernacle). These things or objects were effective and played significant roles in worship and in carrying out the will of the father because they were anointed and set apart for holy use; in understanding this reason – why these objects were effective- we will  not fall into the misconception of thinking that the power are in the things themselves. Thinking that the power is in the objects themselves is dangerous because we can then begin to make idols out of objects and people. We can begin to worship them and put our faith and trust in those things instead of in the power of God – and we can do it without even knowing it.

So if we think that the source of power is in the dance or in the objects or people God uses, then we make the power of God of no effect. We are all vessels and anything God chooses to use are only objects, but when it is energized by His power through our OBEDIENCE to His Truth (His Word obeyed habitually in our lives), then our dance is made alive and powerful having spiritual sustenance and impact because of the anointing (the process by which we are set apart for God’s use).

With that said, our talent of dance is a natural gift from God. Now that we are born again, we use our gift or talent to the glory of God.However, this is not to be confused with spiritual gifts that are given to us (Rom 12:6). Scripture teaches us that “all things were created by Him and for Him” (Col. 1:16) and that includes our natural abilities and talents. Now that we are His (1John 3:2), we use those abilities for His glory. NOW, when we dance we are praising the Lord and we are serving or ministering to one another, encouraging each other with a natural talent that God gave us NOW coupled with spiritual substance (the knowledge of the Truth of the Doctrine of Jesus Christ and every action and work empowered by the Holy Ghost).

It is very important to understand that if there is no TRUTH there is no ANOINTING (we are anointed with the Holy Ghost who is the Spirit of truth -John 16:13), and if there is no anointing there is no spiritual impact and if there is no spiritual impact we are just performing.

14 comments on “- Lesson Two: Misconceptions about Dance Ministry

  1. i am new at taken over the youth dance ministry what are some suggestions to working with them, because i am very passioniate about my praise and worship , i dont want to scare them or seem to strict, they are God’s precious gifts and i dont want to turn them away or hurt their spirits in any way

  2. Hello Angela! Some suggestions to working with them are to be real and consistent in all things. Young people can spot a fake from a mile away and if there is no order or consistency they will not take you seriously. If you are passionate about worship then display that all of the time and teach them about it. Also try to continuously reinforce what you teach them during your rehearsals, inside and outside of church and in your dance. Also don’t be afraid to discipline or sit anyone out if necessary. If you let one disobedient or rude person distract or cause disruption then you may begin to have a problem with others, so it is important to always nip situations like that in the bud. Also don’t tolerate animosity. If there is a problem or if you notice tension or constant gripe b/t team members solve it immediately because it will show when it is time to minister. If there is un forgiveness then the ministry or the groups ministering will be in vain. Last but not least PRAY, PRAY, PRAY for every thing concerning anything having to do with your ministry (choreography, garments and etc) and always be in agreement at the end of the day concerning these things and others. I chose these examples because I have experienced them and these are usually the first situations you may encounter. These are also the main reason why ministry teams don’t last. I can go on and on, but if you have any more questions or are having trouble with a certain situation, I will be glad to help. You can e-mail me anytime at pdcmwordpress@yahoo.com. I hope this helps.

  3. Hi my name is Barbara, I just started my dance ministy and Father’s Day will be my 3rd time dancing. I am feeling that I did not do my best last time, so what advice can you give about how to remove myself but give my best, I have had no training nor have I seen much praise dancers except for utube

    Thanks

    • Hi Barbara! So sorry that I am responding to you so late. You will always have given your best if you used the choreography that God gave you to minister to His people. It is important that you keep in mind that you are not performing for anyone. When that idea is totally gone from you, you will not look at it as giving your best. A lot of us did not have any training when we started. I did not have any training as well, but when the opportunity came, I did take some lessons to help me with my form and technique. I also bought DVD’s and practiced. They are good for movement vocabulary as well as Youtube videos. My advice to you is to continue bless the Lord in your dance and do all you can prayerfully to perfect it (Youtube, lessons, DVD’s). Also do only what you can do. Don’t try to execute movements that require training because you can injure yourself. Try not do the same movements numerous times and use the different points in the room and all of the available space around you when you dance. I could go on and on but If you have specific questions I would be happy to answer them. Oh.. and try video taping yourself or your rehearsals so that you can see where you need improvement. I hope this helps. Blessings and love. PDCM

  4. Hi, I have been scanning over your site and I really enjoy what I have been reading. I am apart of our dance ministry and totally agree with the comment you gave Barbara about her dance being unto God. Our dance team started so big and it has dwindled down to 3 faithful members because alot of people see the finish product and think it something easy, but do not realize the its a lifestyle. I pray for the movements and even though I am untrained God has given me things I dont know how I did. I like the way your word the teaching and will share them with my dance team. I am now moving on to drama and starting from scratch so that was what I was orginally looking for but this just reminded me of why I joined dance and the passion I have for God which led me to express it through dance. I pray blessing over your ministry and thank you for the teaching you put out. Continue, because it is so needed. God Bless

  5. GM my sister, I have a situation which involve high school teenagers who have been with the dance minister since they where six years of age. Most of them now attend performing arts schools and now performing instead of ministering outside of the church. I am trying my best to have them separate the two life style of dancing. Now, I am faced with an challenge where they are not making rehearsals if they do, they are late. They excuses for not making rehearsal at the church is they are too tried. Yes, I know that their education is first and foremost, but why do they want to leave or give up on GOD’s ministry who is and has blessed them with this gift/talent. What can you suggest to help me.

    • I understand your what your going through. While I don’t know all the details about the school and what they teach, I pray they are upholding Christian values while they are in school. If it is a secular school, I know first hand that it is very hard especially for a young person in that environment. Encourage them. If this is their hearts desire, encourage them and stress the importance of the Word of God because it is His Word and our obedience to it that will cleans our way (Ps. 119:9)and set us on the right course to eternal salvation. Serving God is more important than anything, but we serve God first with our obedience to His Word, not church involvement. In life we must have balance. Right now, for a saved teenager (assuming they are saved), their priorities very different. For them it is God (their relationship), their family, school, then everything else. It may be that for a short time they may have to take a break from church activities for a while until they complete their education. School makes demands, ministry (church activities) makes demands, life makes demands, but they have to find their balance. Encourage them, and teach them that though they minister in dance there are other ways to minister the gospel to the lost and where they are, they have wonderful platform to do it. If they are juggling too much they will get burnt out and something is going to suffer. It seems like their involvement in dance ministry is suffering. Pray with them and encourage them. A short time a way does not mean forever and they should not feel guilty for pursuing a education. Talk to them and if they don’t mind, ask them about their plans and what will happen after their education. Maybe they don’t intend on leaving God’s ministry. There is much more ministry out there than dance. They are growing up and soon they will be adults, off to college, then married with a family of their own. They can’t be in dance ministry forever (some will and some won’t). We have to face the fact that people grow up and move on especially to other areas of ministry. Strengthen what remains and those who are faithful now. They were faithful in the past but, maybe their season is over now. I pray that the Lord will give you and them direction. Stay lifted in prayer. God bless you.

      PDCM

      • This has really helped me. Carrolle thanks for asking this question. I am Minister Lynn D. Dykes, Worship Arts Director of In His Presence Worship Arts Institute/In His Presence Dance Academy in Killeen, TX. I have been praying concerning our teens in this area. Our teen group has dropped over the years from 20 to 6. Some due to graduating high school, others due to dancing on their High School teams. PDCM you have helped me in this area. I continue to encorage them to use their gift to glorify God. God has opened doors for us to open for Yolanda Adams, Kurt Karr, James Fortune, Beverly Crawford and Gospel rapper Flame. I ask them why would they stop dancing for God and dance at their school? Some like the style of dance, uniforms, or simplly because their friend are doing it, or because they have to do an extracurricular activity in school for a grade.

        I agree that sometimes they may need a break. But this is an example of what happened to on of my students. She was with me for over 12 years, she left during her High School years and starting dancing at her school. Several years later, she was asked to minister at our church, her parents brought her back to me to help her because they did not see the worshipper. At practice we prayed, I turned on the music and said lets worship; she stood there and cried, I went to her and asked what was wrong her reply ” I don’t know how to do it” It literally broke my heart. This is a young lady who I knew had a passion for God and the anointing was upon her everytime she ministered. What do you do? What do you say? What will it take to refocus their gift.

        In His Presence,
        Min Lynn

  6. Hi! My name is Heather and I have been ministering through dance for almost 11 years. I started when I was 14, which is the most raring and tempting age for a teenager. I just want to say that out of some the websites that I have visited concerning ministry through dance, this is one I will add to my favorites and visit whenever I need an encouraging word. There are times when things get rough, but I always seem to be encouraged through prayer along with reading other testimonies.

    After all that being said, I have a concern. I have been able to teach all age groups except for ages 7 and below. For children ages 2-4, I understand they can pretty much follow your movement especially if they tend to be repetitive or a lot of movement (ex: running in place or jumping). But ages 5-7, they have already come into their own with their language, how they think, etc. and I feel as though it may be a little challenge teaching them.

    What suggestions do you have for being able to give scriptures while teaching dance for the age group of 5-7?

    • Hello,

      Thank you for your kind words. When working with 5-7 year old’s it can be a bit of a challenge because their attention span is all over the place and they have an understanding now, that they too have a voice (in that they like what they like and they act upon it). At that age they need to be taught discipline, how to follow instructions, and how to work with a team. Yes they are their own person, but they have to understand that for a specific short time, while the dance ministry is in session, everyone is one unit. Teach them the importance of that. Also teach them that even though they are one unit, their ideas are valuable. Ask them questions, encourage ideas from them. When they contribute, it makes them feel apart and not dictated to. If they feel important and if they contribute, then they will be more inclined to listen, cooperate and work as a team.

      I hope this helps and if you have anymore questions or need help with anything, I am here.

      PDCM

  7. Hello,

    I have been appointed as a dance ministry leader at my church and have run into some issues along the way with people showing an interest in the dance ministry. I discerned that they were wanting to be apart of it for the wrong reasons (a friend was doing it, so they wanted to, too) and I had to explain to them they could not.

    How do you handle a person expressing interest in dance and you as the leader, don’t feel they are ready yet?

    • Hello,

      I know exactly what you’re going through. It happens all the time. This is where leadership comes in (and it seems like you are doing an excellent job), and it is hard because it can make people upset. Know that when they do get upset, it is not your fault. You are not responsible for how they react to the boundaries you set in ministry. Dance ministry is a ministry because it serves to help encourage the saints in the Lord. Joining dance ministry for any other purpose is only going to hinder its efforts and I comment you for making that clear to your team. If the person is not being a distraction (missing rehearsals, tardiness, causing discord) and they seem eager to learn, by no means turn them away. Sometimes we find our calling simply by tagging along with someone else. That person may grow to have a heart for the ministry. But if you see a pattern inconsistency and double mindedness– they only come when their friend is in attendance – then that person should not be allowed to partake in the ministry. I hope this helps.

      PDCM

    • Well, as a leader you always want to encourage and invite people into worship to become a worshipper. I found my purpose because someone was crazy enough to give me an opportunity not because I meant any good; because I was just playing church in my mind but then the playing got serious, enough for me to question God why was I feeling this way. THe feeling was this is my place, my purpose, and ministry.

  8. Hello and God bless u all!!
    I have been reading some of the posts on your blog/website and it truly has been a blessing. I love the fact that you bring knowledge and back it with the word of truth. That’s how it is to be done and as you’ve mentioned throughout your posts this is at times lost and causes confusion. So besides that what am i saying… It was put on my heart to start a Mime Ministry and further grow the other art forms of Dance Ministry at my Church. I am very passionate about Dance Ministry as a whole and know that God has called me to do more step up n be greater in ministry towards him and for his people. This excites me, makes me nervous, at times I feel fear trying to creep up,and so on. But! I know what he’s layed on my heart and I accept w/o even knowing how its to work out and to what capacity. I would love any pointers,tips,directions(thru prayer for me,my church,the future youth to become a part of this ministry), and all prayers that you would pray,share,and have for me. I am really instrested in knowing the biblical truths and scriptural references od Dance in the bible. I know the word says that we perish for a kack of knowledge and i don’t want to perish nor have anyone else golbs. By the way I didnt even mention my name is Lennice and I currently am one of the co-leads for praise dance at my church. And as I said earlier I am thirsty for more knowkedge of dance ministry to grow, mature, and add on to it as a whole. Thank you for your listening ear and sorry if i rambled:*)

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