Updated on August 4, 2012
Originally Posted Jan. 7, 2008
The more we desire to be holy and study the Word, the more God reveals. I have removed the original post because of my own convictions about mime ministry. Not all of it is wrong, but some of it is not right according to Scripture. The same holds true for Dance Ministry as well. This is why: This is a comment that I made in 2009 in response to a question someone asked. It is also available for you to read in the comments section of this post. There is a lack of teaching and understanding in some of our ministries. Most of us who mime really don’t know why we paint our faces for example. We do it because that is they way we see them do it on TV (whoever they are – clowns, other mimes who may or may not serve the Lord). We find ourselves going forth in ministry following the crowd. In re-examining our ministries we have to know what we are doing and why.
Comment by: praisedancecentralministries made on : August 10, 2009 at 2:32 am
“I really don’t know the meaning of why some paint their faces in the church that way. I believe and I hope many who use the art of mime in the church are painting their faces to reveal their exaggerated facial expressions since they are communicating with their bodies. That should be the primary reason their faces are painted.
Unfortunately many don’t agree with this type of artistry in the church because this art has evil roots. Pantomimes or the panto originated in early Greece. It was a dance of bodily movements; facial gestures preformed by actors held at festivals in honor of the god of theater, Dionysus in Athens. Mimes were used in Greek religious ceremonies and banquets also. The first pantomime actor that is known was Telestes in Greece.
When the Romans adopted pantomime, homosexual men and bisexual women would paint their face white so you could not tell who’s who. When Roman mimes performed at private banquets and courts all over Europe they honored the fertility goddesses and naked mime actresses would perform (just a little info for you to know).” Comment ended
Given the above comment to a question posted on this blog, we find that there are some concerns related to Mime Ministry. Since mime or pantomime originated from evil and from the world, we have to re-examine whether or not we should adopt it – or adopt it in the way the world does it (I am still doing a study and I will explain in a later post. Again I am not saying that it is wrong.There is nothing wrong with expressing praise and adoration to God through movement, but we have to step back and look at our presentation. This is the main concern that some saints and some of you are writing me about. Yes I do see some of the styles and costuming and some of it is questionable that is why I am re-examining – not just mime ministry, but all artistic ministry so that I can be right in the eyes of the Lord and I suggest you do the same).
One of the questions I want to ask is have we lost our focus in our liberty in Christ?.
Scripture commanded us to be separate from the world and to have no friendship with them.(1Peter 2:11, 2 Cor. 6:17, James 4:4). No matter how much we like something (style, sound, presentation or the type of garments we choose to wear) we have to be honest with ourselves if we want to be in the light as He is in the light. One question I leave with you as you conduct your own study to see what the Word says about adopting anything as a form of worship and praise unto the Lord, not just mime or dance (the style of something/art we choose to adopt – ie. is that style/look popular and embraced by the world? When watching and listening to our artistic expression is there a difference? This is what the heart of this post is about – re-examining how we express ourselves. Where are we getting our inspiration from? Is our presentation like what we see on the latest BET video? Can the world look at it and say, “that belongs to us.”How we express ourselves before the Lord and God’s people should follow the same pattern of holiness that we should adhere to when we dress ourselves in the morning. As a women, I will not put on garments so tight that it reveals or show the outline of certain body parts. My shirt will not be so tight and low cut that my breasts are showing. My earrings will not be so large in size that it covers the whole side of my face. That look is not modest and becoming of a saint. Sadly in our ministries, especially ministries predominately represented by youth, this is what we are seeing. This is why most of us are concerned and this is why we have to re-examine some things. It first starts with a firm foundation, teaching and standards.
My question to anyone reading this post: (all things mime or dance aside, this is just a general question. I believe if we keep this perspective in mind regarding anything creative, we will be able to stay within the confines of biblical boundaries.)
As believers, is it holy and right according to the Word to take what originated in the world -for evil and sinful purposes – to flip it and put a Christian flare on it, and offer it up to God?
What do you think? I would love to receive input on this.
FYI: The original post is below. I did not write it (I only wrote the section on Mime Ministry Tips). I simply copied it from another ministry site a long time ago. Now that I know where it came from and why, my views has changed regarding this art form in the house of the Lord in certain respects. Again, I am not saying it is wrong.
This is why mime or dance is not wrong: The world is not the only one who knows how to use their bodies in an interpretive manner. We can do that as well, but in accordance to God’s holy standards. This is why it is important that anyone in this kind of ministry be taught (based on Scripture) why we do what we do. In addition we have to teach what distinguishes us from how the world does it and why they do it. If so, then it would not matter if mime for example was used centuries ago for the purposes explained above. If that is the case, we can say that we all should stop singing because those who partake in witchcraft use the art of singing (this may not be the greatest example, but I hope you get my drift). I believe this will clear up a lot of confusion and rejection some people in the body of Christ has against dance, mime, and other expressive art forms.
Let me know what you all think.
How do you teach your ministry ‘mime’ according to the Word and separate from the world?
Why do you wear the garments you wear?What do you wear?
Why do you paint your faces? Why do you move they way you move? Why did you adopt that style? (there are different mime styles so to speak – some are sign language based, some are dance based, some are dance and interpretive/or expressive mixed together, some strictly interpretive and expressive, some is based on acting, and some contain all of these elements such as the mime ministry of K&K Mime)
Please let your comments be based on scripture, not opinion or experiences (this is partly the reason for some of the confusion and rejection of art forms being expressed in the church. People don’t really care about what we personally have experienced or believe. They want to know what Scripture teaches…and they are exactly right. God’s Word always has the final authority).
God bless you.
What is Mime Ministry?
By Praise In Motion
Mime ministry involves drastic movements, facial expressions, and hand signs to depict God’s Word, God’s will, life’s struggles and accomplishments.
The responsibility of every mime is to bring the word of God to life with great intensity and divine excellence!
The Origins and Development of Mime and Mime Ministry
The language of gestures was born with man and is reborn every day as part of his need to express himself. Before the human voice developed, gestures served not only to communicate but to aid in the development of vocal sounds. Later they were incorporated in the first forms of written language of, for example, the Egyptians, the Aztecs, and in the pictographic writings of the Hebrews. Gestures and expressive movement were also utilized in ancient religious dances and ceremonies. And from the ancient ceremonies in China, Japan, India, and Egypt emerged the actor, who was at once a dancer, singer, and mime.
The following article was excerpted by Annette Lust from her book, From the Greek Mimes to Marcel Marceau and Beyond: Mimes, Actors, Pierrots and Clowns: A Chronicle of the Many Visages of Mime in the Theatre
The Word and Mime
In the Old Testament, Ezekiel was a prophet that was called to announce God’s judgment on Israel, and other nations, and to proclaim restoration for God’s people. His preaching was not well received by the Jews who were with him in captivity, Chapter 3, so God gave Ezekiel many methods, illustrations and demonstrations to help get the message across to the Jews, Chapter 4,5. Ezekiel acted out most of the methods, and did illustrations for Israel. Israel later became restored again and God renewed the Temple and a New Jerusalem, Chapter 40.
Ministering Mime is interpreting gospel music, using illustrations and non-verbal methods to allow the congregation to understand what you are doing, just like Ezekiel demonstrated in the Old Testament.
For more information about the origins of mime ministry or about Praise In Motion Mime Ministry click here.
Mime Ministry Tips From PDCM
Tip 1. Pray! Pray! Pray!
Tip 2. Worship! This is an important aspect of mime as it is in any aspect of the Christian life style. When we worship God and meditate on his message and purpose for the transformation of our souls and encouragement in the faith, choreographies themselves become clearer as we receive instructions directly from God as to how we should approach a particular mime.
Tip 3. Worship is more important than technique. When we worship, God can teach us all of the technique that we need to know, he can teach us through one day’s worship experience what it may take students years to learn at a Ministry training school or University. Technique however is important because the combination of it with the truth that is in us can relay a powerful message.
Tip 4. Beginners in mime should learn to use actions outside of their regular zone of comfort (our regular expressions).
Tip 5. To be a good mime, you must learn to surpass limited movement and exaggerate your actions to communicate effectively the same way a singer or actor projects their voice to the audience at the back of the auditorium.
Tip 6. Get it together! Get your mime ministry together and work as a team. Remember that there is no “BIG I’s and little u’s”. We all make up a team for one purpose and that is to edify the people of God through glorifying God. If you mime solo get your thoughts together and allow yourself to flow through the Holy Spirit.
Tip 7. God created you uniquely to be you and not like anybody else. As long as you are trying to be like someone else you will never grow into who God made you to be. The best you can ever be is number two!
Applying and Removing Mime Makeup
Make sure you shave before you put on your makeup! If you forget you’ll probably only forget once. It’s a nightmare trying to outline your face with stubble in the way.
If you have long hair: Put your hair back! (and always pull your hair up or back while ministering. Hair flying all over the place is a distraction to you and to those to whom you are ministering to).
Go slowly. It’s hard to fix mistakes afterwards. Leave yourself (more than) enough time to put on your face. Even after you have put on your face many times you will still want to leave yourself about 30 minutes.
Putting on Your Makeup
1. White base
You can get cake (water based) vs. Clown white (grease based) makeup. Cake may appear streakier than grease makeup. Some cake makeups (Ben Nye or Mehron) are simply pressed powder while others (Kryolan) are glycerin based. Clown white (Kryolan, Mehron) provides a heavy grease base and has talc powder that makes it go on thick. You can also get waterproof clown white (Kryolan). Applying skin moisturizer (not cold cream which is just more grease on your face) before beginning to apply clown white will help the grease makeup to spread easier.
A suggestion is to outline your face (shape) in white and then starting from your nose out to the perimeter. If you choose to have anything than an oval face one suggestion is to put perimeter ‘dots’ on your face and then to ‘connect the dots’ with lines before filling in your face. You can do all of this using your fingers, a pencil (see below) or a brush.
Don’t go too wide with the outline of your face; otherwise it’s very difficult to outline your face with black by yourself. On the other hand you can choose to not have an outline and fill your whole face and have the makeup go right up to your hair.
It is much easier to put the markings over cake makeup than (un powdered) grease makeup. Powdering grease makeup is recommended before putting on black, red or any other markings.
When applying the white base around your mouth it is better to accidentally get some white on your lips than to not go all the way up to your lips. You can always wipe it off.
Once again, not all mimes powder and for those who do there may be times when they decide to not powder.
For the white it is best to use a super white powder (Ben Nye). A cheaper but not as good alternative is (Johnson’s) baby powder.
Shake off any excess powder after putting powder on a puff or brush and before touching your face. You can do this by flicking the back of the puff or the end of the brush with your finger(s). If you put too much powder on your makeup will crack.
Powder your face lightly. If you’re wearing grease based makeup you will know that you have powdered enough when your face doesn’t feel ‘sticky’.
3. Markings (Black and Red)
For the black you can use either a paint, pencil or liquid eyeliner. Paints (Kryolan, Mehron) are simply applied with a paint brush. You can get thin or thick grease pencils (Mehron). If you are trying to keep the grease makeup away from your eyes you can use a charcoal pencil (Mehron) for right around your eyes. Charcoal pencils are not recommended for use elsewhere on your face – grease pencils are best. There are also cream based pencils (Ben Nye). Liquid eyeliner (Kryolan, Mehron) is easier to apply over a white grease base than a pencil but it can also run. Pencils tend not to run. Most in mime ministry don’t use eye or lip makeup.
1. For cake (water based makeup) soap and water will work just fine.
2. For clown white (grease based makeup) you can simply use Pond’s Cold Cream. You can also purchase makeup remover lotion that is mineral based (Mehron). This type is good for removing makeup around the eyes. You can also get makeup oil (Kryolan, Mehron) (that looks like Vaseline) As a last resort you can use (Johnson’s) baby oil or Crisco oil.
3. You can use cotton balls to get makeup off from around the eyes. You can buy cotton squares. Tissues and Q-tips are also good.
4. After you have removed greased based makeup it is best to have an alcohol based stringent handy (Sea Breeze).