Seven Benefits of Teaching Worship Dance to Children Outside your Church

Worship Dance Class at a local studio.
Worship Dance Class at a local studio.

Over the past two years as I have taught worship dance to students in my community, It has been a joy and an adventure and has opened the door for me to impact many more people than I ever imagined. I’m sharing the benefits I have experienced so that you might consider whether God is calling you to teach worship dance to children outside of your own church family:

1. It funds my dance ministry in my home church: Teaching these classes funds the dance ministry God has called me to. I have had the privilege of purchasing flags, streamers, scarves, and dance garments for my team, adding beauty, color, and pageantry to our dances.

2. It funds my training as a dancer and ministry leader: I have been able to take a class in a studio in town. In addition, I have been able to take several classes online with Jocelyn Richard and Dancing for Him Ministries. I plan to take Dancing for Him’s one year class This year.

3. It stretches me as a choreographer: I have choreographed 8-10 full dances and many portions of songs that I would not have had the impetus to choreograph, had I not had a class to teach.

4. I get more time in the studio: When I’m teaching my classes, I’m dancing too. It keeps me strong and healthy.

5. It has opened doors to other ministry opportunities: I have gained skill and experience to share with others. Through each class I teach, I learn more about how to effectively work with children. I taught a teleseminar with Jocelyn Richard this summer on teaching worship dance to children, “Raising Up Worshipful Children.” Because I’m teaching so regularly, I have more to share with other worship leaders.

6. It has given me the chance to take the gospel outside of the four walls of my church: We have danced several times at three different nursing homes. We share the gospel through music and dance. We are working on taking our dances into a local women’s prison. These are fantastic training opportunities for the children, and they stretches me too.

7. I’m providing a  much desired service in my community: I cannot tell you how many parents have expressed gratitude for having a Christ-centered dance class. They are grateful that their children are learning the purpose of dance – to glorify God. They are grateful that when their children dance, they dress modestly and beautifully. They are grateful that their children come home full of praise for Jesus. There are so many children out there with a longing to dance. We can teach them the joy of worshiping Jesus.

So, what about you? Could God be calling you to take your gift of dance outside of the four walls of the church and into the community?

Do you believe that what He has given you is of value, something that others would pay for, thus providing for other ministry that you do without charge?

Pray about it and consider teaching worship dance in your community. You will be surprised at how God can use you to raise up more worship dancers and how He will bless you through it.

I have a resource for you that will give you what you need to get started: And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children is a collection of the most important lessons I teach children. The lessons are scripted, contain clear lesson objectives, suggested songs, and lists of materials. So, all you need to do is to pray and gather your children. To learn more about this resource, click here: curriculum

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How I Went from Teaching as a Volunteer to Receiving Pay that Funds the Ministry

Our Class Dancing at an Assisted Living Facility
Our Class Dancing at an Assisted Living Facility

Around the same time that I taught my first worship dance class in the community, Jocelyn Richard began coaching me on dance ministry. She asked me what I wanted her to help me to do. I shared my top two needs–to grow in technique and to raise funds for garments and for my own training. When I shared about the home school worship dance class I was teaching, she suggested I charge for the class as a way to fund my dance ministry. I resisted at first. Sure, I had eleven students, but that was because my class was free, I assumed. If I charged, I doubted anyone would come. I didn’t have a strong technical background either, so could I charge people to take a dance class from me? She told me to teach them what I do know, not what I don’t know. I knew how to use simple movements and sign language to praise Jesus. I could teach them that.

So, I took the plunge and told the parents that I felt called to dance ministry, that I needed funds to continue my own training and to purchase garments, and that the money I earned would go back into this dance ministry. I offered the class at a rate of about half of what the local dance studio charges for their dance classes. Seventeen students register for the next session of worship dance class! I have continued to offer this class over the past two years. It has been a complete joy and delight to me.  It has brought blessings I didn’t expect.

Next post: Seven Benefits of Teaching Worship Dance to Children Outside Your Church.

How God Opened the Door for Me to Teach Worship Dance in the Community

The first worship dance class I taught to homeschoolers.
The first worship dance class I taught to homeschoolers.

I’ve been working with children in my church to dance in worship for almost 15 years. I love dancing as part of a worship service at my local church, dancing with my church family, those I know well and with whom I serve in many other capacities. There is a richness, completeness and fullness to this kind of worship dance. However, two years ago, by what was an accident of mine, the Lord opened the door for me to teach worship dance to children outside my church, in the community. It was the beginning of an adventure I did not expect that has been a joy to me and allowed me to grow as a dancer and impact many more people through dance than I had hoped or imagined. Here’s what happened.

Two years ago, as I was preparing to gather a group of children to dance during advent, I sent an email out to the families in my church. In it, I outlined the commitment I was asking, shared my vision for this dance and for worship dance in general, and asked parents and children to pray and consider whether they were called to be part of this dance. I mistyped the name of a mother in my church and ended up sending the email to a mother in my homeschooling community, who does not attend my church. She immediately emailed back and said her daughter would love to dance, would have no trouble purchasing the skirt and making the rehearsals, and asked if she could share the email with a friend of hers who had daughters that would love this opportunity. When I received her email and realized what I had done, I gulped. I was touched by her eagerness to participate and willingness to make these commitments, but I had concerns: First, I was concerned about  pulling families from their home churches.  It would mean missing services at their own churches, and more significantly, risked feeling more like a performance since the girls wouldn’t be surrounded by the people they knew and worship with other Sundays.  Secondly, our church is small and the space we have to dance in is small, so I didn’t know if I could add several more girls.

So, I countered with another offer: I would offer a worship dance class to girls in our homeschooling community, and we could end the class with a presentation at a nursing home. When I suggested this at a meeting of homeschooling moms, many mothers expressed enthusiasm, and so I offered that class in January, for no charge. Eleven children and two mothers signed up for the class. It was a complete joy to teach, the girls loved the class, and the mothers were so grateful to have a Christ-centered environment for their children to learn to dance. We culminated the class by dancing at a local assisted living facility and visiting with the residents afterwards.

To learn more about the classes I teach, click here.
Next post: How I Went from Teaching as a Volunteer to Receiving Pay that Funds the Ministry.

 

I did it!

I did it! I’m so proud, really thankful, to have finished this project that I’ve wanted to complete for a month. My husband was out of town, so I stayed up until past midnight for a couple of nights, and got it done. Normally, it’s not my style to work late into the night. I take Psalm 127:2 at face value,

It is vain for you to rise early, come home late, and work so hard for your food. Yes, he can provide for those whom he loves even when they sleep.

I’m usually nodding off around 10:30. But this was a project I couldn’t get done during the day with my kids wanting me, or wanting my computer. And I couldn’t get it done on a normal night after they went to bed, because that’s when my husband and I get to catch up. So, I burned the midnight oil for a couple of nights and, by the grace of God I did it.

I made a 3 minute video introducing my worship dance curriculum for children, And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children. This book, which is close to my heart, contains my ten favorite lessons to teach children about dancing for Jesus. In it, I instruct teachers/leaders/parents how to lay a biblical foundation for dance for their children, how to build a vocabulary of worship, how to dance the scriptures, and how to keep a kingdom mindset through it all. The book has clear lesson objectives, lists of songs to choose from, photos, lists additional resources, and two short videos that come with it. I think it’s really valuable and I want to get it into the hands of many parents, dance teachers, and children’s ministry leaders. It’s not cheap, so I know that for someone to buy this curriculum, they need to know what they can expect to receive before they purchase it. That’s why I created the video, to give a brief but meaty overview of what is in this curriculum package.

So, take 3 minutes, click the video above, have a look and let me know what you think.

By the way, I hardly felt tired over the next two days. God gave me grace. It reminds me of a favorite promise of God’s that my mom used to quote on busy days, “and your strength will equal your days,” Deuteronomy 33:25. He gave me strength to match the day.

Is there something you have really wanted to do that keeps getting pushed out by the urgent tasks of your day? Take a couple of nights and burn the midnight oil or get up before dawn. Ask God for strength to meet the day and just do it. You’ll be blessed, and others will through your work.

To purchase this package – which includes a digital download of And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children and the accompanying videos click here:

Price: $34

And A Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children is Completed and Available!

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I’m proud and grateful to have this e-curriculum completed and available to purchase. In it, I have assembled my favorite worship dance lessons – ones that teach children the heart of worship, engage them, and equip them to worship Jesus. This book contains ten scripted lesson plans for parents, dance teachers and dance ministry leaders. In addition to the lesson plans, it includes two videos,  Building a Vocabulary of Movement and Joining the Worship of Heaven – Revelation 7 Gestures, which accompany the lessons. The biblical principals taught are foundational to worship dance, so dance teachers and dance ministry leaders can use them alongside their technique training to raise children who dance for Jesus. The movements in the book are simple, so that  parents can use them at home with their children.

Click here for a preview of selected pages:

Summer Worship Dance Sessions begin June 18

Summer Worship Dance Class for Children Beginning Soon

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Two four-week sessions: Tuesdays, June 18-July 9; Wednesdays, July 31-August 21

In both of these classes, students will have the opportunity to:

  • learn the biblical basis for using dance and movement to worship
  • build a vocabulary of movement for worship
  • learn choreographed movement to worship songs
  • experiment with props such as streamers, scarves and flags in worship.
  • get exercise, strengthen their muscles, practice following directions, build Christ-centered friendships and have FUN!

Session One: Tuesdays, June 18-July 9 – Dancing the Scriptures

The bible is full of movement, and God’s word comes alive to us when we dance to it. This four week class will be a fun way to make the scriptures come alive for children, to help them hide the scriptures in their hearts, and to see how much their God loves movement.  We’ll put scripture to movement – using expressive sign as well as flags, streamers and scarves, we’ll embody the scriptures using dance.

Session Two: Wednesdays, July 31-August 21 – Dancing before the Lord

The bible says that God is looking for worshippers who worship in Spirit and in Truth. This class will focus on the heart of worship – devotion to Jesus. Children will learn how much the Lord delights in their worship and how powerful a child’s worship can be to advance the Kingdom of God. Children will use expressive sign and props to create movement phrases that express their own love for Jesus.

Continue reading “Summer Worship Dance Sessions begin June 18”