Doors Open when we say “Yes”

Yes!Many of us have to learn to say, “No,” to turn down something good in order to focus on what we are truly called to. We need to learn that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we should. We need to make sure we don’t just say “Yes” to please people or to avoid guilt. We need to make sure we don’t commit to something we aren’t able to follow through on. There is a time to say, “No.”

But there is also a time to say, “Yes,”to give our wholehearted assent and to venture into something new and risky, be it a large risk or a small one. Saying “Yes” is what I want to talk about today, because saying “Yes,” can lead to open doors and can expand us in ways we can’t even anticipate when we let that word slide out of our mouths. Continue reading “Doors Open when we say “Yes””

Why dance in church? Is it biblical?

theology of danceThis past weekend, I was blessed with the opportunity to meet with the Pastor and the Children’s Ministry Director my church. They had gathered several people who love dance to discuss the possibility of incorporating dance at our church, beginning with children.

This was an answer to prayer. It was such a gift to have these leaders come to me and to ask me to share about dance with them. I have been ministering outside my church in dance through workshops and classes this past year, but have not danced in my church.

It has been hard to imagine dance being welcome in this church. There are just one or two people who raise their hands in worship. Our Pastor and Worship Leader are very intentional to avoid or minimize anything that draws attention to the leader or a specific person. They do this because they want the congregation’s attention focused on the Lord and not the leaders, which I highly respect. The worship team leads from the side of platform and have said that they want to be “invisible” for the same reason. I appreciate their hearts and their humility.

Nonetheless, you can see how it would be hard to see how dancers could lead worship, since the goal is for leaders to be invisible. As dancers, our goal also is to point to the Lord and not to ourselves, but we use a visual art to do this.

In addition, the denomination operates under what is called the “regulative principle,” which basically states that we don’t incorporate anything in the worship service that is not expressly prescribed by scripture. So, if dance is to be incorporated in corporate worship, the Pastor and elders need to have solid theological grounds for doing so.

congregational danceDuring the discussion, my Pastor turned to me and asked,“If someone new came into our church and saw people dancing and asked, ‘Why?’, what would you tell them?”

He wasn’t asking, “Is it okay for Christians to dance?” or, “Can dance be used in evangelism in the community?” He felt secure that the answers to both of those were, “Yes.”

He was asking specifically, “Is dance appropriate in the sanctuary, in corporate worship? Continue reading “Why dance in church? Is it biblical?”

Jump Start your Devotions

If you have purchased Devotions in Motion, I have good news to share about it. I’ve added to it.

At the request of my good friend, Diane, I added a “straight through” video of all 5 devotional dances. This way, once you have learned the dances, you can use this video to dance them straight through in your devotions. I hope you find it helpful. It is available on your Devotions in Motion download page, which you received from me.

If you don’t have Devotions in Motion yet, but have been wanting to purchase it, it will be on sale for $15 through Sunday night. After that, the normal price will be $20.

I’ve also created a 2 minute video to give you a glimpse of Devotions in Motion. If you’re wondering if it would benefit you, this should help you figure that out. You can watch it here:

You can purchase it below or click here to learn more.

 

Price: $20 Sale: $15


THESE ARE VIDEO DOWNLOADS – Within 24 hours of purchasing them, you will receive an email link giving you access watch the videos online and to download them to your computer.

 

Leading a Congregation in Movement

leading corporate movementThe Unity in Motion DVD is for the dance ministry leader who wants to take his or her congregation beyond being spectators to invite them to participate in movement. Pastor Lynn gives practical instruction for leading in a way that makes it inviting and easy for a congregation to follow. The exercises are also great to help a dance team learn to dance in unity and create spontaneous, unified movements.
Here, I share a 7 minute tutorial of concepts from the DVD.

Continue reading “Leading a Congregation in Movement”

Do you let yourself be the student?

DFH Santa Maria worship dance collageWhen was the last time you took a live dance class?

Have you attended a conference in the last year?

Are you a student right now, or do you find yourself always in the position of leader or teacher?

Ever since I answered the call to lead in dance, I almost always find myself in the position of leader/teacher, even though I very much want and need to be led by those with more or different experiences than I have. Can you relate?

This month, God has blessed me with many pportunities to be a student, a learner, a follower. (With and alongside some of those, He has presented me with opportunities to teach, minister and serve.) It has been such a gift.

I want to share about two of those today and to encourage you to seek out opportunities to be a student. We all need refreshing, the chance to learn new skills and gain new tools, and the chance to make friends with those who share our passion. Continue reading “Do you let yourself be the student?”

Improve Attendance at Praise Dance Practice

dance leaders questionLast week I asked you to share what team related issues you are facing. I got some great questions, many of them expressed by multiple people, showing that they are common challenges for team leaders.

Over the next week, I’m going to respond to five questions. I’ve sought to  guide with biblical principles as well as to share from my own experience.

This first question was the most common question I received, so I’ll start with it?

1. How do you get children to attend praise dance practice regularly? 

The biblical principle here is faithfulness. It’s calling each other to let your “‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No,’” as Jesus instructed us in Matthew 5:37. Having both parents and children sign a written covenant before joining the team and/or before beginning rehearsals for a special occasion really helps with attendance. Faithfulness is important for children and parents. As God is faithful, His children need to grow in faithfulness. This means keeping the commitments we make to each other.

dancer's covenant
Having a covenant with our dancers calls them to faithfulness and helps them to know clearly what that looks like.

In our dancer’s covenant, I detail how many of the rehearsals a dancer must attend to be take part in a dance. (For example, they must attend 8 out of 10 or 9 out of 12 in order to participate. I leave room for them to miss a couple, understanding that life sometimes necessitates that.) I ask them to prayerfully consider the commitment before agreeing to dance. I also sign this covenant.

I make other commitments to them as well. I commit to pray for them, to prepare for our rehearsals and to teach biblically. So, they understand that we are committing to each other.

I also communicate with parents about my heart on this matter. I emphasize to the parents that I want the children to know the dance well enough to be free to truly worship. If there is a child who misses rehearsals early on, I’ll make a point to check in with them, seeing if anything is wrong.

In addition, I try to think practically, making sure my rehearsal times are family friendly times. When it’s possible to piggy back rehearsal time to a time when adults are at church too, that helps. This shows respect for the family schedule and the parents’ time and is what I appreciate as a parent “And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise.” Luke 6:31

I’d love to hear from you. Please share in the comments section (at the beginning of the post).

If your team has a dancer’s covenant, how has that helped with team attendance?

What other strategies/approaches would you suggest to a leader to help with attendance?

Watch for these upcoming posts:

Thursday: Holding together Technique Training, Choreography and Spirit-Led Worship

Friday: Helping the Child who Loves Performing More than Worshiping

Saturday: Dealing with the Dominant Team Member

Sunday: Making Your Dance Team Male-Friendly

Raising Up Young Dancers who Truly Worship

worship dance for childrenHow do you help children who love to dance to truly worship when they dance?

How do you get through to their hearts to establish a mindset for ministry?

How do you help them get beyond their self consciousness to truly worship?

How do you help them use props with a purpose, to use them as tools and not as toys?

How do you strengthen their ability to lead and choreograph?

How do you encourage them to worship in private, so their dance flows from their own relationship with the Lord?

I’ve been asked these questions. I’ve asked them myself.

Answering these questions is my passion, and God has enabled me to teach worship dance to children in a way that touches their hearts and enables them to touch the Lord’s heart and the hearts of those before whom they dance.

Even though I’m talking about children and my lessons were written with children in mind, all of this applies to adults as well. So if you are leading a team of adults or teens, this will help you as well. All of the principles apply.

In this online course, you’ll receive five 5-7 minute videos with ideas you can to help children worship wholeheartedly when they dance.

This is a review version, so it will be available to you online through February 21. After that, I’ll take it down and combine it with other valuable resources for an online course.

So, take advantage of this window of time when the course is available for no charge. I hope it will bless you.

register for pasadena workshop

Four Things I Learned from our Advent Dance

I posted this last year after the team I lead at Sherwood Presbyterian Church had the privilege of dancing in worship during Advent.

If you are preparing to dance in worship this advent, I think the lessons I learned will encourage and help you. So, I’m reposting this.

We danced to a song called, “And a Child Will Lead” by a friend and one of my favorite artists, Douglas Eltzroth. It was such a joy and an honor, and the Lord taught me some important lessons in the process. Here they are:

1) Sometimes Less is More: Continue reading “Four Things I Learned from our Advent Dance”

Begin Where You Are and Resist Criticizing

Beginner Praise Dance ChristmasDon’t despise the days of small beginnings.

I choreographed the dance below three years ago and it is dear to me.

Warning: There is a huge garment problem right at the beginning. Don’t let that hinder you from being blessed by this dance.

In fact, in a way, that garment snafu is part of my point in posting this video. There are many things I could critique about this dance regarding the garments, the group choreography, even or especially, our hair. But it this dance is dear to me, and it still moves me.

Watch it, and you’ll see what I mean.

Continue reading “Begin Where You Are and Resist Criticizing”

Praise Dance Workshop in Pasadena

praise dance workshop in pasadenaSave the date! January 31 2:00-5:30.

I’m excited and honored to be teaching with Marlita Hill, author of Dancers, Assume the Position and dancer teacher. I feel like God has brought Marlita into my life at just the right time. She has tremendous talent and skill and wants to come alongside me in equipping worship dancers to tell God’s stories in a way that truly connects with people.

You’ll hear more on this later, but please be praying and, if you live near me or feel called to travel to Los Angeles, save the date!

Take 3 minutes to watch this prophetic dance by Marlita and be encouraged:

praise dance workshop pasadena