Why Use Flags or Banners in Worship?

worship flags scriptureWhat is the point of using flags or banners in worship?

Does the bible say anything about worshiping with flags?

Are flags a distraction, drawing people’s attention to the dancer when they should be worshiping?

Have you asked or been asked any of these questions? If so, read on to learn how flags were used in scripture and four important ways you can use them in spiritual warfare and ministry in worship.

In Processionals, Props and Pageantry, Pastor Lynn Hayden talks about the scriptural significance of banners. Scripture uses the words, banner, ensign, flag and standard. All of these are used in reference to warfare and, you will see, are relevant to our worship. Watch this 9-minute video to learn how.

Thanks so much for joining me today. Please join the discussion.

Why do you use flags or banners in worship?

What you have seen the Lord do when you have worshiped with flags?

Did this video raise any questions for you?

I’d love to hear from you.

Worshipful Ronde de Jambe sequence

ballet for worshipThe ronde de jambe is one of my favorite movements in dance. It is so graceful and communicates reverence and adoration. So, when given the assignment to create a tutorial from Lynn Hayden’s Ballet III DVD, I chose her ronde de jambe sequence.  You can watch this 4 minutes video below. Enjoy and feel free to borrow from for your own choreography. Continue reading “Worshipful Ronde de Jambe sequence”

Top Ten Posts for Worship Dance Leaders

I’m on sabbatical from posting to my blog*, but want to continue giving you access to valuable resources that will help you with your dance ministry. *If you would like to know why, click here.

Here are ten of my favorite blog posts from the last four years. I pray each one encourages and equips you as you dance for Him:

  1. What does the Lord think of Dance? What’s the purpose of Dance in ministry?
  2. My Seven Favorite Choreography Tips
  3. Is God Tapping you on the Shoulder
  4. What Every Worship Dancer Needs to Know about Worshiping with Flags
  5. What I wish Every Dance Team Member Knew
  6. How to Dance the Scriptures 
  7. How to Invite Your Congregation to Join the Dance
  8. Seven Benefits to Teaching Worship Dance to Children Outside the Church
  9. Why Not You?
  10. Sometimes You Have to Get Out of the Way

 

I found I could not do without this

joy becomes survivalSometimes what we do for our joy becomes necessary for our survival. That was true for me last week, on our family vacation.

Several years ago, I started using Lynn Hayden’s Stretch and Adoration DVD as part of my weekly exercise regimen. I only did it regularly because it was assigned to me as part of my course of studies; however, when the term ended, I continued to use this DVD at least once a week, because I had grown to love how it made me feel. It has been part of my exercise routine for a couple of years now, not as a “have-to” but as a “love-to, want-to, don’t-want-to-miss-it.”

Stretching tutorial
Click image for more information

But last week, it became a “need-to” and “can’t get by without it.” My family was traveling. We drove fifteen hours from Southern California, where we live, to Oregon, to visit dear friends. I love road trips for the time they provide for reflection and good conversation and for listening to pod casts and music. But spending fifteen hours in a car wreaked havoc on my body. It left me with aching back muscles and with a locked jaw that just would not release.

For the first several days, I neglected my stretching. After all, I didn’t have my regular spot or even my DVD with me. And we were waking up in the homes of friends and family, so I was anxious to get to conversations and the adventures of the day. But by our sixth day in town, after a trip to the chiropractor and
message therapist did not do enough to release my aching muscles, I realized that stretching could not be optional. It is necessary for my survival.

For the next three mornings, I played my worship musiworship exercise DVDc and followed the stretching routine that has become so familiar to me from this DVDs. As I stretched, I could feel my muscles saying, “Tha
nk you” and “It’s about time.” I could feel the tightness beginning to leave my muscles.

We were not created to be stationary. We were designed for motion. Stretching helps pull the kinks out of muscles that have been still for too long and restores muscles that have been working on overtime. It prevents injury and increases our mobility. And it feels so good.

So, if you haven’t worked stretching into your exercise routine, I encourage you to. As dancers, flexibility is crucial for our ability to dance over the long term. It enables us to improve our technique and tones our muscles. And it also provides time for reflection and prayer, a time of stillness for our souls while our bodies are both working and relaxing.

I encourage you to try one of Lynn Hayden’s stretching DVDs. If you are new to stretching, Stretch and Adoration is the best to start with. It is my favorite and ends with a time of worship and prayer. Balance and Stretch and Strength and Balance are great to follow on with. They contain more advanced stretches and also end with a delightful time of relaxation.

If you try these, let me know what you think. What may start as a “should-do” will be come a “don’t-want-to-miss-it,” and some time, like me, you may find that you cannot afford to miss it.

Here I’ve included a short tutorial teaching one of the techniques on the Stretch and Adoration DVD. Enjoy!

Using Veils to Add Emotion and Beauty in Your Dance

Veils are a beautiful addition to worship dance. They add beauty, glory, drama and effect to your dance. They help tell a story, and you can use them to communicate emotion when you dance. In this video, you’ll learn techniques for using veils in your worship dances and see several examples of dances using veils in solo dances and also in a group dance.


The teaching from this video comes from the Veils and Dance DVD by Lynn Hayden. There are even more creative ideas for using veils on this DVD as well as an entire choreographed dance for a group of three or four dancers. I took the ideas from this DVD to create an entirely new dance that ministered powerfully to our congregation. You can watch this here and also read about 3 things I learned about preparing a group dance.

The veil used in this dance was made from 1 yard of 42″ wide fabric, cut down the center to form two veils with 21″ width. Then, I simply sewed a hem around the border to prevent the fabric from fraying. Often, at JoAnne’s fabrics, I will look through the remnants for fabric to create new veils. It’s inexpensive and often there are beautiful pieces from which to choose.

I’ve also used these veils as tunics in other worship dances by simply simply sewing a hook and eye on them so they could be attached at the shoulders.

come wash me veils

 

 

Express Your Thanks through Movement

yadah for praiseI want to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving and to say thank you for allowing me to be part of your life. I pray God’s favor on your Thanksgiving, whether you are gathering with a crowd or spending the day on your own. Whatever the case, your giving of thanks will bless the Lord.

 

The word, “Yadah” in Hebrew, which is translated as to praise or to thank in our English bibles, is to hold out, to revere or worship w /extended flourishing, wave hands in showy way, graceful gestures, glorify, give thanks, cast out, use the hands in a motion of throwing, cast out, use hands in motion of throwing. (Taken from Dance, Dance, Dance! by Lynn Hayden.) The scriptures are full of calls to give yadah or thanks to God. 2 Chronicles 20:21, Psalm 107:15 and Psalm 63:1 are just three of many.

When a group raises hands in yadah thanks in unity, it reflects the Hebrew word Towdah.

So, today, as you are giving thanks, take time to lift up your hands in thanks, wave them to the Lord as a sign of your appreciation for His goodness in your life. You’ll give Him joy and, I’m pretty sure, find that you, too, are edified. That’s just the way it works with Him. You can’t out give Him.

 

Have a thankful, and Yadah-full, Thanksgiving.

Prophetic Dance: When and Where?

When and where is it appropriate to minister through prophetic dance?

prophetic dance quote

Every time we are ministering through dance, having prayed over the dance and received inspiration from the Holy Spirit about what to do and how to do it, our dance is prophetic. In addressing the question above today, however, I’ll focus on the aspect of prophetic dance in which we direct our focus to individuals, bringing a word from the Father to them. We make eye contact with these people and deliver a message through movement especially for them. To minister through prophetic dance in this way, we need permission both from the leadership and from the person.

Continue reading “Prophetic Dance: When and Where?”

Movements of Breakthrough

movements of breakthrough
Through prayerful movements, we pull down strongholds.

Strongholds are anything that hinders the will of God in our lives. They can be long standing patterns of behavior or thought, even things that seem to be woven into the fabric of our personalities that keep us from doing God’s will or abiding in Him.

There are strongholds in families, strongholds over cities, institutions, and nations. They manifest in relational conflicts, in addiction, in injustice, crime, illness, and more. The outward symptoms are physical and material, but the root of the problem is in the spiritual realm.

The apostle Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 that God has given us authority in Christ to pull down these strongholds:

For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;  Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Our greatest weapon in pulling down these strongholds is prayer, and when we pray according to His will, we know He answers. As dancers, we intercede not just with our words, but with our movements.

In this 4 minutes video, I share movements you can use in your prayer and devotion to break down strongholds in your life, in the lives of your loved ones, and in your community.

This teaching comes from the DVD Weapons of Warfare/Movements of Breakthrough. The Weapons of Warfare/Movements of Breakthrough DVD contains four basic sections. In the first section, Pastor Lynn teaches out of the Dance, Dance, Dance! book on the Hebrew words associated with power movements.

In the second section, we learn how doing movements like circling, marching in procession, whirling, and shaking can bring deliverance by pulling down strongholds.

In the third section, Pastor Lynn gives four scriptures that describe the Lord bringing victory and deliverance through praise, and she gives movement ideas for each of these scriptures. She goes on to develop 8 counts of punch-kick movements that you can use in your own workout or to lead a group of dancers.

And, finally, in the fourth section, she demonstrates how to put all this together into a 20-minute time of movements in which a group of dancers can do spiritual warfare while also getting a cardio workout. Each section builds on the previous section, equipping the dancer with movements for intercession.

I love this DVD. One of my primary callings as a dancer is to intercede in my own prayer time and to equip others to intercede through movement. This DVD gives me strong movements for warfare (where my natural bent is towards fluid, gentle movements) and a strong biblical basis for using them.

Whether you purchase this DVD or just incorporate the movements for pulling down strongholds into your devotion (and create more movements of your own), I pray that you are encouraged and equipped by these in your prayer time.

Please share your thoughts in the comments:

Did you find this helpful?

How have you incorporated dance into your time of intercession?

DIY Worship Flags for Children

red worship flags 5
Flags add beauty and glory to the worship experience.

Flags add beauty and glory to the worship experience.

They can be powerful tools for spiritual warfare.

Children will much more readily dance spontaneously if given a flag.

And flags are expensive!

Children dance with greater freedom and spontaneity when give a flags.
Children dance with greater freedom and spontaneity when give a flags.

As I was preparing to teach worship dance this next year at my church, I found myself longing for a full set of child-sized worship flags. I’d love to have 10-12 sets of flags, enough for a room full of children to have their own flag or set of flags with which to worship. I researched the best prices for child-sized flags (The lowest price I could find, buying in a large quantity, was $11/flag. Most were between $15 and $20).

So, I decided to see if I might be able to make some simple flags, even though I’m not a seamstress (I do have a sewing machine that I know how to use). I found several tutorials online that were extremely helpful. So, I wanted to share with you a synopsis of what I learned and one  anointed tutorial on flag making that was looked doable for an unskilled sewer like me.

Materials: For a child. you want a flag to be about 17″x24″. A little smaller will work. So, for one set, you’ll can use 3/4 of a yard of fabric with a width of 42.” You’ll also need a 3/8” dowel, cut in half and sanded, giving you two dowels about 17″ long. While there are several ways to make the flag, here is a method that seemed both simple and beautiful to me: Continue reading “DIY Worship Flags for Children”

Strength, Flexibility and Balance without Yoga

worship exercise DVD
Scroll down to watch this 4 minute tutorial to develop strength, flexibility and balance.

Strength, flexibility and balance are all critical for dancers who want to improve their technique without risking injury. In fact, they are all invaluable to lifelong health. Many people, Christians included, are looking to Yoga to gain these benefits.

Years ago, I took yoga, with the mindset, “I’m here for the physical benefits and not the spirituality.” I put on my Jesus filter when I walked into the studio. The physical benefits I experienced were undeniable. My balance improved. My posture improved. I grew stronger and more flexible. And I felt better physically. Honestly, it helped me prepare for natural child birth more than any class I took at the hospital. I was grateful for that.

But I always had nagging questions in my mind about engaging in yoga, because of its roots in eastern religion. And as a runner and dancer, I found my workout plate too full to take another yoga class, so I never developed a regular practice of yoga.

Several years ago, as I found mentors in worship dance, those I respected the most warned me to stay away from yoga unequivocally. The reasons they described resonated with the unease I had felt in my spirit. So, I decided to listen to their warnings and make a decision to purposely (not just because I didn’t have time) skip yoga, even “Christian yoga” (by the way, this article is not a case against Christian yoga, just an attempt to tell my story). For me, it was a “When in doubt, leave it out.” Continue reading “Strength, Flexibility and Balance without Yoga”