If you read my previous post, Ten Things Worship Dancers Can Learn from the School Dance Team you know how inspired I was by the talent, energy, and commitment at our local high school’s dance performance this past weekend. At the same time, I was also grieved at times and felt convicted that, as a praise dance ministry leader, I (and you) have a message that those girls need to hear. What grieved me the most was how sexual several of their garments and choreography were and how bold they were about this. Now, I didn’t expect to see circle skirts and palazzo pants at a public school dance team performance. While what is appropriate for the stage and studio is not always appropriate for the sanctuary, the converse is also true. I expected to see bodies. But what chagrined me was how outright seductive many the costumes and much of the choreography was. It was not just immodest, it was exploitative. During one dance, I wanted to search out the girls’ dads and say, “Are you okay? I’m so sorry you have to see your daughter doing this.” I don’t think the girls fully realized what their clothing and movements were saying. You could tell they were having so much fun and felt beautiful. I want those girls to know that they are worth more than that, to tell them to respect their own bodies and not offer them to everyone. I want them to know that the King wants them for His daughters. He wants more for them than that. Here’s what they need to hear from adults they respect: Continue reading “What I Wish Every Dance Team Member Knew”
How Do You Know if You are Called to Dance?
Are you called to dance ministry? How do you know if you are called? What if you aren’t called? In this 6 minute video, I teach from Lynn Hayden’s DVD “Called to Dance” (available at www.dancingforhim.com) where Pastor Lynn shares her own testimony of being called to dance, helps worship dancers answer the question, “Am I called to dance?” and answers many other questions that dancers have asked her over the years. In this video, I share teaching from “Called to Dance” as well as my own testimony of being called to dance.
At the heart of this video and of being called to dance is being in relationship with God and being in His presence. If we spend time dancing before the Lord in private, it will show when we dance in front of others.
I’ll be creating weekly 4-6 minute videos with teachings from the Dancing for Him course I am taking this year. If you would like to receive notices about these uploads, getting bite sized teachings on dance technique and dance ministry leadership, subscribe to my YouTube Channel.
What I can offer you
I was recently challenged to really consider the people I’m called to serve, what their needs are, and how the gifts and experiences God has given me can benefit them. I started writing and, right away, it was like God was pouring into me what He wanted me to offer you. So, take a look at the questions below. If one of them speaks to you, I believe the Lord has given me something to offer you. Read more to find out what that is.
1. Do you know and love Jesus and have a longing to dance but doubt you are qualified?
2. Do you have years of dance training that you want to learn to use to honor the Lord?
3. Have you been trained in the art of dance, its biblical basis, and are you experienced in leading others?
4. Last but definitely not least, are you a parent with a child who loves to dance who wants to nurture their love for dance in a Christ-centered environment?
1. Do you know and love Jesus and have a longing to dance but doubt you are qualified? Let me first say to you that you are not too old or too young to bless the Lord by dancing before Him. You don’t have to have years of training to join the dance. You can begin right where you are at. What you think is clumsy and awkward is a beautiful offering to the Lord, if it is offered in love to Him. You are more graceful and beautiful thank you know. Your dance can soften hearts, move mountains, and invite the presence of the Lord.
I specialize in choreographing simple movements than anyone can use to worship the Lord. That’s how I was invited into the dance. A woman, who used simple everyday movements in her choreography, invited men, women and children of every age and skill level to join in worshiping the Lord through dance. So, that is my passion, to activate others who have a heart for dance and don’t yet have the movement vocabulary to express it.
I’m working on a project right now called “Worship in Motion – Devotional Dances.” These simple dances have been designed so that anyone can do them in the morning hours to offer their bodies to the Lord.
Also, if you live near me, watch for local workshops. I have one this weekend. Learn more here. Whether you want to learn to worship the Lord in private or have a desire to lead the congregation as a worship dancer, you will go home equipped with new vocabulary, biblical understanding, and tools for worship.
2. Do you have years of dance training that you want to learn to use to honor the Lord? I can teach you the biblical basis for dance and the heart of worship dance. In my worship dance curriculum “And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children,” I instruct teachers, leaders, and 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 that include teaching by me, live footage from my classes, and photos of signs and gestures that you can incorporate in your own choreography to tell God’s stories. You can take this curriculum, add dance technique teaching, and have a rich, Christ-centered worship dance curriculum.
In addition, if you live local to me, I would love to partner with you in dance workshops. I would love to partner with someone who could offer more dance technique while I teach the biblical aspect of dance, dance ministry, and simple movements to use in worship.
3. Have you been trained in the art of dance, its biblical basis, and are you experienced in leading others? Praise God. I invite you to come alongside me as I invite others into the dance. I love to connect new worship dancers with the people and resources to help them grow. I know I don’t have it all, and I love to work with others who have skills and knowledge that can help me and others. I would love to partner with you in equipping women and children to worship through dance. (By the way, I know worship dance isn’t just for women and children. It’s just that I feel especially called to this group of people because who I am, how I dance, and what the Lord has put on my heart.) Let’s share resources and ideas. Let’s get connected if we aren’t already on Facebook. Comment on my blog, share your wisdom and expertise and invite others to your website. Let me know if you would be open to being interviewed for my blog.
4. Last but definitely not least, are you a parent with a child who loves to dance who wants to nurture their love for dance in a Christ-centered environment? Get my worship dance curriculum, “And a Child Shall Lead Them – Ten Worship Dance Lessons for Children.” I wrote this book for people like you. While I have sold many of these to dance ministry leaders, you were on my heart and mind when I wrote it. This book was written for parents to use at home to lay a biblical foundation for dance with their children and to invite the joy that comes through dancing Jesus into your home. The lesson plans are laid out for you. The movements are simple. There are pictures and videos to guide you. And you can even hand the book to your older child and let them go.
If you live near Sherwood, Oregon, of course, take a look at the classes I offer locally. They are a joy. Here’s what one mother said and it captures what I pray happens in the classes I teach: “I cannot begin to tell you how much my daughter enjoyed the dance class. She came home dancing every week! It was so worshipful and wholesome….the perfect way to experience dance in a Christ-centered environment.”
If one of those questions described you, let me know. Share in the comment section, let me know more about what your needs are. As the Lord opens doors, I would love to serve you.
Why Not You?
I’m not much of a football fan, but my husband is, and I like spending time with friends, so we hosted a small Superbowl party Sunday night. My favorite part of the game was the interview with Russel Wilson, the quarterback for the Seattle Seahawks at the end of the game. His team was not predicted to win, he was playing against one of the highest scoring teams in the league and one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and yet the Seahawks outscored the Broncos in a way that caused jaws to drop.
So, of course, everyone wanted to know what was behind the Seahawks amazing performance. When asked, Wilson said he asked his team at the beginning of the season, “Why not us? We’ve got the talent, the coaching staff, and the best fans in the NFL.” It turns out that questions, “Why not us?” has roots that go further back for Russel. He went on to say that his dad used to say it him.
“My dad used to always tell me, ‘Russ, why not you?’ ” Wilson said, “And what that meant was believe in yourself, believe in the talent God has given you, even though you are 5 foot 11, and you can go a long way.”
I love that line, “believe in the talent God has given you…and you can go a long way.” Do you believe in the talents God has given you? Sometimes we mistake fear, doubt, and insecurity for humility. I’m much more comfortable talking about what I don’t have to give (years of technical background, experience with a large dance ministry) than what I do (God has anointed me to dance and opened doors for me to serve inside and outside the church). But God has been showing me in the past year how He loves to take what we have to give and magnify it (literally, make it bigger) if we are willing to offer it to others.
Recently I received this email from one of my subscribers in response to the blog I wrote about dancing during advent. I choreographed and led a group of 5 dancers, including myself, and shared the dance and what I learned from it on this blog and sent the link to my email subscribers. (You can read about it here.) Here was her response (I share it with her permission):
I must truly thank you because you have no idea how your ministry has impacted me from the very first email I received from you. My having the opportunity to read the first post you shared with me about the 4 things you learned from the Advent Worship Dance awakened something in me that I felt only I was forced to deal with. You would have never known, but I too struggled during that same time as well.
…My worship team consists of four members (with two being BRAND NEW to worship arts ministry) and there was a great demand on having a grand presentation for Christmas as in times past (when I became a part of the ministry, there were at least 20 – 25 women who were a part, but when my former leader was released to serve outside of the church, I was chosen to lead the ministry…. I tried my best to overcome discouragement and move forward with the worship piece that GOD had showed me – there was great opposition, many questions, and even the thought of not going forward because there were so few of us….Well, we prayed, we cried, went forward and GOD moved mightily on my little band of worshippers! Not only that, but my youth ministry, which consists of seven girls, ministered with joy and power as they have never done before and there wasn’t a dry eye in the service!
So when I read your post, I felt as though I was reliving my entire worship journey this past year. So I say to you Min Amy, continue to do what the Lord has called you to do: being encouragement to the many worship artists and dancers who find themselves in that cave, wondering if GOD truly is calling them to come outside of the cave and to be a voice of truth, a light of hope, and a minister who brings the message of Jesus Christ to those who want more but don’t know what more is……..
This touched me deeply because confirmed what God has been showing me about Himself: He takes what he do, even something small, and He puts a magnifying glass on it. I shared my stories and the dance ministry I have at a small church, and He magnified the impact by speaking into her life and then magnified it again through her ministry, a ministry touching people I don’t know and wouldn’t have access to except through this woman.
At this season in my life and ministry, I am like the boy who gave his lunch sack to the disciples whom Jesus had asked to collect food for a crowd of thousands. His wasn’t an large lunch, but it was what he had and he offered it. The Lord took it and made a feast. The boy could have thought to himself, “Who am I to think I can help the teacher feed this crowd and what difference is this lunch going to make anyway?” But instead, he handed over what he had, a hungry crowd ate lunch, and the Lord inspired the gospel writers to record his part in this miracle. We can say to ourselves,”Who am I to teach others? Who am I to dance? Who am I to __________ (fill it in for yourself)?” But, if instead, we say, “Why not me? I’m willing. Take this, Lord, and do what you will,” He will put His magnifying glass on it and enlarge the impact for His glory and for the people He loves.
So, what about you? Do you trust the talent God has given you? What do you have to give? Whatever the size of the gift, offer it. Make it available to others and see how the Lord magnifies it, how He literally makes it much bigger than you could have imagined.