Sometimes you have to get out of the way to see what another person/other people can do. I’ve been leading the dance ministry team at my home church for the past 11 years. Today my husband and I had our last Sunday at this church he/we planted 11 years ago and the church gave us a “farewell” reception. It was incredible – more than I expected, certainly more than I deserved. One friend shared a poem she wrote for us, another a funny and meaningful song about our family and ministry, another prepared a slide show, others shared stories and words of encouragement. Each one was moving, precious, inspiring. What floored me, though, was what the dance team shared. Continue reading “Sometimes You Have to Get Out of the Way”
Tag: dance ministry
Dance the Scriptures
I’m loving the “Dance Dance Dance!” DVD and book by Lynn Hayden. I used the lesson from the DVD to teach this lesson in my worship dance class with children last week. You can purchase and/or DVD here.
The DVD has several parts: In it, Pastor Lynn unpacks the meaning of the word dance as it appears in the Old and New Testament. We learn that the bible is full of words that imply dancing, dancing in a circle, moving the body in a beat or rhythm, being stirred in rapid movement, and going around in a circle. Then she goes on to teach about Hebrew words found in the Old Testament and Greek words in the New Testament that imply movement. For each word, we learn how the Hebrew or Greek word is translated into English. These words are called the “locator words,” and they are the words we see in our Bible. Then, Pastor Lynn gives an amplified definition of the word, in which we see how much movement is implied by it. Next, a group of dancers embody scriptures where each of these words can be found. In the last section of the video, Pastor Lynn teaches a dance choreographed to “Psalm 23.”
The DVD is full of biblical and practical tools. It will equip you to teach others that there is so much more to dance in the bible than Miriam’s dance and David dancing before the Lord. When the bible says to “rejoice,” it means more than just “be happy.” The word gull or gil means to spin around under the influence of any violent emotion, to be joyful, to rejoice, to cry out, or to exalt. I have used the exercises in the DVD at dance workshops to get women and children bringing the scriptures to life. I love what different groups of people will choreograph to scripture. Do one word study each week at dance team practice to build a biblical foundation for dance for the team as well as to build their movement vocabulary.
To purchase, click here.
Now is the Time
Have you been thinking about purchasing my children’s worship dance curriculum? Now is a great time to buy it.
1) You’ll receive my updated videos which include live teaching and footage from dance class. I’ve been getting great feedback from those who have received these videos. I’m adding them to the current package without changing the price.
2) You can purchase a hard copy of the book, if you’d like. I’ve had many people ask about this.
3) You can purchase the book separately from the videos, allowing you to get started with the book alone for a lower price, if that suits your needs better.
4) As a reward for taking action this next week (before March 8), you’ll receive the gift of “Raising Up Worshipful Children” Teleseminar audios with your curriculum. This will teach you how to build a worshipful children ministry and how to use the activities in my book. I taught with Jocelyn Richard of The Praise Dance Life. You’ll receive two 1-hour audio messages as well as slides that accompanied the class.
So, if you have been thinking about purchasing the curriculum for yourself or for a friend, there’s no better time than now.
To learn more, click here.
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.
Seven Benefits of Teaching Worship Dance to Children Outside your Church
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
How I Went from Teaching as a Volunteer to Receiving Pay that Funds the Ministry
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.
Our Advent Worship Dance – 4 Things I Learned
The dance team that I lead at Sherwood Presbyterian Church had the privilege of dancing in worship last Sunday. 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: The last two times we danced, we had 8 dancers, this time I started with only myself and 3 others. I couldn’t help wondering if it would be a bit of a letdown for the congregation, if we were going backwards as a ministry. But I chose to take to heart and rest in something I heard Pastor Lynn Hayden of Dancing for Him Ministries teach: We need listen to the Lord about each dance, not thinking we have to out do each previous dance, but knowing God works uniquely in each one. Of course, He did have a perfect plan for this dance. Because there were only four of us, I had more time to work with each person on the team. We got to really work through the kinks in the dance. Scheduling was much simpler. We were able to schedule an extra rehearsal easily when we found we needed it. There was an intimacy, focus, and unity to this group that was powerful as well as a joy for me as a leader. In this case, the Lord chose a small group, and less was more.
2) Trust the Holy Spirit with the Choreography and Dancers: I saw the Holy Spirit working through the process of choreographing and forming this dance. When I first envisioned thus dance, I saw five dancers (working with an odd number often works better with staging), including a young child. But four agreed to dance, the two children were more young ladies than small children. The young child I felt would be perfect couldn’t commit to the rehearsal schedule and so declined my invitation. So I choreographed for four. I loved what God have me for the four of us. Two weeks before dancing, I could still see this young dancer in the final part of the dance. Her part would be short and simple, but powerful. So I asked her mother again if this young girl might be up for participating in the last few rehearsals. She was delighted. When she entered, she commanded the stage and there was a collective gasp from the congregation. Something about this young girl who danced with power added a critical element to the dance. The Lord knew what He was doing all along. She didn’t need to be at all the rehearsals (in fact her absence freed the rest of us to work our our parts of the dance). She was available when we needed her and completed the dance. Choreography is a process, The Lord doesn’t reveal everything at once, but he knows what He is doing. I learned to trust Him and be flexible.
3) The Devil is in the Details, so Be Diligent about Details: If we have prepared well in the large things, the Enemy will try to derail us through the small things. Because of some complicated staging issues with the worship team, we decided not to do a run through of the dance on stage the morning of our worship dance. We warmed up and practiced in another room. I gave my iPod with the song to the sound tech and talked him through all the details about what we needed from him. But I didn’t have him run a sound check. I know, you’re thinking, “Are you kidding? What were you thinking?” Honestly, I think it was the people pleaser I me that didn’t want to trouble him. (Satan know our weaknesses) The sound tech didn’t think we needed to play the song, and I went along with that, not wanting to be a pest. When it was time to dance and he started the song, the music was barely audible. The sound technician raised the volume, but we had missed the 8 counts of the song. The song had a dramatic beginning, one I was not willing to miss (one that isn’t recorded on the video – another lesson for me about details). I did not let this derail us, though. Without flinching, grimacing, or showing distress or annoyance, I turned around and said, “Can you back it up, please?” We started over, and it was quickly forgotten. Nonetheless, it was a lesson for me: Do a sound check, always. Don’t leave room for the enemy to bring trouble.
4) God is Greater than the Details and Greater than the Enemy. The dance had the impact we prayed for. The team loved dancing, we worshiped, Jesus was present, and ministry happened. A first-time visitor at our church approached one team member afterwards, hugged her, and said, “I’ve always wanted to see a worship dance.” The Lord prepared a gift for this visitor long before she visited. Not only that, the woman asked the team member (for whom I had prayed that morning that the Lord would encourage her that day and affirm her as a dancer), “Have you been dancing ever since you were a little girl?”
A man in our congregation said to me, “Dance has never really spoken to me, but what you do with the children moves me deeply. I can’t really explain it.” The Lord had been present and had touched him through the dance.
In I John 4:4 it is written, “Greater is He that is in you than He that is in the world.” God is greater than the enemy and His grace covers our shortcomings. He desires to touch and bless people through the dance, and if we are submitted to Him, His purposes prevail even if not every details is perfect. Glory to Him.
What has the Lord taught you recently about preparing to minister? Please share in the comments (the comment button is at top, just before article). I would love to hear, and it will help others.
A Christmas Gift to Jesus
When my oldest son went to preschool, his class prepared a Christmas program to present to the parents. His teacher told them as they practiced for this big event, “This is your Christmas gift to Jesus.” My son, who doesn’t normally care for performing, set his heart on being a wise man, practiced diligently, and walked tall, bearing a crown and toting a box of frankincense. I loved the way his teacher framed their program – as a gift for Jesus, something they could put their heart into, do their best and offer to the Lord.
I admit, while I love receiving gifts, buying gifts often feels stressful to me. Will they like what I chose? Can I afford what they would like most? Have I chosen the right color, style, size, etc. But when I have a gift that I am confident is just right for my loved one, one that fits them to a tee and that expresses my love to them, I love giving the gift. It gives me joy anticipating when I can give it. Giving just the right gift is a delight. So, when I prepare to dance during advent, I remind myself that this is my Christmas gift to the Lord (and to His people). It infuses rehearsals with a greater joy and purpose. I tell my team, “This is your Christmas gift to the Lord.” The children walk taller knowing that they have something to give the Lord who has given so much to them. Of course, every gift to the Lord is simply returning to Him what He has already given us. Nonetheless, He loves it.
This year our dance team is preparing to dance to a song written by a friend of mine, Doug Eltzroth called, “And a Child Shall Lead Them,” based on Isaiah 11:6-9.
6 The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.
7 And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion shall eat straw like the ox.
8 And the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den.
9 They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain: for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek: and his rest shall be glorious.
My team is working hard, we love the choreography. We can’t wait to share the dance with the congregation. The song talks about the healing, reconciliation, peace and restoration that Jesus brings. We are praying for God to bring healing and restoration to individuals and families in our congregation. We are praying for Jesus to work powerfully in people’s lives. We are looking forward to the joy of dancing. And I can’t wait to give this latest gift that I am working on to Jesus.
Are you dancing for advent? I’d love to hear about it (better yet, see videos – feel free to leave a link). I pray that He fills you with joy in the giving and equips you with all you need to offer Him your best.
Matthew 2:11 And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshiped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh.
Will You Trust Him with the Desires of Your Heart?
I’m writing this post from my parents’ home in Arizona. I’m so thankful to be able to spend this holiday with them. It’s been over ten years since I’ve spent Thanksgiving with my parents, as my husband and I decided years ago that flying at Thanksgiving is too costly and difficult. But this year, I felt like I needed to see my family. It had been too long. I wanted my children to spend time with their grandparents sometime during the holidays. Friends prayed for me, and the Lord opened a way. I’m so grateful that He cares about the things that matter to us.
This vacation is bringing a needed rest for me and for my family. I’ve been super busy over the last six months – first completing my website, then writing and finishing my e-book, then preparing to teach at a couple of teleseminars, all the while homeschooling my three boys and teaching worship dance to children. I write this to acknowledge what God has allowed me to to. He allowed me to complete these works, to gain satisfaction from the work, and to touch the lives of others. He has been gracious to me to permitting me space to pursue what’s been on my heart. He has shown that He cares about the things that matter to me.
Accomplishing these ministry projects has come challenges, though. My husband and children have been missing me. I have felt torn between home and ministry, even though they should be one. So, this time while I’m in Arizona is affording me the time to connect better with my children, to play with them, to listen to them, to enjoy them. And it’s offering me time to reflect, to ask the Lord to help me to learn how to order my time aright. (Lord, teach me to number my days aright so that I might gain a heart of wisdom. Psalm 90:12) There is always enough time for what He has called us to do; however, I need to be connected enough to Him to distinguish between what He’s really calling me to do and what activities are distractions.
I’m asking Him to give me willingness to let go of anything that is a distraction as well as willingness to give myself to the work that matters most to Him.
I’m asking Him to help me not to be afraid that if I say, “Not my will but yours be done,” that I’ll lose something of value. Isn’t that Satan’s favorite lie, that if we do what God wants, we’ll lose out? That’s the same lie he used in the Garden of Eden. But the truth is, that God is the giver of every good gift and when He does take something from us, He does it for our good. But when we cling to what we think we need/want, we miss out on this good. (Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could have been theirs. Jonah 2:8)
What about you?
What desires of your heart has the Lord allowed to come to fruition this year?
Are you at peace with how your home life integrates with your ministry and how your lifestyle supports your callings to each? If so, I would love to hear how. Please comment and share.
Are you clinging to any worthless idols that stand in the way of receiving grace from the Lord? Remember that God is the gift of every good gift. Don’t be deceived by the enemies lies. Trust the Lord to give you what is truly good.