Our Dance Ministry (Praise Him With Dance!)
As born-again Christians (and active members of a Baptist church), my husband and I often get funny looks when people learn that we are dancers. God has blessed us with musical, dancing, and choreographic abilities, and we believe He would have us use these gifts to His glory and to spread His Word to an audience unaccustomed to hearing the Gospel. Our ministry is called Praise Him With Dance!
It is true that the Bible condemns worldly forms of dancing, such as the dance Herodias’ daughter performed to entice Herod to execute John the Baptist (Mark 6:22-28), or the naked dancing of the Hebrews before the golden calf idol they had made (Exodus 32:18-25).
However, about two thirds of the references to dancing in the Bible portray it in a positive light, as a form of praise, worship, and expression of joy. Dancing is contrasted with mourning (Ecclesiastes 3:4; Jeremiah 31:13; Lamentations 5:15), and it was used to celebrate victory in battle (1 Samuel 18:6; 30:16) and the return of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:25). Miriam led the Israelite women in a dance of praise after God parted the Red Sea to deliver them from Egypt(Exodus 15:20-21). David danced before the Lord to praise Him for bringing the Ark back to Egypt, and when his wife Michal disapproved, she was punished by not bearing any children (2 Samuel 6:14-23).
Two of the Psalms call on worshippers to praise God with dance as well as music!
Psalm 149:3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp.
Psalm 150:4 Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs.
Through the years it has become clear to my husband and me that our ministry is to dance to Christian music for audiences that may be largely unchurched, in settings that are more secular than sacred. Our prayer each time we set foot on the dance floor is to honor Him with our dance, to dance for His glory, and to soften hearts to His Word. We have been blessed to have missionaries and people in church leadership praying for us in this mission.
If God calls you to a specific work, He will see you through it! God has blessed our dance ministry by granting us the strength to continue in physically demanding choreography, including overhead lift work, despite my husband’s heart condition (mitral valve regurgitation) and our age. We are old enough to be the parents or even grandparents of most other performers in this style, and we have been dancing together for more than 20 years even though the career of a male dancer in this style is usually limited to 5 years or less because of injuries and overuse.
God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness; His grace is sufficient (2 Corinthians 12:9); and with Him, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26; Philippians 4:13)
Isaiah 40: 29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. 30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall: 31 But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
He has opened doors for this dance ministry exceeding abundantly beyond what we could ask or think (Ephesians 3:20), and it is amazing to look back over the years to see how He began preparing us for it long before we were even saved! (Jeremiah 29:11)
Lately God has also blessed me with Christian lyrics to secular and classical songs, which we dance to in the hope that the audience will be more attentive to the words when they recognize the music, and that the next time they hear the tune, their hearts will remember the Christian message.
Some of our pieces are on YouTube:
“Save Me!” (2011; lyrics/vocal by Laurie Collett)
“All I Need is You” (2011; lyrics/vocal by Laurie Collett)
“Power and Joy” (2009)
“O Holy Night” (2008)
“Silent Night” (2009; Theatrical Waltz)
If you feel so led, please view them. Your prayers for this dance ministry would be greatly appreciated.
To lead souls to the Lord, believers need to go where the lost are, bringing God’s Word and the good news of the Gospel outside the church (Matthew 28:19-20). In any endeavor, vocation, or hobby, God calls us to do all to His glory, that others may see Him through us and want to follow Him.
Colossians 3: 23 And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; 24 Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.
Fight or Flight?)