David’s Dancers operates under a three-fold set of guiding principles:
Accepting the Call to Ministry
Membership in David’s Dancers is open to all members of the Shiloh church family. Membership intake is on a rolling basis. There is no regard for age or dance experience. Members and those looking to become members should be of good health and have a willing and cooperative spirit. As ministers, we must remember that worship is a lifestyle. Since dance is a visual art we must be careful to live what people see us dance about and maintain the temple that God has given us to use for His glory. Therefore, David’s Dancers must possess and maintain:
- A personal, committed relationship to Jesus Christ
- An attitude of submission and humility to Christ and the leadership of the dance ministry and church
- Support for one another as members
- A Christian walk consistent with the Bible, i.e., a lifestyle of holiness and purity in the way you act, dress, and in the things you do away from, as well as at church
- Your body, mind, and spirit free from injury and sin in order to be able to minister properly under the power and the anointing of the Holy Spirit
- Daily devotional prayer life, including worship, prayer support for the ministry, the vision of the church, and the harvest of souls
- Appropriate dress as priestly representatives of Jesus Christ at all times
- Faithful attendance of rehearsals, ministry meetings, bible study, and church services
- Patience (There is a season of confirmation and ordination. Trust your leader's wisdom in determining when you are to be released into ministry.)
Upon joining the ministry, members will receive a copy of this handbook and will be assigned a mentor. All members are required to thoroughly read and sign that they have read this handbook. In addition, members are required to participate in a period of consecration upon joining the ministry, which includes reading Dancing in the Spirit: A Scriptural Study of Liturgical Dance, by Karen Curry, and submitting a reflection paper. The duration of the period of consecration is 12 weeks (three months). During this time the members are required to fast and pray on their calling to the ministry. It is further expected that members, although not yet able to minister, will attend rehearsals and ministry events.
The ministry as a group fasts and prays at times to properly prepare ourselves for ministry and dancing for and with the Lord. All persons who are able should fast and pray for the ministry, the leadership, the dancers, and our church leadership. We pray for each other and for the responsibility each of us has within the ministry. During the time of fasting, we listen to what the Lord is saying to us while focusing on our role and purpose within the ministry. We pray for any upcoming events in which the ministry will participate. We encourage all youth members to fast. The fast should be a personal sacrifice.
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David’s Dancers rehearses every Wednesday from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM in the Worship Center. We also rehearse every second and fourth Saturday of the month with the Praise Team from 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon in the Worship Center. Any changes or additional rehearsals will be announced at rehearsals and/or via email.
All rehearsals prior to any ministry event or activity are mandatory! Any special circumstances must be discussed with the ministry director. No food or chewing gum is allowed during rehearsals. Dress in comfortable and loose fitting clothing that is not revealing.
David’s Dancers minister in uniform praise garments. It is the responsibility of each dancer to purchase their praise garments. Praise garments should be maintained by the dancer, with the exception of any ministry purchased garments which will be maintained by the Leadership Team. If you lose or misplace your garments you will be responsible for purchasing a replacement. In general, ministry garments are sacred and are not to be worn outside of the sanctuary, worship center, or location of ministry for an event. They should be transported in a garment bag at all times and kept on a hanger. Be sure to regularly check the appearance of your garments and take whatever action(s) necessary to keep them in good condition. Following are additional rules governing the wear and use of praise garments:
- Prior to wearing any new ministry garment(s), they should be consecrated and prayed over.
- Members are responsible for cleaning their praise garments after each use and further ensuring that they are ironed, if necessary, prior to ministering in them. If your garments are not cleaned and pressed you will not be allowed to minister.
- Food should not be eaten in the garments with the exception of being fed during a ministry event outside of regular worship services.
Getting Ready to Minister
Members should be ready to minister at least 45 minutes prior to the service or ministry event. You should be prayed up, with your heart and mind focused on Jesus. Your attitude should be in a spirit of praise and celebration, expecting God to show up and do a mighty work. Upon arrival each dance member should immediately get dressed and prepare any needed items for the event or worship service. Please allow yourself sufficient time to arrive and get prepared as being hurried and rushed can give place to frustration and usher in a spirit of confusion prior to ministry. Guidelines include:
- All dancers should be dressed in the designated praise garments a minimum of 15 minutes prior to entering service and waiting for final instructions, settling their spirits, and praying with the group. (Do not wear your uniform outside of ministering. Our garments are sacred and should only be used during ministry.)
- If you arrive late you will not be able to minister. If you enter service and the group is already in position on the floor to minister, do not go onto the floor with them.
- When ministering outside of Shiloh, we typically go as a group and remain as a group until the event is over. Unless otherwise directed, or discussed, everyone is to remain for the entire service or ministry event.
In preparation for ministry, be sure your hair, nails, and body are clean. If you are unable to freshen up at home, the ministry maintains a box called the Love Box with toiletry items for use. However, please do not use the Love Box as your primary means for preparing. Be prepared as there may be times when we will leave directly from rehearsal and go to a ministry engagement.
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Attendance at Rehearsal
New members must participate in a minimum of three rehearsals beyond attending rehearsals during the 12-week (three months) consecration period, before they will be able to minister during a service and/or program.
When a new dance is taught, a member must attend a minimum of three rehearsals, including the rehearsal prior to the date of ministering.
Members who plan to dance with the Praise and Worship Team must attend praise and worship rehearsals. Note: Praise and Worship rehearsals are held with the Praise Team on the second and fourth Saturday of each month.
If you will be late, please call or send a text message to the ministry director or ministry assistant as soon as possible (no emails, please). When calling, please leave a message if you get their voice mail. Plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to rehearsal time to allow yourself time to change, stretch, and prepare your spirit.
If you missed more than four consecutive rehearsals you will be required to begin your consecration period over prior to returning to minister. Exceptions may be made for work, family, and other emergencies with prior discussion with the ministry director.
Taking a Leave of Absence / Period of Rest
From time to time, we go through individual valley experiences where God may be emptying us out, preparing us for a testimony, or has emptied us and we need to be delivered and/or filled up in order to effectively minister to the people. In such times, it may be necessary for members to take a leave of absence or a period of rest. At other times, we may be away at school, have personal or other family matters to attend to, be away for work, or otherwise unable to participate fully in the ministry and need to take a leave of absence. Periods of rest may include not ministering in dance for personal reasons related to school or other activities, work, and/or health, but still attending rehearsals and events to provide support to the ministry.
If a member needs to take a leave of absence or period of rest from the dance ministry the following applies:
- A one-on-one meeting should first be scheduled with the ministry director to discuss and request the need for a leave of absence or period of rest from the Ministry. Announcements about such should not be made at ministry rehearsals or events until or unless formalized and discussed with the ministry director.
- A leave of absence or period of rest is granted with the understanding that when a member takes a complete leave of absence defined as being away from the ministry (no rehearsals, events, etc.), upon coming off of leave, they would be required to reconsecrate themselves in order to become reacquainted with the ministry before ministering. The period of time needed before ministering will be determined on an individual basis as discussed between the ministry director and the member.
- After a period of rest, when a member will be allowed to minister upon returning to a ministry role will be determined by the ministry director based on the level of participation, commitment, and awareness the member has shown during the resting period.
Appearance & Attire
When ministering, keep in mind that the focus should be on Christ the Spirit, not the dancer (vessel). Therefore, hair should be worn in a simple style, nails (if polished) should be polished with clear or neutral polish, proper undergarments should be worn for support and decency, makeup should be natural, and no jewelry.
When traveling to ministry sites, including ministry at Shiloh Baptist Church, or when supporting the ministry during a ministry event or at regular worship services, dancers should wear their David’s Dancers t-shirts and black pants.
David’s Dancers t-shirts should only be worn when ministering. They should not be worn for rehearsals or out and about town.
Attentiveness During Ministry Events and Service
It is expected that each dancer be attentive during ministry events and service, and focused on the Spirit. Always keep a prayerful attitude about our ministering that we might first minister unto the Lord with His anointing and then that we might reach the saved as well as the unsaved in a way that they might be set free. Remember, just when God can use you, Satan can also use you and your behavior. We are praise and worship leaders, whose role it is to usher in the Spirit through movement. It is very important that we conduct ourselves in a manner that demonstrates that. Guidelines include:
- No cell phones, blackberries, iPods, or other electronic devices or books (other than Bibles) should be on / utilized while ministering or participating in service.
- No chewing gum at any time during ministry events or services.
- Refrain from excessive talking, playing, and moving during services. No slouching or sleeping.
- If the praise and worship leader is leading us in movements with the choir during service, all members are to participate.
- Always come to church expecting God to use you in the ministry of dance. You are a praise and worship leader and must be prepared with the proper attitude for ministering spontaneously.
All reminders and announcements will be communicated via email and at rehearsals. It is important that you provide us with an email you check at least twice a week. Emails are sent on Tuesday and Friday of each week, usually prior to rehearsals. It is important to read the emails from beginning to end as they usually contain relevant information for upcoming ministry events and activities.
It is important that members reply to emails requiring responses, i.e., when polling who will be available to dance. This allows us to make decisions related to ministry opportunities and/or administrative issues.
Guidance for Youth Members & Parents
When your child accepts the call to minister through David’s Dancers, you as a parent also become a part of this ministry. These are the expectations for parents and youth:
- To actively minister, all youth must maintain a minimum 2.8 overall grade point average. Youth are required to provide their report cards to ministry leaders immediately upon receipt each quarter / semester. If grades drop below this average, youth will not be allowed to minister.
- Arrive early, but no later than the designated time to drop off and pick up your youth for rehearsals and ministry events. Rehearsals are from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM on Wednesdays and 10:00 AM to 12:00 noon on the second and fourth Saturday of each month. If you arrive to pick up your child at the designated rehearsal/event ending time, please instruct them that you are there and that they should come out.
- Fast and pray with and for the ministry.
- Parents, provide support to the dancers during at least one ministry event or engagement in which your child/youth participates.
- Practice movements during the week (parents should encourage this).
- Participate in any ministry sponsored events or fundraisers.
- Be responsive to phone calls and emails from the ministry leadership team and communications team.
- Keep the handbook available for reference.
- Check email and voice mail before coming out to rehearsals or ministering events for any last minute changes, etc.
As a ministry and as a church, we desire that a spirit of excellence be upon all that we do. And while technique is important, ultimately, it is our heart and attitude toward the Lord that will be the greatest determining factor in the level of anointing that we operate under. If we have no anointing, we have no power, and there will be no fruit! Let's be the very best that we can be for the Lord so that He will be glorified and magnified as He flows through us in dance.
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