I know that this site focuses more on music than any other worship form, but I was wondering what your church's position is on dance - dance as a worship expression that is. I have read and heard both the pros and cons and am wrestling in my own right with this. I know that there are also different dance forms in the church: dance teams, soloists, congregational. I'm also curious if our experience(s) is universal or geographical, so would you mind letting me know where you are as well as where your church stands on this, I'd appreciate it.
Our church has had a dance team in the past and they were definitely an asset to the worship time. My wife is a dancer and is starting the dance team up again. She usually dances out in the congregation during services and it isn't a distraction. She hasn't been able to dance the last couple of weeks because she had foot surgery but is itching to get back to it. Dancing is a form of expression of her heart in worship and feels incomplete in her worship when she is unable to dance.
Dancing, in my opinion, is a very powerful expression in worship and has ministered to me on many occassions. We are in South Georgia and there are actually alot of churches in our area that use this expression of worship as well.
Our whole lives should be an expression of worship to God and if you dance, dance unto the Lord and it is as much worship as anything else!
I do believe that if dance is used in a corporate setting it should be as rehearsed as any song would be and should strive for excellence to honor the Lord. My churches do not regularly use liturgical dance but I have witnessed some very powerful times of worship thru dance. It was very choreographed and extremely well done. I have been distracted also in worship settings by some congregants who spontaneously would waltz down the isles and even waving banners at times and though it may have be a genuine experience of worship for them, I think it was mostly a distraction for the rest of us.
What a great discussion! I donot regularly attend one church and am searching for where God would have me go. But as a former worship leader and a former dancer this isssue has been on my heart a lot.
Bizzy said, "I have been distracted also in worship settings by some congregants who spontaneously would waltz down the isles and even waving banners at times and though it may have be a genuine experience of worship for them, I think it was mostly a distraction for the rest of us."
I find this too. I stare and look at them rather than focusing on my worship. But that statement also got me thinking. If I were to go to a traditional church that sings only hymns and does not raise there hands when they sing, and I went and raised my hands while singing I would get the whole church staring at me. I am sure that I would be a distraction, even possibly an annoyance. Yet, if you went to a church were many people were dancing in the isle and most everyone was bopping up and down, I am sure that the dancing would not be a distraction.
If we desire as a church to move from the traditional hymns to the contemporary hand raising style, then at first it would be weird and uncomfortable. Also if we want to move as a church from no dancing to the freedom to dance and bop around, it would be akward and strange at first. But if we are committed to the freedom of moving in the Spirit we need to be OK with the akward for a season. After a while, it will be as common (and joyful) as the "contemporary" service has become to many.
Just a thought. I have not seen this in practice. I have attended churches that have the occassional isle dancer and a dance team, but I would love to go to a church that really moves!
As a Baptist pastor....well..you should know what traditional Baptists think of dancing...IT IS OF THE DEVIL!! LOL (shhh...don't let people know that I love getting into a good mosh pit....is that considered dancing?)
Personally I have no problem with dancing as a form of worship as long as it is proper. By proper, I mean the motive behind it. I believe there are two possible responses.
1. Dancing as act of worship in RESPONSE to God. This form I believe is good. It is what David did in the Old Testament.
2. Dancing to HEIGHTEN SPIRITUAL SENSES. This form I have serious problems with. From studying the emergent church movement, I learned that they have a heavy emphasis on 'experiences'. From what I understand is that some would see dancing as a way to get closer to God, to experience God. I don't see that in the Bible anywhere. That type of dancing us used by some other religions and cults. To me it is no difference then music...some churches sing the same songs over and over to get the congregation into some heighten state and believe that they have a closer relationship with God than others. Isn't God ever present and all knowing?
Anyway...that is my feeling. Well back to dreaming about Cornerstone Festival '09 and wondering what bands will have the best most pits.
Psalm 150:4 Instructs us to praise Him with the timbrel and dance. With that said, the Lord is commanding us to do it. It should be unto God and never a performance for the congregation otherwise we are just entertaining the people and glorying in the flesh. There is really no need to wrestle whether it is right or not. I would just question the motive behind everything we do. The Bible says to do it so we better do it. If a church is against it, find another church.
Watching people dance in worship has never done anything for me, spiritually. However, I went to a worship training session once a few years ago in which we were all encouraged to "move" first, and then take it as far as we were comfortable. (all the chairs had been moved out - big open space)
The experience (there's that word, "experience"!) was a kind of breakthrough for me. Similar to when I first chose to raise my hands in worship - except moreso. I was in a type of bondage in my worship and dancing broke it off. It took me to a new level of freedom that I can't adequately describe.
I'm not a dancer, I have no training. I normally don't move/dance outside of where I stand (if I'm not playing in the band). But I'm glad I did it, just so I know that I can and I'm free in Christ to do so.
I am a "worshiper"! I am also a dance troupe leader. I am also a youth leader and a WORSHIP co-leader. God has given me the privilege to honor Him in ALL forms of worship. Worship is a heart issue. Out of the heart flows expression. Dance is just another way to honor Him. Sometimes there are no words to express what our hearts are saying and feeling. Have you ever been to a prep rally? Think of it as this: dancers and singers are the means to get the party going. We are there to get others into His presence. If you would like my teachings on worship, dancing and the church, I would be more then willing to share them with you. Also- bowing in worship, lifting our hands, shouting to Him, these are all forms of dance. I can prove these in the Word. If you are doing these acts in your church, you are already dancing in your church! Jumping up and down, swaying arms, moving in a liturgical form (becoming and decently) is just taking it further. Some people are just freer then others. YOU TOO can be FREE! Yes, He does things decently and in order, so can dance be! Remember...David was a man after God's own heart. If David did it, then I am quite sure God saw dancing before Him as pleasing! I am not saying that we should be suggestive or bumping and grinding. Those are NOT pleasing. He expects a pure praise, a pure heart...sister, dancing has to be done from a pure worship before Him!!!
Again, if you would like some information, please do get in touch. Also- my church is Higher Ground Ministries in Danbury, CT. (FYI)
This answer could probably be found in one of the greatest worshipers of the Bible, David. David danced out in the streets and took off his kingly garments when the ark of the covenant was restored to it's rightful place. He didn't care what people thought, he danced with all his might before God. I think in church, dancing is definitely an awesome way to express to God your love and adoration, but it should definitely not be something that's distracting from others worship experience. Like everything in worship, I believe God wants us to have proper order. That being said, if we can "hoop and holler" and jump like crazy at an NFL game, why not do it in the House of God, for our awesome creator!