Do you believe that dance is a worldly activity? Is it something people do to have fun and express “worldly” pleasure at nightclubs and parties?
Think again, because at TeenStreet (TS), dance is not only a part of the praise and worship culture but a full-fledged ministry that expresses the love of God and shares the same message with the lost.
The six different dance ministers (Lianne, Tushar, Lisette, Natan, Jeanira, Johannes) met at TS for the first time but remarkably all hail from the Netherlands and came together to form one TS dance group.
Crew members come from different backgrounds and perform different styles, but all agreed that dance ministry is an activity through which people use their talent and abilities to dance to glorify God.
"We don't consider it just dancing, we consider it a ministry. Therefore, we pray before we dance and ask that someone is blessed," said Johannes.
"You want people to see the Jesus in you and hope somebody can be saved," added Tushar. Well-choreographed dance moves can also be used to inspire and edify fellow believers. However, the team quickly pointed out that the moves themselves do not transform the dance into ministry; rather the express purpose for which they dance sets their art apart.
TS dance crew leader Lianne clarified, “It does not matter whether you dance to hip-hop or modern; it doesn’t matter as long as you dance for Jesus and use it to worship God.”
Dance can also be used to reach the lost with the gospel, Lisette explained: “You can use dance for evangelism. You can dance to express a piece that explains the Gospel, or you use dance to get in contact with people for the first time and build relationships and from there show them how different you are as a Christian.”
Lisette further narrated how she used dance in a closed country in Asia to reach people. She also trained a few interested locals to start their own dance ministries. Used as a ministry, dance can reach across barriers like language and even religion, Jeanira added.
Like other ministries, dance faces its fair share of challenges, including flat out rejection by people who believe dancing has no place in the church. Moreover, dancers also experience physical injuries when they misstep and face ridicule when their act goes askew.
Regardless, the TS dance ministers remain motivated to rise above the challenges. “It’s not just in the flesh but in the Spirit,” explained Natan. “You can actually see that you are shining a light and darkness begins to flee. This brings tears not only to our eyes but [to] the audience, and at this it feels like you are dancing with the angels, praising God together.”