How can I be a full-time dance Missionary?
Well you CAN….that’s the point!
I meet so many trained dancers, and semi-trained dancers who are delighted to hear there is an alternative to the extremes of only being on the stage or dancing just as a hobby.
It is a strong Christian who can survive and even OVERCOME the stresses and immorality of the Professional Dance circuit. Some see it as their “Mission field” but it is near impossible to be free to attend Church and continue growing as a Disciple of Christ. I applaud those strong enough to do so.
Being a Dance Missionary is becoming more and more an option. I see my Mission Organization (OM International) growing in awareness, and desire to facilitate Artists on the field. We have OMArts teams in: Ireland, UK, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Italy, Kosovo, Turkey (TACO), South Africa, Costa Rica, Ships, and Brazil, with on-going short terms in Portugal, Hungary, Czech Republic and elsewhere, at present. More leaders are opening their minds and hearts to the idea as they see effective evangelism through art and relationship creatively evolving.
Short-term Mission trips are numerous in OM, but full-time is also becoming quite prolific. Incarnate is a 3-month training in Italy. It is a great place for a dancer to get foundational training in Biblical Arts, Spiritual Formation, Missions, Short-Term Placement, etc. to all the more well-prepare them for a career in full-time Mission in the Arts. Dancelink has produced one full-time Dance Missionary for every year that it has existed since 2006. I believe God is producing a tsunami of artists in our time, and artists of all generations are joining together joyfully and creatively to reach the lost souls of mankind, who frankly seem to fluctuate between the fear of the “Terror” developing in every Continent….and Cynicism/Despair.
Wherever I go, art arrests people in any situation or environment….yes even in war-torn areas…
IF Artists dare to stand amidst ruins and perform…..
Many avoid or run from dangerous situations…I have….but when one finally discovers deep within that no place is really safe, except “loving not your life even unto death” THERE is where total peace and safety truly reign.
I have been in dire circumstances and seen God move powerfully, for the Media never really represent an area accurately. Once we come to terms with “going into all the world” no matter where that may be…THEN….we begin to see those living in the reality of “greater works than these shall ye do.”
Of course we don’t go blasé into places where angels fear to tread….unless God says so. We only do the things He tells us to, for THAT is “safe.” John 14: 31
I take well-trained and less-trained dancers, and repeatedly see them blessing each other, as professionals humbly assist and develop others’ technical ability as well as their own, and the lesser-trained overcome seeming humiliation, and persevere to “catch up.” It is beautiful…to see a dance piece choreographed for varying abilities, and each one “preferring others in love.”
Once a dancer has experienced at least one short-term Mission trip, the door is opened for pursuing long-term opportunities.
Whatever gift(s) God has given you, He has given so you can worship Him through it, not yourself.
Whatever gift(s) He has given you, are given so you can direct people to Him through it, not yourself.
The applause was never meant to boost our ego at all, but to make HIM famous.
Get that…and you get it all.
I used to come off the professional stage feeling empty and addicted to limelight. Now, I smile as I take off my costumes and makeup….knowing someone is going to be in Heaven because I danced!
ICDF Network – Missions coordinator &
Director of Dancelink and Compass Dance Academy
[Photo taken by Johanna Cardinal with full permission of dancers / participants]