I am a senior business student involved in the dance ministry, called the Great Abandon, at John Brown University. I’ve had the opportunity to be part of this wonderful group since my sophomore year. We are a group of dancers that feel inspired and called by God to use our talents to worship our Lord and Savior. So we have come together with this vision to not only worship through dancing, but also to help others experience God through the message of the song.
Through lyrical, ballet or jazz dancing styles we choreograph dances using songs that inspire a message about who God is and our relationship with him. The amazing part of this ministry is that we are not all professionals. If you have had just a few years in dance you can be part of this group. We seek to build a team of dancers and worshipers who love the Lord and want to express His love
and truths through dancing. We are not perfect, but we strive to work hard and create unique dances. Usually we perform in the cathedral during chapel at least once a semester and have a spring performance. Sometimes we even go to the nursing homes to minister to the elderly. In our spring show we sponsor a certain ministry we select. A few years ago we helped raise about two thousand dollars for the Guatemala Water project and last year we helped the pregnancy center, New Beginnings.
The name for this ministry was inspired from the passage 2 Samuel 6:16 where King David is dancing in the streets worshiping God with the Israelites with “great abandon.” Dancing is an art, but for me it is a way that I can express how I feel when there are not enough words to describe joy or sadness. God has given us the freedom to worship Him in different ways like singing, teaching, serving others and even the arts. I connect more with the arts and feel like He calls us to declare his goodness and greatness. David is a perfect example of this in Psalm 149 when he calls us to “praise the Lord” and to “praise his name with dancing” because this is a beautiful offering to glorify him and he delights in us.
Currently we are working on a song ‘We Dance’ by Bethel where we are focusing on how different people might connect with their Father and where we might be in our relationship with the Lord. Some jump into his arms and are ready to be led by him, while others are still shy and are learning how to trust him. Another may feel hopeless but he comes and lifts us up and carries us up in his strong arms.
For me its a blessing to be part of this group that shares this passion for dancing and for community. Every time we get together we take the time to share with each other what is going on in our lives and pray for each other. It was a privilege that I got to be part of this ministry to worship God. It cares for its mission and tries to bless our community.
Luciani-De Pass is a senior international business major. She can be reached at LucianiR@jbu.