Shackled Dancers

30 07 2013

When it comes to Vacation Bible School, our church goes all out. This year we had over 100 volunteers. Good thing because we had over 300 kids show up! This is our biggest community outreach, so everyone gets on board!

The entire church is transformed to suit the theme of the current VBS series. This year we had a western theme, so the foyer had a corral and barn with stuffed animals in it. The stage had storefronts on it, and every classroom was decorated to match. Even the snacks went along with the theme.

VBS2013

VBS 2013 – don’t miss the horses our pastors and elder are riding!

My involvement every year is in the worship part of each day. There are a group of young women who gather early in the year to pray about which songs to use, and then choreograph moves that will be taught to the children to help them remember the songs. During the week, they are on the front of the stage, leading the children in worship.

We have a second set of worshipers – those who worship with flags. That’s my group, and I love to do this. There are many aspects of this style of worship that I am still learning. For me it’s a beautiful way to praise my Lord.

This is my favorite flag.

This is my favorite flag.

This year the prayer focus for my team became the various forms of bondage that plague our children – abuse, poverty, molest, lying, greed, ingratitude, violence, and a host of other things. One of the wonderful parts of flag worship is that we provide a visual dimension to worship and what the Lord is doing.

A vision was received of the dancers with shackles on their arms. Worship would begin; during the course of flagging, the chains would be snapped, the shackles ripped off, and all of it trampled on while we danced. Handcuffs and chains were made from construction paper, and used at several of the worship sessions. It was a powerful presentation.

At first I thought this was a little “hokey,” and wasn’t sure that it was necessary. I shared this vision with the team leader, who said, “Awesome! Let’s do it.”

We made the dance props and used them for the next time of worship. Afterward, the pieces were collected and burned. Our prayer was, “Lord, may this be true on earth as it is in heaven.”

I went home to make the shackles for the next day, still unsettled in my mind about whether this really “meant” anything in the spiritual realm. However, while cutting out the pieces, the Lord brought to mind Ezekiel and Jeremiah – both of which had been called upon to give a visual presentation of the Lord’s message to the people.

What had been cloudy suddenly became clear. We were being asked to do something prophet-like…demonstrate what the Lord was doing in our hearts in a way that those watching could understand.

Cool!

At least we hadn’t been asked to lay around naked for days on end…

…just dance in shackles!

Life is not “ordinary” when we live in fellowship with an extraordinary God!

***

I love the creative ways that the Lord communicates with us. I wait in anticipation to see what He will do through our mini-drama as we danced. My experience has been that when a visual representation is coupled with burning up stuff, good things happen. He does so much with our little acts of obedience. 🙂

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14 responses

1 08 2013
vonhonnauldt

Love the phrase about “life is not ‘ordinary’….

30 07 2013
annabachinsky

That sounds incredible! Love the shackles coming off during worship. What a powerful illustration of God freeing us from bondage when we worship Him!

31 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Mmm. Me too! I can’t wait to see what Jesus was up to!

\o/

30 07 2013
findingmyinnercourage

Truly lead by the Lord! Praying for all of you! Nothing better than VBS! I so remember those days and church camp too. The finest blessings of my life!

30 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Thanks for the prayers. This week we’re all recovering!

\o/

30 07 2013
Kathleen

HaHa Mid way through, I thought — wow glad they weren’t called to go naked for the day! Then you said it! What a powerful outreach and encouragement to the body of believers. Love that you guys minister on so many different levels and through so may different styles! God is so creative and awesome!

30 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

Yeah, the whole naked thing…eew! 😉

We’ve got wonderful leadership who allow us to minister as we are led by the Lord. That’s a true blessing for sure.

Every year the Lord surprises us with something new and creative. I love His heart for children.

\o/

30 07 2013
Valerie Rutledge

Kids are usually better “visual” learners so I think this is awesome!!

30 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

I love God’s creative ways to show us His work in us.

\o/

30 07 2013
cazehner

Thank you to you and your church for this important outreach. May each of those dear young lives be changed for eternity. Praying with you!

30 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

I first “gave my heart to Jesus” during a VBS. It’s so important…sticks with you forever!

\o/

30 07 2013
Elizabeth Yalian

Gee, that sounds like a great VBS experience for the adults as well as the kids. Love the Lion flag!

30 07 2013
lessonsbyheart

It’s a blast every year. I just finished the mailing labels for the kids. We had 329 kids this year! It’s fun to see the adults “let down their hair” and play with the children. So fun!

30 07 2013
jesuschristarmy

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