Dear pastors, missionaries, chaplains and friends,
Steve here… Do Baptists dance? I once said from the pulpit that I hadn’t seen our deacons move in years. People laughed. But what about worshipping with our bodies? What’s appropriate? One former muslim girl, newly converted to Christ, asked that question. Let me share her amazing story.
Several months ago, I heard Amy Orr-Erwing, a representative from Ravi Zacharias International Ministry (RZIM) tell a story of the Anglican church plant she and her husband had begun in Peckham, a poor, tough region of London, UK. It is a very violent, gang-filled neighbourhood. But there is a world-class Arts College nearby, very liberal, with no Christian presence on campus.
They began to believe this was their church’s responsibility, but had no idea what God was already preparing. A year previously, a small group of muslim students from Pakistan started attending this Art College. They decided they were going to seek their God and really discover if he was real. One young woman’s parents were well-to-do and financial supporters of Al-Queda. The muslim students arrived in London, and this young woman began to do her Islamic prayers, fasting and other disciplines. But she did not sense a change.
Then one night she had a dream about Jesus. Today, muslims all over the world are testifying of dreams and visions of Jesus. So she decided to do her Islamic prayers one day, and the next day pray to Jesus and alternate back and forth.
One day she was walking near campus and an American student stopped her to get directions to a convenience store to purchase a Pepsi. While the girl was giving her directions, the American girl stopped her and said, “I know this will sound unusual. I’m a follower of Jesus, and I sense I’m supposed to tell you that Jesus wants you and your friends to seek Him.” She was saying this to a muslim girl wearing the hijab. They sat for three hours and she told her American tourist friend her story.
The tourist sent RZIM her contact information and Amy’s church youth leader contacted the muslim girl. They met and began to study the Bible, and she received Christ. Soon after, she visited Amy and her husband (the Pastor of the church) for tea and to tell her story. They went to their youth meeting, and she told her story – the young adults were mesmerized and rejoiced.
The group then gathered for a church worship service and this young former muslim, now a follower of Jesus, was incredibly excited and animated about her first time to corporately worship her God with other followers of Christ. She had never had this opportunity before. She looked intensely at the youth leader and said, “Do you know what it’s like to know you can know your God, to be able to freely approach Him with joy and thanksgiving and not feel like you must prostrate and grovel before Him?” She then paused and said, “Can I dance? Are we allowed to dance in church?”
The Youth Leader said, “Absolutely not! This is an ANGLICAN church!”
No, that’s not what she said; the youth leader said, “Yes, dance before the Lord.”
Do Baptists dance? This Baptist hasn’t in years, but maybe I need to rethink that!?
IMAGINE with ME
Imagine if more of us obeyed those quiet promptings from the Lord and spoke to total strangers, neighbours or family members. How many more amazing stories might we be able to share? What might happen? Possibly dancing in the streets or even in our churches?
Have a blessed week,