Special Guest Feature: Chasten Hendricks 

Hello and welcome to another moment with Shona! I usually don’t write on my blog on Sunday, but today is a very special day for my guest feature Chasten Hendricks & also his wife Janet! They too went to Oral Roberts University, but we weren’t in the same graduating class. They had a mime ministry in Tulsa called Urban Sent and man…it was POWERFUL!! Every time I saw them minister, I had this stirring in the pit of my belly! I fell in love with their ministry at first glance! I’m getting chills just thinking about it and it was years ago! I can go on and on about how their ministry changed the way I approach mime, but I want to get to the meat of this blog. So, are you ready to hear some exciting news?! I sure hope so because there is no stopping me now lol!


Now, for those who visit my blog on a regular basis, you already know about my gifts & talents. But for my new visitors, I need to give you the rundown before I get into the BIG NEWS. I graduated from Oral Roberts University in 2007 with a BA in Studio Art. In 2010 I had a desire to learn how to mime dance, so I joined a class at my church. To this day, I use my gifts & talents for the glory of God. Every painting that sits in juvenile programs in Boston, every home, or nonprofit organization, it’s purpose is to change atmospheres and moods with one glance. And every time I mime at various events, the atmosphere changes & hearts are turned towards God. And when I had my very first RAW (natural born artist) art show in Tulsa, a lady saw a painting I did for a little girl named ‘Kyssi’ Andrews {Rest in Glory}, who was battling with cancer. It was a colorful painting that represented her healing process. The woman stopped and just stared at the painting and just weaped! She said she could capture the peace in the painting before I even explained the full purpose of it. That spoke volumes to me! I knew right then and there that my gifts did not belong to me! I had to continue painting and spreading the love of Christ through my paintings.


Now, you may be thinking, what in the world does Chasten Hendricks have to do with my gifts and talents? Oh boy.. I am so glad you thought that lol! See, the BIG NEWS is, Chasten wrote an incredible book called, “So You Want To Dance?” and guess what? TODAY is his book release! Are you smiling from ear to ear like I am? If you’re not, I’ll ask again at the end of this post lol!


Once you start this book, trust me, you will not want to put it down! If you’re a dancer or a leader of a dance ministry, this book will guide you and provide great advice on how to influence unbelievers with the lifestyle you live, how to take yourself out of the equation and turn your focus completely on Christ, so that He can operate on the unbelievers’ hearts in the audience. I like how Chasten takes the reader on like visual experiments where we would picture certain situations, then he connects it to the love of Christ and how we express that love through dance. There are tons of things that stood out to me throughout this book, but one of my favorite parts is when Chasten touched on something his mother taught him, which is living a life of excellence.


“… excellence is doing your best with what you have been given.”- Chasten Hendricks

This made me think of my mime ministry and my art. I haven’t had an opportunity to minister via mime in a while, but that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t practice choreography. I should practice at least 1-2 times per week so that when I’m called upon, I walk into the event prepared! I have been given a gift and I will not sit and let it go to waste. So practicing is how I walk in excellence. I will put my best foot forward, ask God for him to provide the choreography and let Him take it from there. When it comes to my art, I will paint a new painting each month so I am not overwhelmed with ideas. And, I have some clients lined up, so I want to be prepared for when they’re ready to purchase, they have options to choose from.

So, as you can see, this book didn’t only help me with my solo mime ministry, but it gave me so many nuggets for when I start teaching my mime! So many ah-ha moments y’all! I wanted to do an interview with Chasten, just so you would get to know him {if you don’t already}. So, like always, sit back and relax while we hear from the man himself, Chasten!


Interview with Chasten Hendricks:

LaShona: How long have you been dancing?
Chasten: I have been dancing for the past 14 years. I started dancing when I was a sophomore in high school and have been dancing ever since. My wife, Janet, is also an amazing dancer and we’ve been dancing together since 2008. Dancing runs deep in our family!


LaShona: The moment you knew you had to write this book, what were your thoughts? Where you afraid at any point ?
Chasten: I actually started writing this book in college, when I was a student at Oral Roberts University. It just began as a burden to help teens think theologically about dance and its impact. Simply put, I wanted to see an army of teenage dancers who represented Jesus well on and off the stage.
During this process, I was afraid at two different points. I was hit with fear when I misplaced the file for my manuscript in 2011. I literally thought that I lost all of the book’s content. By God’s grace, I found the flash drive in an old, random box in our house last year. Secondly, I encountered fear right before I sent the book to our launch team. As you can imagine, it’s hard releasing your “baby” and not knowing whether people will find value in it. By God’s grace, the feedback and testimonies have been off the charts!


LaShona: There was a section in your book where you spoke about your experiences outside of the U.S. How would you explain the difference between ministry vs performance to someone who has never witnessed a mime dance?
Chasten: For me, the difference between ministry and performance is all about motives. Here’s what I mean: dance becomes ministry when the dancer views it as a way to serve others. If I am only dancing to entertain you or for personal applause, then my dance is most likely a performance. But, if I am dancing to impact, inspire, and motivate my audience, then my dance is ministry. Ministry is all about serving others. Dance is ministry when it serves and helps other people in some way.


LaShona: What advice would you give to someone just starting out in dance ministry?
Chasten: I would tell a new dancer to 1) focus on the essentials and 2) cultivate your gift. In the last chapter of the book, I talk about focusing on the essentials. As a new dance minister, you have to keep the main thing as the main thing. Your relationship with God is first priority. Therefore, focus on spending time with Him in His Word and in prayer. My wife models this perfectly in our family. Though she works 10 hour days, she spends time with God before anything else. Always remember: you are never too busy to pray and read God’s Word.
In addition to focusing on the essentials, dancers should cultivate their gift. The only way that you will become a better dancer is if you practice and study your craft. I talk about this in the book within the chapter on excellence. New dancers should watch other dancers, go to conferences, take a class, and solicit feedback. God has given you a gift but it’s up to you to cultivate it. My wife and I always say: God is responsible for the results but it’s our responsibility to be faithful. Be faithful with your gift.


LaShona: Sometimes when I minister via dance, the week before negative things tend to happen to either myself or my family. For example, my entire family will get sick, I would feel burdened or extremely fearful out of the blue, or I would have horrible nightmares! I also know others in ministry who have experienced these things. After we minister, we find out that the things we’ve experienced, certain people in the audience were going through it. Has anything like that every happened to you before you ministered via dance?
Chasten: Absolutely! There are countless times when things like that have happened. Like all areas of ministry, it comes with the territory. Jesus told us that we would encounter opposition as we followed Him. Sometimes, what we fail to realize is that opposition comes in a variety of ways. See, our task of making disciples is one that demonic forces are opposed to. And, since that’s the case, we sometimes encounter these “strange” circumstances. The consolation is that Jesus has promised to always be with us and He’s promised that hell’s gates will not prevail over His mission. We can stand on those promises when we are going through those things.


LaShona: Should we expect to see more book releases in the near future?
Chasten: Yes, yes, yes! If God wills, my wife and I definitely plan to release more books. Like this book, our other books will be released as part of our business, Ministry For Kids. Our business empowers kids to reach their God-given potential. Since that’s our mission, we create products and services that do just that. So You Want to Dance? is just the beginning! So, yes, there are more book releases coming.


Now, let me ask you again, are you smiling from ear to ear?! Huh.. huh..? This book is incredible!! I would like to thank Chasten for being obedient and writing this book. I truly am going to use it as a tool to help guide me in the right direction when I teach my future mime team.


If you would like to order your book, click the link and let me know your thoughts once you’ve read the book. You will most likely read it cover to cover lol!

Click here to purchase your copy TODAY! www.ministryforkids.com/shop


Until next time, “laugh hard, love harder, capture each moment & sprinkle a little joy in someone else’s life.” – XO Shona~


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