The Word in the Wings
The Word in the Wings > Introducing Ministry Assistant Jessica Noonan
Introducing: Ministry Assistant Jessica Noonan
BY: JESSICA NOONAN
This month we welcomed the newest member of the GPA staff team, Jessica Noonan, as Ministry Assistant. Here, she shares a few stories about her journey of learning to use her gifts in music, dance and leadership for God’s glory.
Joyful, passionate, and sometimes (unfortunately) forgetful.
From your past professional experience, what’s one story that highlights a value you hold or exemplifies your sense of vocation/calling?
15 years ago, while touring with a show as a dancer/singer, I injured my knee. The injury ended my career as a dancer. I spent many years wondering why this happened and praying that God would reveal to me what he wanted me to do next. I was depressed; I felt lost. What was God trying to tell me? Surely He wanted me to follow a different path. So I decided to give up singing and dancing for good. I even stopped singing in the car because I thought the Lord was pushing me elsewise.
A few years later, I completed a bible study on how to glorify God in my daily life. Through that study, God revealed to me that He desires us to use the gifts He has given us to glorify and worship Him. Soon after, I received an email from a local dance studio asking if I would be interested in teaching dance. I began teaching and through this “job”, I was surprised to find the Lord teaching me how to glorify Him. Teaching children and young adults the many wonders of dance was simply, and frankly surprisingly, wholly fulfilling. The Lord helped me remove my self from the dance to instill joy in others. I was inspired to reach these young students, increasing their confidence, increasing their self esteem and instilling in them a love of dance. A few months later, another door opened to join my church’s worship team. I began singing again and using my voice to bring others to worship on Sunday mornings. All this happened four years ago. Since then, I have also learned to play the guitar. I am excited to continue this calling with Glorify Performing Arts.
In what way has God been instructing you recently through Scripture or through personal or communal faith practices?
Over the past couple years, I have focused on listening to God through scripture, worship music and life experiences. The more I pay attention and listen, the more clearly I hear from Him. Most recently, the overall theme has been “Love God, Love People”. I have been pulled to serve at my church, and in my community by stepping out of my comfort zone and doing things I never thought I would have the courage to do! BUT I have found, the more I dive in and surrender, the more I see God providing and doing the work for me. It has been pretty cool to see how God has showed up to sustain me even when I feel ill-equipped. The first time I led worship on a Sunday morning at my church, I was petrified. I didn’t feel like a “leader.” I didn’t even feel comfortable praying out loud (I still don’t). How was I going to lead a congregation of almost 1,000 people into worship?? That was the day He revealed to me that “I” didn’t have to do anything. “I” just had to be a willing servant of the Lord, and God would do the rest. As soon as the music began, I felt the Lord’s presence and I heard Him say, “Just worship me.” This beautiful peace then surrounded me which I knew was the work of the Holy Spirit. I couldn’t do anything BUT worship Him that morning. The joy that I was experiencing was strong enough to combat any nerves or self doubt. Do I still get nervous? Do I still feel ill-equipped? Yes, but that keeps me humble, always learning and always striving for excellence.
What are you most looking forward to about joining Glorify Performing Arts for the 2023-24 season?
I am so excited to be a part of a company that is worshiping the Lord through dance! Worshiping through dance is mentioned many times in the Bible but in our culture, it is not celebrated as much as other forms of worship. Psalm 150:4 (NLT) says. “Praise Him with the tambourine and dancing; praise Him with strings and flutes!” King David also danced for the Lord in 2 Samuel:14 (NLT): “And David danced before the Lord with all his might, wearing a priestly garment.” The bible clearly tells us we should worship with dancing, singing and instrument playing! I am thrilled to combine my passion for dance and scripture, to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others, alongside GPA.
Visit The Word in the Wings throughout the season to hear more from Jess and from others at GPA about how we can encounter God through dance!
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