Dan and Lori
“We were just a married couple trying to figure out how to live as empty-nesters”
You don’t have to look very far in the Bible before you come to a story of someone who feels ill-equipped to do the things God has laid before them to do. Almost every person in the Bible, whether it’s Abraham, Moses, David, or Peter were lead into situations or given ministries that were not only difficult, but were beyond them with an unknown outcome. Moses had a stutter and a stick against Pharoah, David was a little boy with a slingshot against a giant, and Paul was a terrorist, and yet God asked each of them to simply follow him in obedience.
Dan and Lori Bailey had always been very busy with their kids, but now their kids were getting married and starting lives of their own. Feeling their deep need for community and support, they knew that there had to be a support group out there somewhere for people that were in their same stage of life. It turns out there really wasn’t. Seeing this need, Dan and Lori began a small group for “empty nesters”, focusing primarily on marriage enrichment.
At the same time, in spite of Dan’s hesitations, Dan and Lori began to take ballroom dancing lessons to prepare for their daughter’s wedding. Dan couldn’t believe it, most of the principles of marriage they were talking about in their small group were being illustrated in their dance lessons in an entirely new way. It seemed as though each time they would go from their small group to their dance lessons, they would identify constant similarities. Dan said it was “like actually practicing the principles they had just learned.”
Because of Dan and Lori’s passion to bring God’s word to life, they began talking to friends about everything God had been teaching them through dance and community. It wasn’t long before their friends began asking them to teach them the things they were learning. Dan and Lori were nervous about the idea because they still didn’t know a lot of things about dance. The idea would not go away. At first, Dan and Lori started small with a few couples teaching the elements of marriage enrichment through dance. During their weekly sessions, they taught the importance of physical touch, working together, and just taking the time to look each other in the eyes.
Throughout that first year, Dan and Lori said they continued to feel God asking them to take steps towards “making this an actual thing”. They believed that whatever God was leading them into was bigger than what they had imagined, and Dan remembered how scary that felt.
One year later, Dan and Lori started Dance with Me Ministries.
They both smiled as they talked about all the couples that have come through their 16 week sessions every year. Lori stated that it “has just been amazing” and that she “cannot get over the stories of how God is changing people’s lives and marriages through Dance with Me”. Although Dan and Lori both admitted that it hasn’t been easy, and that it was often scary, their commitment to obediently follow God has not only changed lives through dancing, but it has brought them closer together as a couple.
In the same way that Moses had a stutter and a stick, and David was a boy with a slingshot, Dan and Lori also obediently followed God, which turned into a dance ministry, which then turned into transformed lives and stronger marriages. The evangelist Dwight L. Moody, once said, “The world has yet to see what God can do with a man fully consecrated to him.” Dan and Lori are just one of the many beautiful examples of the adventure that God allows us to be a part of when we say yes to the uncomfortable and scary things that He sets before us and live our lives on mission for him.
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