The Montreux Jazz Festival and CLD . . . what could they possibly have in common?
Answer: the Paradosi Ballet Company, the Northwest’s only Christian ballet, group, and this Fall’s CLD “Partner in Action”. Jeff Bischoff, their director, and I have carried on a running email conversation throughout their busy summer of travels, performances and exciting Gospel outcomes. Here’s some of that conversation:
Jeff, both you and your wife Larissa have been part of PBC for some years now. What do you love about it?
“We love to see lives changed for Jesus! That is why we do what we do. It’s such a gift to be able to do what we love together while sharing the love of Jesus through the arts.”
Since you mentioned the arts, how do you see the role of the arts in the Christian mission?
“When I think of God, the image that comes to mind is of the greatest artist ever. As image bearers of Him in the land, we are created to create with Him. When the arts are used to glorify God and to make Him known, amazing things happen. So we’re all about ministry first and dance second. Dancing is a tool in God’s toolbox that He uses for His glory; we just get to be the instruments.”
What’s the mission field for your team?
“Our mission demographics are very broad. Audiences range from the very young to those in their twilight years. We’ve seen God use dancing to break down the walls of the toughest people and to reach the hears of the most bitter among us. And while we travel to some pretty exotic places to perform, some of our most moving experiences are in the most simple of settings. One of the most dear to our hearts took place in a Pierce County library where we performed for five adults and a few kids. As much as possible, we go wherever God opens the way. My prayer for the coming seasons is that God will open more and more evangelistic opportunities.”
Okay, how did you and Paradosi get connected to CLD?
“I stumbled across CLD while exploring information on a conference in Portland, OR and was immediately intrigued. After doing a little research on Western Seminary, I launched into my first certificate program and didn’t stop until I had taken just about every course. Through CLD I have been reminded of things forgotten, challenged in areas where I struggle and stretched in my knowledge. The experience has provided me a solid foundation for continued growth.”
And now your dancers are involved in a CLD custom certificate developed just for them. What’s your hope?”
“We hope that the training will better equip our dancers to serve and lead in this ministry and in the places God is calling them to serve after their time with Paradosi comes to an end. One of our video teachers is Dr. Gerry Breshears. As we say of Dr. Gerry . . . “Breshears to die for, divide for, debate for, decide for” has immensely helped us clarify positions, grow individually and as a team, and share the Gospel more confidently than ever before. We plan to use CLD for many years to come as a teaching tool for our team members, preparing each for the work that we are called to do for the Kingdom.”
If people want to find our more about Paradosi, where should they look?
“We’re based in Tacoma, WA. The best place to begin to get to know us is our website: www.paradosiballetcompany.com“
Folks, as Jeff understands, no matter what “dance” God may call us to perform in serving Him, good training is an essential. And like Jeff and his team, you may find that CLD is perfect for your calling. We’re here waiting to help.
-Your CLD Team