I had a great time over the last few days doing art ministry.
My first stop was at the Church of the Brethren Church Planting Conference at Bethany Seminary in Richmond Indiana. I did a workshop on the concept of what it means to “Be the Body.”
I also did live worship paintings in each of the four worship gatherings.
The first piece was based on the passage referring to faith the size of a mustard seed moving mountains. I went off the idea of the faith that it takes to plant a church with it’s branches reaching to the heavens.
In Jeremiah 29 the Bible speaks of praying for the peace of the city. This simple piece was designed to be interactive. The bridge in the piece represents what we do when we plant a church. We’re not taking Jesus to a City. God is omnipresent. He’s already there. What we do is build a bridge to the Gospel. When the painting was finished, the attendees were invited to “tag” the city with the names and locations of their churches and plants as a reminder for the viewers to pray for them in their mission/planting work.
This painting looks a little sparse and with good reason. Once again, the attendees were invited to add something to the piece. In this case the passage was Acts 10 where Peter sees the vision of the sheet being lowered from heaven with all the unclean animals on it. The key part of this was God reminding Peter, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.” This passage is preparing Peter to reach out to a new people group. We used the painting to relate to the different perhaps non-traditional things we will bring to our work as church planters, bringing the Gospel to new populations. The name of this piece was “What’s On Your Sheet?”
The final gathering of the conference related to the faith it took Noah to set out in faith and build the ark which has it’s own parallels to church planting. The piece is a simple representation of the story and of God’s promise to us.
After the conference, I headed north. My first stop was Fort Wayne Indiana where I met with Sid Gauby, a church planter doing a marketplace ministry, a coffee house that also hosts a church called New Ground Coffee Company Sid and I chatted for some time about the ins and outs of church planting and shared some ideas back and forth. Unfortunately I had to leave fairly quickly, but I do hope to return.
Next I headed further North to Ashley, Indiana and Pleasant Chapel Church of the Brethren. Pastored by Val Kline, Pleasant Chapel is the other end of the church spectrum from church planting. They are celebrating their hundredth anniversary this year. They are a vibrant welcoming and loving congregation. I preached on the topic of what it means to be the Body of Christ and did a speed painting portrait of Christ as a reminder that He is the head of the body and also did my Many Parts One Body interactive art piece with the congregation.
The final stop of the “tour” Involved a drive south to Miamisburg, OH to visit with my friend and Interlinc co-conspirator, Todd Pearage. Todd and his family took ,me to dinner and put me up for the night. After Dinner, Todd and I went to Springboro Baptist Church and led a youth gathering. We spoke on the topic of unity and I painted this piece.
It looks like just another portrait of Jesus, but if you were to watch the piece come together, you would see the painting begins as two faces nose to nose and in conflict. I had done this piece for a video a few years back and Todd asked me to dust it off and try it again. Todd did such an amazing job speaking on this one that I was convinced to add this piece to my next A Night AMOK presentation, tentatively titled “Be the Body.” My hope is to begin booking that one in the fall.
It was good to get home after a long time away, but I was so blessed to get to do all these things and meet all these people. It’s amazing what can happen when people get together to “Be the Body” of Christ.