Well I’m sitting in the business center in the Shilo Inn in Boise ID. Lord willing I will be boarding the plane for PA in a few hours. About now you might be wondering what I got out of this trip. Well to be honest not what I expected but a lot. See part of me thought I was going to travel out here to find ten easy steps to starting a thriving arts ministry. That’s not what I found. What I saw was better.
First I saw a group of people willing to take in a relative stranger simply because we have two things in common, art and Jesus. They prayed for me, spoke life to me and thoroughly blessed me. I got to see artists humble and loving far beyond their amazing talent. I got to see a church that embraces it’s artists and empowers them to be who they are and I got to see what happens when gifted people work together to bring God glory with their gifts.
I got to watch and participate and worship and commune with them. I got to work side by side with Lisa, an amazing abstract artist Who knocked out a painting in an hour or two that looked like it took months. But that wasn’t the most amazing thing. The most amazing thing was the deep celebratory worship she was experiencing as she painted. I looked to the Lord and said I want what she’s having.
I watched Alyee, all of 20 years old lay down her opportunity to paint to sow into the life of an eight year old. I have no doubt that little girl will continue to use her gifts for the Lord as she grows and I have no doubt that some day when Alyee receives her crowns one of them will be for that moment.
I watched Dean, who is a consummate artist in what seems like every visual arts discipline, share on art and ministry with such passion that it reinforced this path I have chosen to follow. This man, who could show in any gallery in the world, was most fond of the concept that in arts ministry, “everybody gets to play.”
Of course there was their fearless leader Jessie, who in the time I was there, demonstrated leadership and organization skills that were just wonderful and totally evident in the unity and cohesiveness of the group. She spoke into my life and the Spirit showed her the areas of my struggle and she and the group helped me. I also got to interact with her family and I got to see a ministry family living as God intends. Grace and faith and balance and wisdom. It was both a blessing and a challenge to me to look at my priorities when I return home to my “first tribe.”
I was blessed to meet so many artists and the church that embraces them. They are all artists in everything they do, whether visual or cullinary or every day life or… well you get the idea. They’re a tribe and I’m pleased that they’re part of my tribe.
Thanks to all the folks at VineArts Boise. You really have blessed me. I didn’t get my ten steps to a strong arts ministry instead, I got four steps. Pray, Love People, Love Jesus and then Make art!