The church needs creativity now more than ever.

Each day people are bombarded by hundreds of messages…
but one is most important. The Gospel of Jesus Christ. We in the church have been entrusted with taking that message to the ends of the earth. How do we stand out among the noise and get their attention? The good news is God has gifted people with gifts and talents designed to do just that. Some of them are in our churches and some are beyond our walls.

My name is Dave Weiss. I’m an artist, a pastor and a speaker, but it wasn’t always that way. Oh I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember, but I’m in the ministry today because of two things. Someone cared enough to introduce me to Jesus Christ, and a pastor found my gift of art as showed me how I could use my gift to serve the Lord. That was transformational.

My passion is to help people find and use their gifts to serve the Lord both in the church and in the market place and to help the church to embrace Creativity. I do workshops, Gospel presentations and more to creatively encourage and build up the Body of Christ. I’d love to work with you and your church. Contact me today!

The Blog starts below!

It’s Not For Everybody

Posted: January 22, 2021 in Uncategorized

To make it clear, the Gospel is for everybody. Jesus said that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life and that on one comes to the Father except through Him. (John 14:6) Further Acts 4:12 tells us, “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.” The Gospel is for everyone and Jesus is for everyone, but your work, your ministry and even your church probably isn’t.

Let’s start with your work. It will not take any creative person very long at all to see that not everyone will like their work. That’s okay, it’s not for everyone. The only way to create work for everyone is to create work that is so banal that no one will dislike it. Of course the downside of that is that one will love it. It is far better for us to do the work God leads us to in a way that pleases Him and us, and then to seek out the people that love your work and give them and the Lord your very best. It won’t be for everyone. Someone else will create what touches them. You be the creative God made you to be. The same can be said for your ministry.

To be clear, if people dislike your ministry because you are straying from the truth of the Word of God, change that today, and yesterday would be better. Any ministry or minister that departs from the Word of God is a false teacher and that is nothing any of us want to be. If on the other hand, there are people out there that don’t like your style, it might be better to be okay with that. There is a ministry out there that will reach that person and there is a group of people God has wired you and gifted you to reach. Be who God made you to be and reach who God made you to reach.

The same can be said for churches. My small country church doesn’t have all the bells and whistles and the cool factor that the mega church down the street might have. There was a time where that really bothered me. I hear people in the church complain about the big churches as if they were stealing members from them. That’s not really the case. The church down the street is not our competition, they are our brothers and sisters in Christ on a mission to reach who they are called to reach. What we need to focus on is who are we called to reach? I remember when I first joined the church as an adult. A loved one asked me a question. “It’s not one of those churches where they get happy is it?” I had no idea what that meant. I do now, and I really kind of like it, but here’s the thing. If every church was someplace where the people “get happy” would there be a place where someone wired like my loved one could meet Jesus? Because they are important, too.

The Gospel is for everybody, and God’s desire is that no one would perish but that everyone would come to repentance. Because of God’s great love, He has wired people and ministries and churches in different ways so that there would be a multitude of different people and ministries and churches to open the doors to everybody. Don’t try to be the person down the street. Keep your eyes on your own paper and do your own work. Then share your work or your ministry or your church with the world. Then just love there people that are drawn in and serve them well.

You’re not for everybody, but God is, so be who He made youth be, do the work He made you to do and trust Him.

Doing the Work!

Posted: January 21, 2021 in Uncategorized

Now of course when we are doing our work to the glory of God, and when we are living out our call, the Lord inspires, empowers and strengthens us for the work. That cannot be denied and so I wanted to make sure I said it first, so there’s no misunderstanding. That being said, I run into people, and in fact I have been one of those people that expected that the work would always be easy, and in fact, almost magical. That is not the case. I’m not saying that God will not sometimes intervene and do more than we can ask or imagine, but for the most part there is no substitute for good, old-fashioned, doing the work.

It’s true. You don’t improve in your abilities by osmosis. You improve by doing the work, day in and day out. I know I may sound like a bit of a broken record on this, but the more you practice, the more you improve. Further, I have come to believe that creativity is almost muscular, in that the key to becoming more creative is doing more creative work. Look for a new solution, think differently, try a different medium, work in a different style. In short, exercise your creativity. Work out your talent. Do not become complacent. Try to become a little bit better each day.

Even as I write of this, I think of one of my all time favorite artists, the late Neil Peart, drummer and primary lyricist for the legendary rock band Rush. Throughout much of his 40 year career, he was widely regarded among the best rock drummers of all time. Rather than rest on his laurels, though. He took lessons regularly. He was a huge fan of the late big band drummer, Buddy Rich, who drummed in a very different style. Peart sat in with Rich’s band quite a few times playing a stripped down kit like Rich played, and he did a phenomenal job. My point in sharing this story is a simple one. Even someone considered by may to be the greatest of all time, had people he looked up to and so he continued to grow and branch out. We should do that too.

No matter how good we get, we can always be better, and the way to get better is not really all that complicated. We just need to do the work.

To Be of Service…

Posted: January 20, 2021 in Uncategorized

I just picked up Seth Godin’s new book The Practice, Shipping Creative Work. I love how he writes—short, easily digestible essays, probably gleaned at least in part from his blog, collected into an anthology on a topic. I’m only about 20 pages in, but I a lot of what I am finding is gold. Of particular interest to this blog is a short piece called “To Be of Service.”

Godin writes:

To Be of Service.

Isn’t that what we’re here to do?
To do work we’re proud of.
To put ourselves on the hook. (Reference to an earlier chapter)
To find the contribution we’re capable of.
The only way to be on this journey is to begin.

But there isn’t a guarantee. In fact, most of what we seek to do will not work. But our intent—the intent of being of service, of making things better, of building something that matters—is an essential part of the pattern.

Because most of us, most of the time, act without intent.

Seth Godin, The Practice: Shipping Creative Work

I loved this quote. So often we can get tangled up in motivations, but what if our primary intent in our creative work was to be of service, to improve the lives of others, to help and serve and share love. What if we let God deal with our success in the way He defines it and just set out to do the best work we possibly can. I think that could create a pretty awesome world and a pretty good life as well.

I highly recommend this book. It’s not a Christian book, but there are a lot of principles in here that will transfer nicely into what we are trying to do as Christ-following creatives. About the only downsize in reading a Seth Godin book, is the additional expense. Figure on using about $5 worth of highlighters. This is seriously great stuff.

This is an amazing book for church leaders. Bolsinger parallels leadership in the 21st century with the explorations of Lewis and Clark and their Corps of Discovery. Lewis and Clark were looking for a river route to the Pacific Ocean, but when they came to the end of one river, rather than finding another river, they came upon the Rocky Mountains. What a metaphor for leading the church in this post-Christendom era. They needed to trade their canoes for horses and learn a whole new way to travel. We need to learn new ways to lead in an era that no longer defers to the church. The book also features a well written study guide and many references that help the reader to retain (and/or easily find) the most important points of the book. This is no doubt a book I will reference often in the years ahead. I highly recommend it.

Practice Makes Service

Posted: January 18, 2021 in Uncategorized

I found something that is really fun to do, and it’s a great way to practice. One of the best ways to push yourself to learn new skills and master different styles is to copy other people’s work. Now of course you don’t sell this or claim it as you’re own. but it is a great way to stretch yourself creatively. Here’s an example:

My son teaches at a pre-school. One of the rules for the school (I’m not sure if it is statewide or just a requirement of the company that franchises the school) is that all their classroom decorations have to be hand made. I volunteered to make them for my son. He has a vision for what he wants the room to look like and he knows the lessons and themes he will be teaching for the month, so he texts me images he wants me to reproduce, and I draw them. Since most of them are very different styles from mine. Here are two of the pieces I made this week.

Again they’re not original and our deal is that the colors are his responsibility, but I have a lot of fun drawing them, I get to practice, my son gets decorations and the students get a very colorful room. Any time you can get in some practice and help someone else, that’s a win win. How can you use your gifts to help someone else?


Posted: January 17, 2021 in Uncategorized

There’s a really old joke. Someone asks “How do you get to Carnegie Hall?” The other person replies “Practice, Practice, Practice.” It’s a silly joke except for one thing—it’s absolutely true. I don’t know if Carnegie Hall is still the epitome of musical venues, but if you want to rise to the highest places in your art or craft, the answer, more than connections, or anything else is you need to practice. There is no substitute for doing the work.

This little acronym came to mind M.A,D, which stands for Make Art Daily. Now I can almost feel may wife cringing, “Oh no, he’s working on another self-imposed deadline. Not that’s not exactly what I mean. You don’t necessarily have to make a full, complete, finished, polished work every day. For some art forms, that’s not even possible, but you can determine to spend a certain period of time working on your craft each day. It might be a simple sketch, even a doodle. It ,might involve writing down your thoughts or working through an element of your craft that has you stumped. The idea is to spend at least a little time each day working on whatever it is that you want to do well One of the things I like to do is work with a prompt. Each day, I get a prompt that forces me out of my comfort zone. When I pick and choose my own subjects, I tend to stay within a genre and work with subject matter that makes me very comfortable. I have a few books out of prompts if you’re interested.

Now of course you don’t need to buy a book from me or anyone else to do this. You simply need to seek out inspiration and then do something with it. The point is, in any pursuit, but especially in creative pursuits, there is no short cut for doing the work.

So go M.A.D. Make Art Daily! It’s the best way to learn and grow in any artistic discipline.


Know Your Role…

Posted: January 16, 2021 in Uncategorized

I remember when Dwayne Johnson was a professional wrestler. He was large and in charge, brash and colorful, and one more thing, quotable as all get out. He had a couple of catch phrases, one of which was “Know your role and shut your mouth.” Now I’m not telling anyone to shut up here, but knowing your role is really important, and as a result of knowing my role, I have made the decision to shut my mouth. I better explain.

I made a post a few days ago, about the time of the incident at the Capitol. It was called “How We Represent Jesus Matters.” It was not a political post at all. Instead it was a call to for those of us who love Jesus to act like Christians are supposed to act. I shared the link on Facebook and got a lot of favorable responses, but I got a fair amount of grief for it too. I have a few people who would contradict me if I said puppies are cute and the sun is hot, so this is nothing new. One pastor took me to task, saying it was my white privilege that allowed me to hold such a view?!? Some seemed to think I was implying something political, some seemed to think I was a wimp. Then I came to the blog to discover I had gotten two ratings that averaged out to 1.5 stars. I have to admit I was a little taken aback. Just to be clear, I know my role.

It seems some would like me to jump into the political fray. Not going to happen, that’s not my role. People have been trying to tell me how to act and react and what I should do, which by the way is not their role. The funny thing is, these people are on both sides of the political aisle, and were I to try to please them all, I would have to develop some sort of multiple personality disorder. To be clear, it’s not that I don’t care. Nor is it because I lack opinions. The thing is, I believe people are called to different things. I believe we are called and designed to work in different sphere’s of society. If you are called to politics, God bless you and I will pray for you, but that’s not me. I used to be very political and trust me when I tell you, that guy is better off gone. Political Dave is a jerk. I can’t stand him, and you wouldn’t like him either.

I see the problems of the world around us as vast, and I know I can’t do everything. As I look at the problems we face, I see at their root is a heart problem. That’s where I feel I can do the most good. My talents and skill set are in two things that are capable of really touching hearts, the church and the arts, so that is where I choose to place the majority of my efforts. Now I seek the Lord daily and He can change my direction if He wants to, but this is where I’m at right now. So I am going to put my best efforts into those areas and pray that God will multiply those efforts. I can’t do everything. You can’t either, so look for the areas where your passions meet your opportunities, and if you see something that makes you say, “Somebody should do something about that,” Prayerfully consider whether or not somebody is you.

I am sure this will probably get me some one and two star reviews (if anyone takes the time to read it). That’s okay. I know my role.

Generous T’s

Posted: January 15, 2021 in Uncategorized

Today I heard about a new company that is near and dear to my heart. If you’ve been following this blog for any amount of time, you’ve no doubt heard me talk about Haven Camp. Haven Camp is a camp for adults with developmental disabilities run by Delta Lake Bible Conference Center in Rome, New York. I’ve been privileged to minister there for the last several years and it has been life-changing for me.

Well this year, Delta Lake is opening a new enterprise called Generous T’s. They took an underused storage space off of their gymnasium and renovated it into a printing shop, where they will make T-shirts and other printed items. Most of the employees of Generous Ts will be Haven Campers. Delta Lake will use this enterprise to teach work skills and more. I could not be more excited about this. Here’s Delta Lake Director Steve Clark to tell you more.

I’ve been having some difficulty getting this video to embed here. If you can’t see Steve’s video, click here.

This ministry is exactly the type of thing I’ve been talking about. It’s people following their passions, using their gifts and abilities to serve others. It’s pretty much a text book illustration of the guiding verse of this ministry, 1 Peter 4:10 “Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” You may not have the facility and ability to start something like this, but look at your life and your experiences. What do you have? What burdens are on your heart? Who can you serve? Who can you help? You can’t do something about everything, but everyone can do something about something. Pray and seek God and see what you can do.

One simple thing you can do is seek out businesses and ministries like Generous Ts and give them your business. Generous Ts is just getting started, but stay tuned. I will continue to keep you updated.

I’ve said it a thousand times, (maybe a slight exaggeration, but I have said it a lot). “If it’s on the internet it must be true.” Virtually every time I have said it, it was said with a note of extreme sarcasm. In a world where anyone can say anything, checking your sources is a thing of the past and the phrase “fact checker” has become nothing but a bad joke, one might question what you can believe, and maybe even is there anyone I can truly believe.

If you’re a Christian, the title of this piece should take on a whole new meaning, a literal one. When God said, “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor,” He meant it. We need to be careful what we say and do and especially what we share. We are the people commanded to let our yes be yes and our no be no. If we want people to trust in the One we say we follow, then we must be trustworthy ourselves. We who follow the One who said, “I am the Truth,” must also be very careful to always speak truth, and post truth and share truth. We need to do our due diligence and be certain not to bear false witness. This is very difficult in a world where many people will say what or do whatever it takes to advance an agenda, our agenda is only advanced by truth. I have failed in this area many times, no doubt many of you have too, but we must be careful. Eternity hangs in the balance.

Speak the truth in love and if you put it on the internet, it must be true.

Incredible and Remarkable

Posted: January 13, 2021 in Uncategorized

They’re two words that get thrown around a lot, but what do they really mean? Knowing this is important because I believe these are the very things we are called to be as Christ-following creatives.

In-Credible—to be credible is to be believable. The prefix “in” means just the opposite. To be incredible is to be unbelievable.

Remark-able—to remark is to talk about something. The suffix “able” means just what the word “able” means. To be able to make a remark, or said more clearly, to be remarkable is to be worth talking about.

Now you might want to look at both those words and think they are out of reach for you, but if you think that, you would be wrong. You might not think you are at the top of your game, and you might even be right about that, but that’s not the only way to be incredible or remarkable. What if you determined to go above and beyond. What if you continually bring your best to anything you do? How long would it take before someone makes a comment? In this day and age, probably not long, and when people make positive comments about you and what you’re doing, what do you think that means? It means you’re remarkable.

And if you take the road less traveled. If you do something different than the way everyone else is doing it. When you treat others with a kindness that surpasses that of those around you. When you go above and beyond. When you demonstrate your love for God and others in the way you serve, there are some who will not believe they are receiving the good that you do, guess what that makes you? It makes you incredible.

So yes we should all work at whatever we do as if we were serving the Lord. We should develop our craft and give it our all to keep growing, but don’t wait til you hit some level of perfection that you consider good enough, because for most creatives, that day doesn’t come. Instead, work in a way that makes you both incredible and remarkable. Do what you do the best you can and with great love and you’ll be incredible and remarkable on your way to being truly awesome.