promophotoIt’s not JUST about the art… 

AMOKArts is about PASSION
It’s about a passion to know Jesus and make Him known.

AMOKArts is about VISION
It’s about helping people to find God’s plan and purpose for their lives, to find and use their gifts to glorify God, serve others and make the world a better place.

AMOKArts is about MISSION
It’s about helping churches to empower their people to be all God intended them to be so the church can fulfill the mission God has given them.

I want to help people and churches to have a passion for Jesus, live their vision and accomplish their mission. Art is the tool, but it’s all about Jesus. I’d love to come to your church, participate in your program, paint and call and help people find and use their gifts to serve the Lord. Contact me today!

The Blog starts below!

I am taking an art ministry class with and this week’s lesson was about embracing artists across disciplines. It was a very thought provoking session. The question was posted about loving artists across disciplines and how we connect with the body of Christ. This was my response.
I find this so exciting and yet extremely challenging, not so much for me but for the people I work with. The stated mission of AMOKArts is to help creatives in the church and help churches to be more creative. I find that it’s not so much that churches are not open to the arts, but that they don’t know what to do with artists, except musicians, but even in that case, the musicians usually are limited to a specific genre. So a great dal of what I do come down to educating people and helping them to see new possibilities. I feel this is extremely imperative for the church. If we don’t do this, what we are left with is a church that uses very few people in the worship experience. The rest of the people are relegated to an “audience” role, for lack of a better word. This is a really bad situation, because if most of your people are audience members, they will leave you for a better “show.” This weakens the church and it is, at least to some degree, our fault.

We have a scriptural mandate in 1 Peter 4:10 and several other places to use our “whatever gifts” to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. What this means is that the Lord has endowed His people with gifts and talents, that are to be used to draw people into receiving God’s grace. People are intended to be instruments of grace. Were we to do this, people would find more than just something to do, they would find what they were created to do and in essence a big part of the meaning of their lives. This fires my imagination and Spirit for what the church could be. This is a big part of why I believe I am here. My dream is of the church becoming a creative hub in the community where all people, not just the artists, but all the people to see how God might use them to be instruments of grace and that as they live that life, the church becomes magnetic, the love of Christ is revealed, communities are transformed, people are saved and the world is changed.

As far as loving artists and pastors, I have the unique position of being both and I believe God has done this so I can speak into both worlds, helping pastors relate to artists and artists relate to churches. It’s about a lot more than making art. It’s about helping people to receive artists, it’s about helping artists come under the biblical authority of the local church. It’s about helping artists realize the position the artist is in and the incredible responsibility they have to their congregations and the incredible trust required to put someone before their congregation. It’s about breaking down stereotypes churches seem to have about artists and helping artists not to reinforce them. If there is a truly loving relationship between pastor and artist, trust will be built on both sides and the pastor will become the artists greatest advocate and vice versa. Ultimately it would be awesome for the church to be sending artist ambassadors into the arts communities and getting churches to create venues available to artists. It’s about turning the church into a place where artists can thrive and a safe place for them to fail, since all creativity requires failure and the guts to try again. ​

One of the biggest disappointments to me is all the closed doors and walls there are between artists and the church. I never cease to be amazed by how many churches won’t even give my ministry a shot because for one reason or another they don’t think it will work with their congregation. I face these barriers even though I am an ordained minister and church pastor, whose ministered in hundreds of venues. It shows me there is still a long way to go and a lot of work to be done. It also makes me appreciate every opportunity and makes me work very hard to bring every person who trusts me enough to bring me in the best possible ministry I can give, I think the arts could be taken a lot more seriously in the church. If the church can’t see the power of the tool the arts can be, their eyes are closed, because the rest of the world has mastered them and uses them quite effectively to bring a multitude of other messages to the forefront. God can do what we can not. We need to keep being faithful and make the most of every opportunity.

M.C. Escher has done some of the most interesting art ever. His work is very technical and mathematical. Check out these interesting videos of the artist at work.

And here is a way to do a simple version of one of Escher’s trademark patterns, the tessellation.

photo 1-4I challenged myself to create something creative every day this year and April’s collection is now in the books. A Lot of web comics and Power Point slides this month along with a few coloring pages. I also built a couple models this month, which you might not see as art, but I usually have one going in my studio at all times so in the event of creative block, I can jump to that for a while and recharge.

The key is to keep creating.
You can see this month’s art here.

Agree or Disagree:

The Church Should Be the Most Creative Place in any Community.


PRAY FOR THE CHURCHsmIt was the question that stopped me in my tracks. Not because I didn’t know the answer, but because I sort of thought the person asking would think I was making it up as I go. It happened at my interview. I had started as the interim pastor. My intention was to come in, stay a few months and help the church keep going while they found their permanent pastor. Then I would put them in that pastor’s capable hands and back out on the road I would go. My job wasn’t to change things or impose my vision, it was to prepare them to receive the next person’s vision and run with it. But something happened. We both (the congregation and I) began to realize that I was the next person. Frankly I was very happy.

From there the question was how to proceed. The congregation already knew me, so how would the interview process go? How could we get everyone on board? While some would say I was just continuing on, the role had actually changed pretty substantially. All of the sudden my vision mattered. All of the sudden the question became “How would I lead this 150 year old church into the next phase of its life?” We decided to have a night where the congregation could ask me their questions. And that’s when I got the question:

What’s Your Vision for This Church?

My answer was the same as it is on this blog, well, okay not exactly. This space is more arts and creativity focused, but the principle remains the same. My vision is to help other people find and use their talents to live out their vision. I know to some “my vision is to help you live your vision” sounds a lot like a cop out. Here’s why it’s not:

If it’s just my vision, then it’s all my idea, and you will only get as excited about it as I can make you. The idea, the continuing ideas needed to implement it and motivating you to bring the idea to fruition, all of that depends on me. You might be saying, “That’s leadership.” and to a degree you would be right, but I see something better.

If it’s your vision, then it’s your idea. You’re already passionate about it and there is an excitement, maybe even a desperation to bring it to reality. Now I can come along side you and help you and find the people that can help you. I can look at all the gifts of the church and work with you, encourage you and build you up. Imagine a church where people were living their dreams, seeing the great things in their hearts and minds happening. If that’s not a contagious church, I don’t know what is. That’s why it’s a big part of my vision.

About now, some of you are seeing the problem. There is a name, two names actually, missing from this post. I did that intentionally to bring us to this point. Those names, of course, are God and Jesus. If it’s my vision, it all depends on me. That load is too heavy for me to bear alone. If it’s your vision then I can help you bear the load and work with you to make it happen. But what if it’s God’s vision? What if you were seeking God and He laid something on your heart? What if God’s vision becomes your vision? Now all of the sudden the Spirit of God is giving the passion. Now the Spirit of God is your encourager. Now the Spirit of God is your provider and now when you come to the end of yourself and your abilities, you can watch in awe as the Creator of the Universe comes in and does something amazing to bring His vision, the one He laid on your heart, to fruition. Now it doesn’t all depend on me, and it doesn’t all depend on you and me. Now it all depends on the One on whom it ACTUALLY all depends, God.

Now imagine that that was happening in the lives of believer after believer after believer. As people are coming together to live out God sized dreams in the church, the neighborhood, the nation, maybe even the world. Can you imagine what a church like that could do? Neither can I but I love to try.

That’s my vision for the church. What’s your vision?

I am taking a class with ArtFruition and there was an art education component to this week’s lesson. We were supposed to weigh in on art education and these are my thoughts on the topic. They’re a little scattered but it was sort of a freeform exchange. What are your thoughts?

I think the big thing for me is, as a traveling art minister, how many people will come up to me after a presentation and say “I can’t even draw a stick figure, or a straight line.” In truth, if I had a dollar for every time someone has said that to me, I probably could do what I do for free. I know they’re trying to compliment me, but I have to be honest, when I hear it, I wonder who criticized them and made them want to quit. I think this, because Picasso was right,” All children are artists, the problem is to remain one as one grows up. Unfortunately a lot of this blame falls to grading art and to a mentality that are is something to be outgrown. The horror stories you shared (stories of professors tearing up, bring and literally trashing student workP are more common than we’d think and I’d like to go and punch those people in the throat, in love, of course. Yes I am being facetious, I’m not a violent man, but I know the good making art can do in a person’s life and it breaks my heart to see so many people deprived of this outlet.

I think grading art is absurd. As long as Picasso and Pollack and Rembrandt can hang in the same museum, no one really has any business placing a value on it. I spent the last 16 years working for a music education organization and one thing I found maddening. These folks were constantly being challenged to show how their classes made people better mathematicians, etc. as if art only has value if it makes you good at something else. ARRGH! Why not give people the tools to create their very best work and get out of their way. Instead we tell some (most) people they’re not good enough and all of the sudden the arts become the realm of an anointed few who are deemed talented and the rest are forced into other things. I’m not saying everyone has what it takes to be professional, but everyone should have the means to express what is happening in their souls and if more people would have the opportunity to express these things, I think we would live in a happier, more joyful world.

Good teachers have the ability to do tremendous good. I remember one time when I was in third grade. I hated school in general, not because I was a bad student but because I was a human target, but on this particular day, my art teacher had given an assignment of a cut paper piece for thanksgiving. We were to make profile images of pilgrims and native Americans. I just gave it my best. At the end of the class the teacher, (Mrs. Kreitler) held up my piece as an example for the class. I am a 52 year old grandfather and I still vividly remember the assignment and he feeling. Someone was affirming me. I think that was probably what cemented in me that I wanted to be an artist.

I made this a little while back to remind my congregation of what’s really important this election year. It’s a tongue in cheek approach to a serious topic. For the record, I omitted Kasich because there was talk that he was going to drop out before the PA Primary and these things take a while to do. He’s not my candidate either.

This is a way to use humor to communicate. How can you use your gift to share a message?