Every so often I like share a few resources that will help you on your journey. The following are a few books that I have read over the years that have really blessed and encouraged me. They’re not necessarily Christian books, nor are they all about art, yet they will help you to build your skills and following.
Seth Godin’s Tribes is the book that encouraged me to start this blog and try to build a community of Christian creatives. It can be read in a day and will radically change the way you look at leadership and creativity. The description from the Amazon page says, “A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have been seeking out tribes, be they religious, ethnic, economic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It’s our nature.
Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger. But more important, they’re enabling countless new tribes to be born—groups of ten or ten thousand or ten million who care about their iPhones, or a political campaign, or a new way to fight global warming.
And so the key question: Who is going to lead us?” This is an amazing book you should really pick up. Click the picture to get your copy.
While we’re on Seth Godin, I would be remiss if I did not mention Linchpin. This is one of my all time favorite books. It tells us all about how to be indispensable and live a remarkable life. The description on the Amazon page says There used to be two teams in every workplace: management and labor. Now there’s a third team, the linchpins. These people figure out what to do when there’s no rule book. They delight and challenge their customers and peers. They love their work, pour their best selves into it, and turn each day into a kind of art.
Linchpins are the essential building blocks of great organizations. They may not be famous but they’re indispensable. And in today’s world, they get the best jobs and the most freedom.
As Godin writes, “Every day I meet people who have so much to give but have been bullied enough or frightened enough to hold it back. It’s time to stop complying with the system and draw your own map. You have brilliance in you, your contribution is essential, and the art you create is precious. Only you can do it, and you must.” This book really changed the way I look at the things relating to the work I do and the way I do it. Click the picture to get your copy.
For the writers, storytellers and communicators out there, Parables by John MacArthur is a treasure trove of information on the stories of Jesus. This book goes into great detail on the parables and why Jesus used them. This book is powerful and will challenge your thinking on the parables, and how we communicate God’s Word. Here’s what the Amazon page had to say about the book: “Jesus was a master storyteller, and the parables He told were ingeniously simple word pictures with profound spiritual lessons. Understanding the parables is a crucial matter for followers of Jesus. Jesus told parables so His people might comprehend His message about the kingdom of God clearly.
Master expositor and Bible commentator John MacArthur has spent a lifetime explaining the Word of God in clear and comprehensible terms. In Parables he helps Christians understand the essential lessons contained in the most famous and influential short stories the world has ever known.” Get your copy by clicking the image.
Imagine That by Manuel Luz is a thought provoking book on creative ministry from a great mind working in the field. His insights are powerful and challenging. Amazon said, “Why are we artists? How does God experience art? What is the artist’s calling in relation to God, the church, and the world?
Drawing from his experiences performing Mozart, playing “dive bars”, and leading worship and the arts in the church, author Manuel Luz seeks to answer the questions that artists often ask. Laced with humorous and sometimes poignant anecdotes, Imagine That is a thought-provoking journey through the convergence of art and faith. Luz has been a working musician, writer, pastor, and even amateur cartoonist for more than 40 years, and in Imagine That he lays out his case for a uniquely Christian approach to the vocation of artist, using theologically rich and artist-friendly language.
In the end, Imagine That affirms and equips Christian artists for the special kind of ministry that only they can do.” This s a great book that should be on your bookshelf. Click the image to get your copy.
My friend J. Scott McElroy has written a wonderful handbook for creative ministry. As a long time creative minister, McElroy’s insights come from real world experience and have the potential to guide the reader to a fruitful, creative ministry. Amazon says of this book: “If the future is creative, is it any wonder that sometimes the church seems stuck in the past?
Now is the time for the church to reclaim its role as a center of creativity. Among your members are artists, musicians and other creatives whose gifts can enhance your worship, inform your theology and impact your community. Christian arts advocate J. Scott McElroy gives a comprehensive vision and manual for unleashing creativity in your congregation so you can connect with the more visual, aural, participatory and expressive generation that is rising up within the church today.
In this handbook you’ll find clear direction for:
Mobilizing and managing artists and other creatives in your congregation
Establishing structures and parameters for arts ministry
Leading and supporting staff and church members in creative changes
Enhancing the worship service
Adding creative elements to your sermons
Engaging the broader community
Activate your church in every avenue of worship with this practical guide for arts ministry.”
Click the images to get your copy of any of these books.