Paint Parties As Fellowship and Outreach

Posted: June 17, 2017 in church art ministry resources
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I was out of work, my day job had gone away and I was trying to figure out where I was headed and looking for some work along the way when i saw a listing looking for something called a “Master Artist.” Well I didn’t really know that it was and Rembrandt is a master artist, not me, but it had artist in the title so I decided to investigate. It turns out the listing was a for a paint party service. As part of the application process, I went to be a participant in a paint party and had a great time but I also had a thought. I could do this myself. So I rounded up some easels and some supplies and started to do a few here and there and I found it was fun. One of my life missions is to help people embrace their creativity and this seemed a great way to do it.

Fast forward, I find myself accepting a call to be an interim pastor. I wondered how would a paint party work as an outreach/fellowship opportunity for the church. Well we tried one and we were so pleased with the results that we have been doing them ever since.

I started by coming up with a simple painting that I could teach others how to paint in about an hour-90 minutes and then publicized it to the church, making flyers they could hand out to their friends featuring the picture they would be painting. We set up tables in our fellowship hall with easels, brushes and paint for each participant. We also posted a sign up sheet so we would have at least a rough idea of how many people were coming.

The event itself lasts two hours. I start off with a few rules. Most of these are humorous, just to remind the people that we are there to have a good time and to set their minds at ease. Then I just teach the painting step by step. About half way into the party, we take a 15 minute or so break to talk, look at each other’s work and let the paint dry. We did the first one as a free event and started charging a small amount to cover materials after that (less than a third of what the commercial painting parties charge). The people also bring snacks which are hared throughout the night.

I find everyone ends up laughing together and having a great time and it’s a great way to build community. There’s no high pressure evangelism with this. I usually just plan on painting in my service the following Sunday and invite the people to come and see what I do. We’ve had a few people actually take us up on that, which was nice. Also it seems that everyone who comes, comes back and many bring a friend with them. This has been a great way to get to know people and open doors to the church.

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