Let’s start with the basics. I know some people use the phrase “for Christ’s sake!” in a “taking the Lord’s name in vain” kind of way. That’s not what I am doing here. I am being literal. You see every so often I try to evaluate my life and my work for the purpose of staying on mission. Also before I go any further, you may be on a different mission in your creative life and that is okay and between you and God. Today I am speaking for me, in the hopes of giving others clarity as they seek to follow their own mission.

My personal mission is pretty simple and not at all original. I want to know Christ and make Him known. Fleshing that out a bit more, I believe every human being is gifted by God to do something great in this world. My life was radically transformed by two things. Someone cared enough to introduce me to Jesus Christ. That is first and foremost, but secondly someone showed me I could use my gift to serve the Lord. Those two things took a suicidal young man with a drinking problem and an extreme and profound fear of speaking in public and made me who I am today. For that I am eternally grateful and part of my “make Him known” mission is to live that out by helping others to come to know Jesus and find and use their gifts to serve the Lord. Another way that this manifests for me, is that I want to help the church embrace creativity and creative people and I want to see creative people embrace the church. And that brings me to art.

Some would say, as artists, that we just need to make art for arts sake. I know I do some of that, and I do it unapologetically. As artists, we all have to continually hone our skills, but it’s funny. If I want to be truthful, even when I am trying to do art for art’s sake, I’m thinking, and praying, about how I can use it to open the door to sharing the Gospel. I can’t really get to artists who have not yet embraced the church if I only create in the Christian realm. If this is my motivation, is it really art for art’s sake? Probably not. More than likely, it’s art… for Christ’s sake, and I’m okay with that.

In my ministry to the church, art for Christ’s sake is, of course more expected and I know for a fact I could not do it any other way, for this reason: a lot of what I do in the church is live, speed painting. Were it all about the art, I don’t think I could do it, because the time limitations would make the level of perfection I desire impossible. It’s really difficult to do a perfect painting in six minutes or less. On the other hand if I am doing art for Christ’s sake, the art is a tool to draw people in to the message. If it does that it has served it’s purpose, even if the finished piece is imperfect. Staying on mission allows me to hold that perspective.

At the end of the day, the art I create will not last. When God makes all things new, my work will likely pass with the old order of things. What will matter is, was this art used to bring people into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ and/or did it spur them on to love and good deeds that were use to serve people and bring them into a saving relationship with Jesus Christ? My prayer is that this is the end result of everything I create.

My name is Dave, and I do art… for Christ’s sake. For me that is more than enough. How about you?

  1. Cade says:

    Dave, thanks for the message today.

    I really enjoy your message through art.

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