Taking Another Run At My Creative Ministry Book

Posted: September 9, 2021 in Uncategorized

I am at a weird place in my creative journey. I am trying to begin my next book and a related course. I can’t say I am blocked, as a matter of fact, it is kind of the opposite. I have a lot of ideas but I am struggling to find the right feel and the right direction. Here is a possible introduction. I would love to know what you think of this direction.


Several years ago I wrote a book (really a short book, more of a manifesto) called Ministering to the Creative Soul. It was self published and had the kinds of sales that the majority of self published books have. Then one day I decided to take advantage of a promotional tool Amazon was offering at the time that allowed me to give the ebook away for free. As a result, I got a few reviews, most of which were pretty favorable, but I had one reviewer was disappointed. You see the book was created for ministry leaders as a way to help them to embrace the arts in their churches and to minister to artists. The disappointed reviewer was an artist, and he felt that the book was not really for him. I could not completely disagree with him. So with this project, I want to make it very clear. If you are an artist, this book is for you and if you are a ministry leader this book is for you. This is a book that I am hoping will bridge the gap between artists and the church. It is designed to help artists to find their fit in the local church and to help church leaders to embrace and empower the artists in their midst. 

I feel I am well-suited to take on this project because I am both an artist and a church pastor. Today I serve as the pastor of a small rural church in Pennsylvania, but for most of my working life, I earned my living in the visual arts. Most of the work I have done has been in the fields of commercial art and graphic design, and I’ve designed everything from grocery store circulars to theater sets, and I even had a stint freelancing for a licensee of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. After I felt the call to ministry, I began serving as a volunteer youth pastor, and I slowly began using art as a teaching tool. Over time, I began to share my ideas online, which opened the door to a speaking ministry, doing a combination of workshops and Gospel presentations combining “speed painting,” storytelling as well as other art forms. It was in this ministry that I found my “zone.” 

Ministering in a variety of churches has showed me that there are people like me in virtually every church. People with an artistic bent, who are having a hard time seeing how their gift can be useful to the Kingdom. At the same time, I meet church leaders who have ideas, dreams and visions for their churches but feel they don’t have the creative skills to pull them off. One of my favorite metaphors in Scripture is the idea of the body of Christ. I sometimes feel as if I serve as a kind of Spiritual neurosurgeon, connecting the parts of the body, showing the pastor that there is a part of his body that can bring his or her dreams to reality. It’s this simple really. There are church leaders who are frustrated because they can’t do what they see in their minds and there are artists frustrated because they have skills and abilities that go untapped, but what if we brought the two together? 

There are also creative people in our communities who are looking for a place to belong. What if they could find what they are looking for in the church—a place to grow and thrive in their gifts and talents? What if the church would become again what it once was, the center of creativity in the community? Could we use creativity to connect people to their Creator? What if artists and creatives embraced the church and brought their amazing gifts into the fold and what if churches truly embraced creatives and creativity, to take the unchanging message of the Gospel to an ever changing world? This is my goal in writing this book and the related materials. So whether you are an artist looking for your place to thrive or a church leader wanting to see your God-given dreams and visions to become reality, this book is for you.  

One final thought: I am primarily a visual artist, so many of the thoughts in this book will lean in that direction. That being said the principles contained herein are applicable to virtually any art form. If you need help finding those applications, please feel free to contact me.   

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