Archive for the ‘church art ministry resources’ Category

My message for Father’s Day 2017. I pray it blesses you.

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.

I’ve been doing a new presentation in my speaking ministry on God’s creation and the more I dig into the science behind it, the more amazed I become.

Consider the amazing precision of God’s creation and how it all works. Here we are on planet earth. We are 93,000,000 miles away from the sun. If we were closer the planet would burn up if it was further away, we would freeze. But we’re not just out here floating in space. There is a lot going on.

For example, did anyone ever tell you to sit still. Well if anyone does, you should probably answer (respectfully of course), “I can’t.” Because you really can’t and I can prove it. You’re not sitting still and you never have. Actually you are riding the universe’s most amazing thrill ride and you don’t even know it. You are never actually stationary. because the earth you are sitting on right now is spinning at approximately a thousand miles an hour. But it gets better, the earth revolves around the sun. Each year the earth makes a 584 million mile journey around the sun. In order to complete this journey on time, the earth has to be moving at a rate of somewhere between 64,000 and 67,000 miles per hour. Would we slow down from that velocity we would probably be pulled into the sun, faster and the sun might lose it’s grip on us and send us hurtling into space.

It works similarly with the rotation of the earth. You see you’re not sitting on a nice flat surface. You’re sitting on the side of a ball. The reason you don’t fly off is because the earth is spinning at 1000 miles per hour. God has made this universe work perfectly. He is the Lord of all creation. He holds you in the palm of his hand…

…and He loves you!

Yesterday’s post sparked an idea, what if we networked all the creatives who have diverse talents but care about building the creativity of the Body of Christ, I’ve decided to build a page on this site where we can direct people to find information and answers for all their creative needs, as well as possible collaborators. If you feel you have expertise in any area of creative ministry, I would love to have you as part of this network. The following is a form that will allow you to give any information you would want to have up about yourself. Be sure to add links to your websites and social media. I would also love to have network members guest post on this blog from time to time.

I am so looking forward to having you be a part of this.

Okay the title of this one may be slightly overstated, but not by much. This post was triggered this morning in an online chat with a friend who is pursuing writing. While I am always willing to help, I am more of a writer than a writing teacher. In truth, I am self-taught for writing and she seems to be going deeper than I may be able to go on my own. So I started have I connected you with this person and that person and the other person. Some I had and some I hadn’t yet. Then she gave me a little more info on her dream, and others came to mind, so I recommended those. She gave a little more clarity and I gave another name. I began to realize something. I know a lot of people… and I couldn’t be happier about it.

That’s when it hit me, as a creative, your network is your net worth. Let’s face it, no creative is an island unto themselves and in the body of Christ, I am convinced this is by design. There are some things we are better at than others and there are a few things we can’t do at all. At this point, we have two choices. We can be generalists, who spend all of our time trying to shore up our weaknesses, becoming jacks of all trades and masters of none. The alternative to this is we can work to become the very best we can be at what we’re already good at and work with others who are strong when we’re weak. I pick the second in a heart beat and I think so does God. After all His model for the church is total dependence on Him (the only One who is good at literally everything) and interdependence on our brothers and sisters in Christ.

In my earlier example, there are things I can help my friend with, and I really want to. If she wants to self publish, I have close to 20 books under my belt and I can help her there. If she wants a cover, I could probably help her with that though she is an accomplished artist in her own right. If she needs formatting help, I can do that pretty well as well. That being said there are people in my network that can help her far more than I can and because I genuinely care about her success, I’m going to share the wealth and connect her to my network.

The thing is we all have a network, and if you don’t, you should probably start one. The more people you know, the more you can do. Remember, only God can do everything, the rest of us need each other, so let’s work together. When we collaborate creatively with everyone bringing our best gifts to the table, God is glorified and we become able to accomplish things we could never do on our own. This is what it takes to make the big dreams come true. I don’t know about you, but I have big dreams and I want to see them become reality.

Working through this has made me wonder, should I create a database of my network and share it on this site and, as a second question, would you like to be on it?

Well we’re less than a year from Easter 2018, and I know it seems like that’s a long way off, but I’m going to embark on a project that will take me most of the year to complete and I thought I would invite you to find your own way to interpret the stations of the cross. Now I am not of the Catholic persuasion so I am going to use these as the stations:

1. Jesus Prays Alone
2. Jesus is Arrested
3. The Sanhedrin Tries Jesus
4. Pilate Tries Jesus
5. Pilate Condemns Jesus to Die
6. Jesus Wears the Crown of Thorns
7. Jesus Carries His Cross
8. Simon Helps Carry the Cross
9. Jesus Speaks to the Women
10. Jesus Is Nailed to the Cross
11. Criminals Speak to Jesus
12. Jesus Cares for His Mother
13. Jesus Dies on the Cross
14. Jesus is Laid in the Tomb

If you are of the Catholic persuasion you might choose to use these stations instead:
1 Pilate condemns Jesus to die
2 Jesus accepts his cross
3 Jesus falls for the first time
4 Jesus meets his mother, Mary
5 Simon helps carry the cross
6 Veronica wipes the face of Jesus
7 Jesus falls for the second time
8 Jesus meets the three women of Jerusalem
9 Jesus falls for the third time
10 Jesus is stripped of his clothes
11 Jesus is nailed to the cross
12 Jesus dies on the cross
13 Jesus is taken down from the cross
14 Jesus is placed in the tomb

Sometimes a 15th station is added, which would be the resurrection. While this is somewhat rarely done, I believe, unless the Lord leads differently I will add the 15th station as a larger painting.

I plan on creating 15 individual works of art around the stations. I will share them here as I complete them. Mine will all be roughly the same size so they can be easily displayed. I’m still seeking direction for how they will look but the more pressing matter is how they will be displayed and what I will do with them. I want to use them I’m my church but I’d also like to use them to take the story to the world beyond. I’d really love your feedback on that. How would you use a creation of stations of the cross to communicate the “greatest story ever told.” I’d also like to know if you plan on doing one of your own and of course I’d love to see your work. Let’s use this project to build some community here and spur one another on to love and good deeds.

First of all Easter is never really over because Jesus is Risen. That being said, the day we celebrate the Holiday has passed, so now what? Well for Christians the answer should be obvious. We take what we’ve been given and we share it. That’s what this image represents. We take the light that is in our hearts and we reach out, using our gifts to bless others and our lives to encourage and comfort others. The hand reaching down represents reaching to help someone else up. Then finally the hand pointing to heaven is to remind us that with all we do, we are supposed to point to the One who came to set us free. This is a major part of what it means to follow Christ.