Archive for the ‘Speaking ministry’ Category

I just spent four days ministering at Little Swatara Church of the Brethren. It was a great time. There were quite a few people that I grew up with there and it was great to reconnect. I spoke on the parables. One thing I have become convinced of is that if we as believers will apply the principles of these stories to our lives, they will help us to live a better “stories.” Here are a few pics. Thanks to Pastor Matt Christ for the invite and all you did for me and thanks to Mark Myers for doing all the video work. I can’t wait to see the clips.

I love to do this kind of ministry so if your church could ever use a few days of challenging, renewing messages combining art and the word of God, please contact me.

Yesterday, I started leading a few days of Spiritual renewal services at a church near my home. It’s been a really great experience so far. At the end of last night’s presentation, Pictures of Jesus, I decided not to give an altar call but rather just to challenge the people to see me or the pastor for prayer after the service. Well as the last song was being done, I just really felt led to go back to the front of the room and wait. It seemed the Spirit was working on someone in the room. No one came forward, but that’s not surprising, it seems harder than it used to be for people to leave their seats and walk the aisle, still I knew something was happening. I dismissed the people and a young man came up to me. I was expecting this might be the one. Instead he had a question for me. What Scriptural authority to you have for praying with someone to receive Jesus? It was a good question, one I had not been asked before and one I really didn’t have an answer for. The young man was very bright and well read in theology. He knew his Bible very well and I was feeling a little outclassed. But there was more.

You see I now knew he was not the one, but there was still someone there who needed help. I knew he desired a theological debate, but if that’s what he was looking for, he came to the wrong guy. There are many people qualified to have that kind of discussion, My qualifications are pretty simple. I’m the guy that proves God can use anybody. I learned a long time ago that people are not argued into the faith. Now I could have quoted scripture, like Romans 10:9-10, “9 because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.” but I doubt that would have satisfied. or Romans 10:13 “for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” but I’m not sure that would have worked either.

So here’s what I know. I know that there was a time in my life where I came to the end of myself. I was at a revival meeting, when I felt God knocking at the door of my heart. An invitation was given at the end of the message and I responded. A pastor led me in a prayer of salvation and it worked. I don’t know if he had the scriptural authority to do that or not, but I do know this, when I prayed that prayer I crossed a line and something changed in my heart. Something big. I turned from my sin and turned to God. I was baptized and I received the Holy Spirit. If I had to state it, I’d say that’s my authority. The spirit of the living God lives in me. As far as the prayer goes, I don’t know, but I do know this. If it is wrong to pray that way, The Spirit in me knows my heart and He prays when I don’t know what to pray and that’s good enough for me.

Perhaps the best Scriptural argument I can give would come from Revelation 3:20 where Jesus says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and dine with him, and he with Me.” In other words, if God uses my ministry to knock at the door of someone’s heart, the prayer is nothing more than me helping them to answer the door. That may not be deep and theological, but I’m not about to let someone face a God-less eternity while I play theology. I’ll take my chances on grace and the power of the spirit to fill in any places where my knowledge fails.

By the way, if any of this inspires you to debate with me, please don’t, I won’t engage.

I know God is good and I trust Him. Still there are times where I wonder if I am doing everything right and if I am making enough of the right efforts, especially with my speaking ministry. I’m a pastor and so I want to make sure I am being faithful to the people and the God who have called me to lead at this time while also being faithful to my call beyond the walls. It can be a real balancing act but it is also a tremendous blessing. Still I sometimes find myself wondering if I am doing enough to promote the speaking ministry. My bookings are a little off what they sometimes are by this time of the year and my summer looks a little slim. About the time I start to wonder, I get a reminder. In this case from a dear friend who feels led to bring me in to his ministry multiple times this year. It’s just another reminder that while I am called to be faithful, God’s faithfulness will exceed mine every single time.

So here’s the point you should take from this. Do your best to honor God with everything you do. Put forth your best efforts, do all that you feel led to do and work hard. This is called faithfulness. After that it’s up to God and He can always be trusted.

You need to do your part and then you need to trust.

God provides.

If you feel led to bring my ministry to your church or organization you can contact me by clicking here.

Hey everyone, I’m a booked pretty heavily this weekend and it looks like we could have some interesting weather. I have a class Saturday morning a presentation Saturday night and I start spiritual renewal services on Sunday. Lots of driving coming up and I really could use decent roads for it. Could you pray for safety and/or/both good weather for me? I would really appreciate it.

And of course if you ever need an artist speaker for your church, I can be contacted here.

Well I spent most of the day Saturday working on a Powerpoint presentation to go with a message on watching our thought lives, guarding our hearts and minds. I called the message “What Are You Thinking?” I decided to start with humorous stories from my childhood where my mom ended up asking, “What Were You Thinking?” I decided some simple humorous slides were in order. It’s amazing how well cartoons, the combination of words and pictures tel the story. I had some fun with these. I decided to share these without the story, so you can get the idea.

vangoghs-heartAs promised here are sort of the nuts and bolds of doing a paint party. I went out and bought some simple table top easels. I got them on sale at Michaels and ended up paying about $10 a piece for them. If you watch for the sales you can do really well at Michaels. I bought 20 over the course of a few weeks. I also get my canvases at Michaels. I use standard 16×20 canvases that they sell in a five pack for around $20. Again sales and coupons and sometimes make this less expensive. I also know A.C. Moore sells a paint party pack of 20 canvases. I find that if the group is too much larger than 20 it’s hard to give people the attention they deserve.

schneemanAs far as paint goes, I buy the quart jugs of acrylic they sell at Michaels or A.C. Moore for around $10. I use five colors, the primaries, plus black and white. I give each participant three different sized brushes, small medium and large, the large being about an inch wide, but of course this will vary depending on the piece. I use styrofoam plates and I put the paint on the plates in advance. This allows me to have some control on the “portion sizes.” People can really waste paint if you don’t do this. I also put out one water jar for every two people.

masterpiece3In developing my paintings, I work them up in advance. I will usually work out a painting I like and then go back and redo it step by step to figure out how I will paint it. Once I have that worked out I photograph it and add it to my website. I then made up a blank poster format for each of my paintings so when I book one, I can add their information and send a pdf so that they can print and use them to publicize their party.

As far as what to charge. That is on a case by case basis. I know my rough costs to do a painting and I add to that what I need to make all the work make sense. I will usually do a per person charge and I set my rate low enough that the person hosting the event can add a little on to earn some money for a cause, etc. This gives them some incentive to promote the event. I also have a flat rate if they just want to pay for the event outright. Of course this includes a limit to the number of people.

masterpiece2You’ll need a large enough room to house the amount of people signed up. I highly recommend that this be an uncarpeted room as people will occasionally drop brushes, etc. You also want to make sure that the people have some elbow room if possible. You will need tables and chairs and the tables should be covered. it is also wise to tell people to wear older clothes or to distribute aprons. Acrylic paint does not usually come out of clothes very well.

Those are the logistics. Next time we’ll look at the teaching aspect.

paintparty3A friend asked me about my paint parties. He would like to start doing them in his ministry as well he asked me for more information. This was all done through a Facebook conversation and it ended up being more of a booklet than a series of private messages. I decided to condense it and share it here.

paintparty5I started doing paint parties almost by accident. When I lost my day job, I began looking for work. One day I saw a listing for a “master artist.” While I don’t know that I consider myself a master, the word artist was too much to pass up. I applied and it ended up being for a paint party company. I went to one of their parties, had a good time and they wanted to hire me if they could get something going in my area. That never materialized but I realized this was something I could do on my own, so I decided to give it a shot.

paintparty2In the beginning I saw it only as a way to make side money and didn’t really consider it to be a ministry opportunity. I was just going to do it for supplemental income. Well as you can probably imagine, I got convicted on that pretty quickly. When I started to pastor my church and decided to try it as an outreach. It actually worked very well and so I began offering it as part of my ministry. I’ve only done it about five times so far but it has been a real blessing.

paintparty4The key, at least as I’ve found it, is to keep it fun. Most people are intimidated by making art so one of the big things is to help set their minds at ease. The goal here is for the people to have fun and to come away with something that they will at least be reasonably happy with. This means the designs are crucial. You need to come up with something that will be visually appealing and yet simple enough that even a novice can be successful with. My guideline is if I can do it in 45 minutes to an hour, I can teach it in two (which is about the average length of a paint party. If it takes me longer than that it either needs to be scrapped of simplified.

paintparty6I usually recommend serving snacks and refreshments. There is usually a period of time in there where you need to let the paint set a little and this makes a nice intermission. I usually encourage them to mingle and look at what others are doing during this time. This will help them to get ideas from each other.

Again remember this is not art class. It is supposed to be fun. There is no grading and it’s about helping people enjoy the experience of making art. For some it will be a night of fun and laughter. For others a lifetime avocation will be discovered. I think by now most of my readers know the power of art to help us get out what’s going on inside us. This can be a wonderful blessing to a lot of people.

paintparty1One other thing, and you are free to disagree. While the paint parties are part of my ministry, this is not a heavy handed gospel presentation. I view it as outreach. I want people to come in and get to know us. I will share encouragement and maybe a few words about God and an invitation to worship the next day, but that’s about it. The real ministry happens around the tables as people get to know one another and fellowship together.

Tomorrow I will share more about the logistics.