Archive for the ‘Speaking ministry’ Category

(The following is an excerpt from The Imaginative Church Workbook, coming soon from AMOKBooks.)

If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a million times (and that is only a slight exaggeration)—people lamenting the consumer mindset in the church. I lament it too, but I completely understand it. Before I could preach, before I knew enough to teach, I was a consumer and the reason was simple. There was nothing (or at least very little) for me to do. I wasn’t called to preach yet, teaching was off the radar, and I had no musical skills, either vocally or instrumentally. Preaching, teaching and music, I call them the big three of church involvement, and I had none of them. Further, I wasn’t gifted in any of the mechanical things that needed to be done, I was bad with finance and I didn’t yet have the Spiritual maturity for any type of leadership position. Basically all I felt qualified to do was to show up and try to worship. Now those formative years were crucial to me and I look back on them very fondly, but my involvement was really limited.

I’ve shared my story in several of my other books, and don’t want to belabor it here, beyond to say, I went from the person described above to a pastor/artist/speaker/author who has ministered all over the U.S. and written books and ministry resources that have been used all over the world, largely because someone got imaginative. A pastor found my gift of art and showed me through a very simple project that my gift was useful to the church. Once I knew that, I began to look for and invent ways to serve, because I could see something I already enjoyed and did well was useful to people i really cared about. Everything that I am doing today can be traced back to a single moment and I am convinced I am not unique. People want to know that they matter, and that they’re useful and this is a huge blessing of the imaginative church. You can show people they matter. You can get them involved and you can help them find ways to make a difference.

By the way, there is a really cool side effect from all of this. You will end up with willing fulfilled servants who will find meaning and purpose in the Lord and His service. They will be able to do all kinds of new and different things that will open doors to the church for many and expand the reach of your church in amazing ways. You’ll turn consumers into contributors (in the truest sense of the word), and the Gospel will spread.


Well one of the heroes of the faith has gone home to be with the Lord. I for one am grateful for the example this man set in his decades of ministry. He was a man who lived largely above reproach, spoke truth to power and was used to change the lives of many. Thank you Dr. Graham. May we all leave a legacy of faith and faithfulness like you did.

for my Masterpiece paint parties that is… I just came up with a new floral design to teach at the parties. I call this one A Pop of Spring. What do you think?

Most people would say there are two Christmas Stories in the Bible. The most famous is Luke’s and the second most famous in Matthew’s. I maintain there are four. One is found in Revelation 12. Like most of Revelation it is very deep and symbolic. It deals with  a pregnant woman with stars around her head and a giant red dragon waiting to eat her baby but we don’t have time to unpack that one right now. I just finished speaking and painting and I’m really tired. But there is a fourth that some would find debatable, largely because it is usually overlooked. It comes from the book of John and it’s usually overlooked because it’s only one verse. “The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the one and only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14. It’s short an sweet, but its exactly what happened. God became man and lived with us. John 1 is the passage I’ve been exploring for my Advent preaching this year and so far it’s spawned three paintings.

The first was for my church, Springfield Church of the Brethren and it deals with the Intertestamental  Period (the 400 years between Malachi and Matthew). The next two deal with The Word, and the Light.
Here is a little infographic I did for the first message.

Next we have the two paintings I did for the word and the Light. I did these at Camp Eder for their Christmas Tree festival and the messages will be combined for Springfield next week. Again please keep in mind these are speed paintings done in 8 and 6 minutes respectively. Both were very well received and I pray God was glorified.

I always have a great time doing these things, but what I love most about it, is it give another way to draw people into the message. I pray you all have a blessed Christmas season and my His Word make your life shine.

This morning I am heading out for what should be my last ministry road trip of the year. I’ll be going to Camp Eder to speak at their Christmas Tree Festival. This will be my third year speaking and painting at this event and I got a pleasant surprise, I’ll be painting indoors this year. In previous years I painted in a pavilion outdoors and it was, pardon the pun, pretty cool. My first year was one of those unseasonably warm December evenings and I got lulled into a false sense of security. Last year it was frigid, so cold that my paint was doing unusual things, and a little hard to work with, but it was still fun.

This is a great event, that I’d love to do every year. It’s at a beautiful Christian camp near Gettysburg, PA. They cover the camp with lights and displays. Indoors they have Christmas trees decorated by the churches in their region, all trying to “out-creative” each other to win the tree decorating contest.  I always look forward to seeing what they come up with, cause you know how I feel about churches being creative, right? There is also all kinds of delicious food and musical performances each night. It is a lot of fun, but more than that, it’s a creative way to raise funds for a very important ministry. I am so looking forward to this event. If you’re in the area, I’d love to see you. I’ll be there tonight and tomorrow night, ministering around 7:00.

Camp Eder, 914 Mt Hope Rd, Fairfield, PA 17320

Today was a good day. I ministered at a great church in Virginia. I did a presentation (Pictures of Jesus) that I have done many times before. It’s one of my favorites, but it can be tough to share. You see, in among the five live paintings and all the work that it takes to set it up and tear it down, I share a lot of my story, and not just the touchy feely stuff, the good the bad and the ugly. I sometimes look out at the people and try to figure out what they think as I say this stuff, but it’s all true and I share it because it shows how good God has been to me and that’s sort of the point.

What I love about this, is I don’t share it so I can “bleed on the platform” I share it in hopes that it will help someone else. See every time God uses my story, He gets glory and something happens. My pain makes sense. All that stuff that was so hard to deal with, to live through, stuff that almost killed me, is now used to help people and that just blesses my socks off. But there’s something else to be considered. If I can hold on to this hope when I hit tough times, maybe instead of going to places of fear or depression I will begin to look for the goos that God can do through the situation. remember Romans 8:28 is true. “In ALL things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Maybe He’s working in something hard for you right now if thats the case, hold on to hope and let Him make your test your testimony. God can do more than we can ask or imagine.

Trust Him! 

I have a dream of presenting Pictures of Jesus in every state in the U,S. If you thinking it could bless you, contact me.

Well the adventure begins today. I head out for a week of disaster recovery work in South Carolina with some members of my congregation today. I’ll be coming back to the area next Saturday and on Sunday after preaching at my church in the morning, I’ll be heading North to Rome, NY to minister at Delta Lake Bible Conference in their Haven Camp program for adults with special needs. It should be a great two weeks of ministry. About the only thing is, I will miss my family a lot over that time. It’s a long time to be away. Please keep this ministry and my family in your prayers during this time. Posts may be few and far between for the next few days. What a great time to scan the archives. I have almost 2800 posts on here. Check them out.
God bless,