Dave Weiss Ministry Portfolio

Dave Weiss
589 Stone Rd.
Mohrsville, PA 19541

This page was prepared for submission to Kingdom Bible College and Seminary for review of my life experience. I’m 53 years old, an ordained minister in the Church of the Brethren, currently serving as pastor of Springfield Church of the Brethren, a position I have held for just over a year. This is a part time position and I spend the rest of my working/ministry time as a speed painting, storytelling, preacher doing creative arts ministry presentations.

I’ve done art most of my life and professionally since 1986. During this time I have done everything from designing grocery circulars to theatrical sets. I graduated High School in 1981. My plan was to go to art school immediately after high school, but I was strongly discouraged from this pursuit by my parents. Needing to find a new career path, I ended up going to school to be an electronics engineer at the Ohio Institute of Technology. As you can see from my transcript, this was a mistake. I mainly went to this school because a sales rep came to my high school and convinced us that we would be able to earn huge money in three years rather than four. I had no aptitude for this field of study and my grades proved it. After one year, I returned home and began trying to find my way. Depression kicked in, as I felt like I had ruined my future. This manifested in alcohol abuse for a few years.

During this time, I determined to pursue an art career. I began freelancing and working in a printing factory with a promise of getting into the art department. The art department never materialized, so eventually I began to take some commercial art classes at the local vo-tech school to learn the mechanical end of commercial art. I landed a job designing grocery circulars for IGA stores in 1986, starting the day after I met my wife. The IGA job was a job, but clearly not the kind of art I desired to be making, so in addition to my day job, I freelanced extensively, designing everything from ads and signs to theater sets.

On the Spiritual side of life, things were happening. I was not a Christian during this time. I had gone to the Lutheran Church until my confirmation, but I did not take it seriously at all. It was just another class I took, and I don’t think I ever really understood the ramifications of faith in Christ. In 1986, I was 22, depressed and directionless and at least on the border of full-blowmn alcoholism. My sister decided to set me up on a blind date with a girl who unbeknownst to me was a non-drinking pastor’s daughter. Had I known either of those two things (and definitely the latter), I probably would have called the date off, but I found out too late and so we went on our date. She was different from anyone I had been out with before and before long she was taking me to church, Mohrsville Church of the Brethren. I began to hear and understand the Word of God and one night at a revival meeting I came to Christ. The church began to get me involved and even began to allow me to use my art in service to the church, mainly with things like Vacation Bible School. MY wife and I married in 1988 and we have been together ever since.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles BackdropsIt was during this time that Began working for a licensee of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles along with many other properties. This type of work was very fulfilling from a creative standpoint but financially I just kept getting further and behind. I was laid off from my grocery circular job the day my youngest son was born, in 1993. By this time I was freelancing so much that I thought I could make it as a full time freelancer, but for some reason there was always a roadblock in my path to artistic success. I was working like crazy but not getting anywhere. My response was to dive further and further into my work until art became an idol in my life and was driving everything else out, I nearly left the faith and lost my marriage, but God was not done with me.

I got an invitation to go to the Promise Keeper’s Stand in the Gap event in Washington DC. I had been experiencing conviction about my idolatry to my career in the weeks leading up to the event and fighting it the whole way, but on that day October 4, 1997, God got through. It was on that day that I first felt the call to ministry and I knew that I would have to lay down art. At the time, this was the hardest thing I had ever done, because I had come to believe art was the only thing in the world that I was any good at. On that day I made a vow to God, I would never do art again until I was doing it for God.

With art off the throne of my heart, I was able to concentrate on repairing broken relationships and this new found call to ministry. The first thing I did in ministry was take a group of kids from my church to the Creation Festival in Mt. Union, PA. Even though I was not a youth leader yet, I knew this was where God was leading so I went to the youth leader training events every day. They were run by a youth ministry resource called Interlinc. (A Year later I was one of the main curriculum writers for their resource Youth Leaders Only. I served in this capacity for many years and I still write for them several times a year). I was learning a lot and by that fall I became the Sr. High Sunday School teacher for the church and the youth leader not long after.

creacherchristmas1memeI became concerned because my students had not retained much Bible knowledge through their years in the church. I desperately wanted to make sure my teaching would stick and so I began to pray, asking God for a way. I began to hear “Use your art.” The thought of going back to art terrified me, but eventually God got through and I began to use art in my ministry. Not long after, God opened the door for me to get a communications job for a non-profit. This allowed me to be home more than my previous job allowed and made it easier to do youth ministry. The other thing that this helped with is, as part of the job, I had to learn web design. This knowledge allowed me to begin sharing my art ministry ideas online, which made it possible for me to connect with other arts ministry people as well as church leaders all over the world. This was the birth of the ministry I call AMOKArts.com in 1999. AMOK stands for Arts Ministry Outreach for the Kingdom. You are looking at the most recent manifestation of the A.M.O.K. Website here which included a blog of over 2500 daily posts on all facets of creativity and Christian Life. I also have a web comic called Creacher, which can be seen here.

In 1999 I began to take ministry classes with the Brethren Academy for Ministerial Leadership, a training program for second career ministry people. You can see my transcript here. For some reason this transcript does not include my ordination date, but I was ordained in 2003. Near the end of 2002, several things came together and it became clear God was leading my wife and I to plant a church called New Creation Fellowship. We pastored that church, bivocationally for over ten years. When the church closed in 2012, I decided to join a church as a member and have a time of healing and refreshment. I joined Ephrata Church of the Brethren. Eventually I began to serve as volunteer pastor of creative arts, running a creative arts team, teaching an arts ministry Bible study and doing a lot of different art projects for the church as well as occasionally preaching. I was still working full time for the non-profit at this time (Pennsylvania Music Educators Association, where I served as Director of Communications from 1999 to 2015). In addition I was speaking more and more.

When my position with PMEA was outsourced in 2015, I decided to go into my speaking ministry full-time. This marked the first time in my life that I was able to devote all my working time to ministry. God was faithful and AMOKArts was really taking off. What started as a way to share ideas, led to invitations for workshops, and then speaking ministry opportunities. In the last four years, I have ministered in approximately 150 churches and other venues. Over the course of my ministry I have ministered in 15 or 16 states. As we neared Winter of 2015, I got a call from my district executive, Craig Smith. There was a church that was in dire need of an interim pastor. The bookings always seem to slow down in the Winter months so I prayed and felt led to say I could serve, believing I would be done there by April 2016. By December 2015, it was becoming clear that God was leading up to something a bit more permanent and in January 2016, I became the pastor of Springfield Church of the Brethren. It is a 3/4 time position and I spend the remaining time “running A.M.O.K.” and trying to encourage creatives in the church and teaching churches how to embrace creativity and creative people. I believe this is a big part of my mission in life and I fully intend to keep doing creative ministry until God tells me to stop.

It’s been an amazingly fulfilling life and a tremendous blessing. I always remind people that my life was radically changed because of two things. Someone cared enough to introduce me to Jesus and someone showed me I could use my gift to serve the Lord. My life verse is one that was spoken at the very beginning of A.M.O.K. 1 Peter 4:10, “Each one should use whatever gifts He has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in it’s various forms.” My mission is to encourage as many people as I can to find their gifts and put them to work to the glory of God.

What follows is a sampling of the creative ministry work I’ve done over the last 18 years.


1986-Met my wife.

  • Started my art career.
  • Came to Christ.

1988-Married my wife.
1993-Got downsized from my art job.

  • Became a full-time freelance.
  • Began working in sales and retail.

1997-Became convicted of idolatry to my career and laid it down.
1998-Took a group to Creation Fest.

  • Became Sr. High Sunday School Teacher.
  • Became youth leader at Mohrsville Church of the Brethren.

1999-Began writing for youth ministry resource Interlinc.

  • Began working for PMEA
  • Began A.M.O.K.
  • Licensed to the Ministry
  • Began training for Ordination (Brethren Academy).

2002-Planted New Creation Fellowship, Reading, PA

  • Completed course of study with Brethren Academy

2003-Ordained in the Church of the Brethren
2012-New Creation Closed

  • Joined Ephrata C.O.B, and became Pastor of Creative Arts
  • Intensified A.M.O.K. Travel Schedule

2015-Downsized from PMEA

  • Went full-time into A.M.O.K.
  • Became pastor of Springfield Church of the Brethren
  • 2016 Completed an eight month certificate course in Creative Arts Ministry offered by ArtFruition.com, a start up creative ministry school in Idaho. Here is my certificate.

My Books
I have written and or illustrated and published quite a few books. The first books are on creative ministry. I have included downloadable “pdf” copies of my creative ministry books (Running A.M.O.K., Ministering to the Creative Soul, Pictures of Jesus and the large version of Many Parts One Body).

Running A.M.O.K. Print Version
(Download pdf here)
Ministering to the Creative Soul Print Version
(Download pdf here)

Ministry Resources

Pictures of Jesus Print Book
(Download pdf here)
Story: Parables of Jesus Creative Journal Many Parts One Body: Large
(Download pdf here)
Many Parts, One Body: Medium
Many Parts, One Body: Small

Creativity Builders

One Liners Kindle Version One Liners Print Version Creativity Kickers 1001: A Sketch Odyssey

Adult Coloring

Kaleidoscopic Creatures 1 Kaleidoscopic Creatures 2 Kaleidoscopic Creatures 3
Kaleidoscopics 1 Kaleidoscopics 2 Kaleidoscopics 3 Kaleidoscopics 4

Video clips from my Speaking Ministry

Lamb of God from Pictures of Jesus

A clip from Story: Parables of Jesus on the Parable of the Sower and what it means to have ears to hear.

Why the Church Needs to be Creative from Story: Parables of Jesus

Excerpt from Forgiven presentation (shot and edited by Melody Blankenbiller)

Pictures of Jesus Presentation Overview

Samples of my ministry paintings
(Please keep in mind, all of these were painted in less that 15 minutes each, most in less than six, and a few in less than four.)

A live painting dealing with endings and new beginnings, done at a retirement banquet
All Creation Waits…
Done for my presentation Re-Creation
Dry Bones Live
This two-phase painting, based on Ezekiel 37, starts off as a skull.
Nose to Nose
This two-phase painting about conflict/forgiveness starts off as two faces that look as if they are going to fight transformed into toe One who brings us together.
The Sower
From my Story: Parables of Jesus presentation from the Parable of the Sower.
From my Pictures of Jesus presentation, it represents Jesus as Lamb of God and Lion of Judah.
God is Creative
Paintings based on God’s amazing creations for a VBS presentation.
The King
I use this painting for my message Hurried, Buried and Worried based on the Parable of the Talents.
Lamb of God
Painted at a city wide revival in Harrisburg, PA.
Drawn to His Heart
Painted at a city wide revival in Harrisburg, PA
Imagination/What If?
From my Imagination presentation, based on The Scream by Edvard Munch, this painting looks at the two sides of imagination.
An illustration on what happens when we remove the cross from our lives painted as part of morning worship.
Thief on the Cross<img
Painted as part of morning worship based on the story of the thief on the cross.
The Cross of Sin
A piece to illustrate 2 Corinthians 5:21, “God made him who had no sin to be sin[b] for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.”
Tree of Knowledge
Painted as part of my presentation called, Forgiven.
Arms Wide Open
The concluding reveal on my Pictures of Jesus presentation. It brings us around to the point that this is how Jesus waits for us.
mark's boss
Make Your Mark
This painting on the things we can’t plan for, starts with me calling upon five to seven people to make a brush stroke on my canvas. I then incorporate their marks into the finished piece. Someone told me this piece looks like Donald Trump. That was unintentional and long before he was president-elect or even the nominee. The word balloon saying “Mark” is because someone took my instruction to make your “mark” literally.
Paintings from a Gospel presentation at a Public Library for the Salvation Army. They picked the topic and I figured out how to lead it around to Jesus.
The Demoniac
Painted for a presentation called Taking it to the Streets about evangelism. The demoniac was the first person I can see that Jesus told to go out and tell people about Him.
The Word Became Flesh
A pretty literal interpretation on John 1 as requested by the person hosting the conference. After I painted it, I gave the keynote based on the passage.
the spirit and the bride
The Bride
Painted at a worship conference, this experimental piece, the bride is painted with a series of thousands of dots representing how the church comes together to be the bride.
Power from Above
My pastor asked me to paint this for a love feast service and it has become one of my favorites. It’s a view of Christ from above. The pastor used it to talk about God’s view of the crucifixion.
A series of live paintings from a revival series I did at a church in Central PA.
Firmly Rooted
Done based on the theme of a camp where I was speaking for Sr. Adults. The idea being that even in winter when a tree looks dormant, the conditions around them are driving their roots deep.

Animated Videos
From time to time I create these simple animated videos for my congregation to go with messages and or outreach initiatives. It’s very basic animation but they serve the purpose of getting attention and they are fun to do.

Art Videos
These clips are videos I created specifically for spreading the Gospel on Youtube.