Posts Tagged ‘art as activism’

Defeating the 20/80 Rule with Be the Body
• Does your church have enough people to get everything done?
• Does your church have a small group of people who do most of the work?
• Does your church have a large group of people on the fringes and barely connected?
When you call upon your congregation to do the kinds of service Jesus commanded do they look back at you with a look that says, “Isn’t that what we pay you for?”
There’s a rule in most human organizations including, unfortunately, the church, which states that on average about 20 percent of the people do 80% of the work. This leaves your most faithful servants doing many things for which they are neither called nor gifted and nearing burnout while the rest of the congregation is only slightly invested in the work of the Kingdom. This is not the church that God intended.
I was in danger of becoming one of those 80 percent people and then something amazing happened. I went from struggling new believer who could barely read scripture aloud with a profound fear of public speaking to ordained minister, pastor and speaker. It wasn’t all a smooth ride and it didn’t happen overnight but it happened and I can trace it all back to one event. My pastor found a Kingdom use for my unusual gift and it changed my life. I’m convinced that there are thousands (maybe millions) of people in the church of Jesus Christ who are in the same boat. They have tremendous, God-given potential to do great things—things that will tremendously expand the Kingdom and they’re just waiting for someone to find their gift, ignite their passion and show them how to be what they were created to be to the glory of God. We are all “God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do!”
That’s what my new presentation “Be the Body” is all about. Through the use of my story, artistic gifts, interactive projects and preaching the Word of God, I will challenge the “many parts” in your congregation to become fully invested members of the “one body” of Christ. Topics covered include:
• What it means to be the body of Christ? 

• How to do and be your part.

• What to lay down and what to take up.

• Maintaining unity and more.

This can be anywhere from a single message, a series of revival/Spiritual renewal services even a weekend retreat. I really feel a strong leading to go out into the church and call people into their God given calling. The guiding verse of this ministry is 1 Peter 4:10, Each one should use WHATEVER GIFTS he has received to serve others. I would love to come to your church or event and share with your congregation. Contact me, Dave Weiss at
God bless,
Dave Weiss

Dave Weiss Speaking Ministry Flyer

Dave Weiss Speaking Ministry Flyer founder looking for opportunities to speak and/or paint, paint and/or speak in worship, conferences, etc. See my booking page or contact for more information.

Sometimes one needs to reassess one’s purpose. The purpose of this blog has always been to help creatives to use their gifts in ministry as well as their Spiritual lives in general. For that purpose, a few days ago, I posted my cartoon reflections from our recent church conference. I sketched the cartoons as I listened to some very difficult business sessions. They expressed my emotions in the moment and posting it was sort of like sharing my diary with the world. These were honest impressions of the things I was feeling, a sort of journal, if you will. My hope in sharing this was that the folks who regularly read this blog would see ways to use their gift to deal with their internal struggles in a positive outlet. That was the purpose. Now here’s what happened.

The cartoons were posted to at least one website for my denomination. That’s okay with me, I post these ideas in the hopes that they will spread. The good news is the previous record number of hits in one day for this blog was tripled and we had some really good interaction as a result. The bad news is several people were offended by my cartoons. Offense was not my intent but it happened.

So what can we do about offense? Well the first most honest answer is almost nothing. Nearly anything we do in this world is going to offend someone and the only way an artist can be completely inoffensive is to do work that will please everyone. I doubt it’s possible and if we tried the work would probably be completely bland and say nothing. When it comes to creative self expression, with few exceptions, everything you do will offend someone. Add a faith component to your work and the potential for offense goes up exponentially.

Perhaps the best advice I can give is to avoid being intentionally offensive for the purpose of being offensive. Don’t be hurtful. Adhere to the golden rule and love others. Speak the truth in love. From that point on, realize almost everything will upset someone. Listen to your detractors with an open heart and make a decision. If you’ve been wrong, take it down (I did that with one of my cartoons) but if you feel you’re right, sign your name to it, own it and stand by it. We can’t always be inoffensive but we must always be loving. Sometimes speaking the truth in love is offensive. Neither truth nor love can be omitted. Truth without love is mean and love without truth is a lie.

Offend as rarely as possible but sooner or later if you are true to your calling, you will offend. Jesus couldn’t avoid it, neither can we.

Wow, what a day! First of all, I want to thank whoever posted the link to my conference cartoons on your site. Please tell me who you are and about your site so I can share it. When I awoke this morning at 5:00 I was amazed to see that we had passed 150 hits for the day and at this moment we have surpassed the record number of hits for the day. What’s funny is I almost didn’t post those cartoons. It was sort of like posting my diary for the world to see. The conversation it has caused thus far has convinced me it was the right move and I thank all those who have joined the conversation. The conversation has led me to a topic I have been thinking of for some time. That topic is passion.

The denomination I am a part of is called a “traditional peace church” and to be really honest, the peace position always drove me a little crazy. It’s still a struggle of mine. My passion is evangelism and in this world it just kind of seemed that there were too many people who had to be reached to deal with an “unattainable goal” like world peace. I used to say things like “lay down your peace sign and take up your cross” and “World peace? We don’t have peace in our families and in our pews and you want to talk world peace?. The pacifists really drove me crazy. Why were they so emphatic about peace? There are more important things to be done.

Lately though I’ve been seeing something that has helped. It’s called passion. I’m coming to believe that passion is something God puts in us—something that fires us up and motivates us—something that causes us to need to act. Maybe God has made me passionate about evangelism and them passionate about peace and someone else passionate about something else and on and on and on. What if instead of being frustrated by one another, instead of wondering why they can’t be passionate about what we are passionate about, we cheered each other on? What if we realized we’re all on the same team with the same ultimate goal? What would happen if we all gave our best to our God given passions and loved each other? What would happen if diversely passionate people worked together for the good of the Kingdom of God? Seems to me we might just have a better functioning body of Christ. After all a body is not made up of one part but of many.

Don’t follow your passions, follow Christ, then let Him use your passions to further His Kingdom.

While I am recapping things, I wanted to share the videos I made for the conference. I posted these individually as they were finished but I thought I would put them all together in one post in case anyone missed them. For those who don’t know, I was asked to paint some paintings for the arts association booth. These were then silent auctioned and the money was given to a charity to help the hungry. I did six paintings, five of which were based on the texts for the speakers’ messages and the sixth was just my thoughts on the things that divide us over what unites us. I call it the tie that binds. I decided to make videos of each of the paintings in progress so they could be shown at the booth to increase interest in the pieces (and money raised at the auction) but there was really no room to set up my personal DVD player there, so they went unseen. I hope these bless you and show you another way to use your gifts to communicate the truth of the Gospel. Please feel free to share them if you like in any way you like. If you’d like a DVD containing all six of these videos, I can send you one, the cost is ten dollars which includes shipping and handling. Contact me at to order.

A sixth video based on the resurrected Jesus meeting his disciples on the sea shore is also included.

I apologize for not posting in a little while. It’s taken some time to process all I saw at our conference. This was my first experience and it was really memorable for me. Over all I enjoyed it. It was great connecting with people from all over the country, reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones. The Worship was great, as were the training sessions. And then there were the business sessions. While I found them informative and well run, it was hard to see the division that exists between us. These kinds of things feel very political and I hate politics. Because I never leave home without my sketchbook, I was able to sort of cartoon the journey. See if you can find the image where I just lost it. In the end, this conference was a microcosm for all of Christendom, there are many things that divide us, but there is One that unites us. When we turn our focus off our division and on to Him, He sets all things right. Blest Be the Tie that Binds.

An interesting point on leadership and following from Derek Sivers, founder of Check out the video here.

There is a great lesson here in starting a movement. I praise God for the people in this little movement called AMOKArts.

This is a video I did that I may be taking to my denomination’s Annual Conference. The point of it is sometimes it’s easy too focus on what divides us. I think a far better path is to focus on WHO unites us. Music—Blessed be the Tie that Binds played by Mark Myers

I’m preaching on the topic of foundations tomorrow and all this study and preparation beg me to ask a question. Here’s an excerpt…

The question for us is, What are you building your life on? I mean let’s face it, there are a lot of materials out there you can build a life on. People build their lives on careers, but jobs go away. People build their lives on friends but people are people, nobody is perfect and sooner or later most of them will let you down. Romance and relationships are not good foundations for the same reason. Relationships are not foundations, like the rest of our lives they are things that that we build and they need a foundation too.

Some people build their lives on popularity but popularity depends on people and people are fickle, what’s popular today may not be popular tomorrow. What’s more trying to stay popular by trying to please a particular crowd of people might make you into someone you don’t really want to be. Some people build their lives on their circumstances which leaves them in a really bad place because circumstances change. They’re not dependable. Related to that some people build their lives on their own happiness, and we all want to be happy, but no one is happy all the time. We all go through tough times and when we do, those who build their lives on happiness and circumstances crumble.

Society, ours or anyone else’s is not a firm foundation. Adults, how much has society changed since you were kids? How much have our values as a nation changed?

A lot of people try to build their lives on money and stuff. How many of you had something you just absolutely had to have? How long did you have it before you wanted something else? Something more? When do you have enough stuff? I used to be this guy. I had a button I wore that said the one who dies with the most toys wins. That’s the way a lot of people live but sooner or later the one who has the most toys still dies and you can’t take any of it with you. Stuff may have been your desire, but it makes a lousy foundation and money is worse. We get all caught up in money, but look at money. What is it? At the end of the day it’s a piece of paper with a picture of a dead guy printed on it. People can steal it, it burns, it’s value goes up and down depending on what other people are doing and all the adults will agree, it goes away very quickly. It only really has value because people say it has value. And some people will say that’s true of paper money but I have my money in gold, or precious metals or gems. Do you know what all those things really are? Shiny rocks. They have value for the same reason paper money does, because we say they do. We all need money and we all need to earn a living, I have bills I need to pay too, but money is a tool to use to live your life, not the reason for living, not a foundation.

You can’t depend on politics, education, even religion apart from Christ. People in earthquake zones will tell you that even the earth itself is not a totally firm foundation. Many of these things are great things, most of them are very necessary and worthy to pursue but none of them are strong enough to build your life on and many people try. All these things are to one degree or another shifting sand and if you build your life on them sooner or later it will feel like your world is crashing down.

So what can we build a life on? What should be your foundation? Well that song about the wise man and the foolish man comes from a parable Jesus used to teach people about what’s really important. He told the story this way: Matthew 7:24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

Did you catch that? What’s the foundation? What is the rock we need to build on? Jesus said “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man…” His Words His teachings are a firm foundation on which to build your life. The things He taught us in His Word are true, and they are totally dependable.

Here’s a great song on the topic:

Hi everyone,
Just a quick note of reflection here today. I’ve been really hustling the last few weeks. I am doing a series of six paintings with corresponding videos for my denomination’s annual conference. I’m working on the last one now, it’s called The Tie That Binds and it’s one of my animated pieces, so it’s taking quite a bit of time, but I have to say I think it’s going to be a very important piece. It deals with the things that divide us versus the One who should unite us. I look forward to sharing it. I’ll be making a DVD of the six painting videos available at the conference as well and I have been asked to facilitate an Arts in Worship segment, which also really excites me.

Last week I did two workshops at our National Jr. High Conference on the topic of Be the Body. The main gist of the session was that we are many parts but one body. The first step is to find your part to play and the second part is to do what you do in unity and community. This concept has really become my passion and my prayer is that I will be able to share it and the adult version of it at many places.

This weekend I will be speaking at a camp here in the Pocono Mountains and my church and then a few days later, I’ll be off to Grand Rapids for the aforementioned conference. I am really excited about all of this and pray that the Lord will use me to do some good.

As many of you know, the day job I use to support these ministries is about to become part time. This will be a drastic change for me and my family. I am hoping to supplement my income but going out and speaking and painting, so if you have a need for a speaker/painter for your program, please contact me. I have revamped my booking page on the web site. I’m still working on the rates which have always been hard to set (art supplies are expensive) but I’m trusting that God will come through. I would love to come and serve you, whether you need a worship painter, speaker, Italian street painting, workshop, or something I haven’t thought of yet. Contact me.

Bible Reading Guide
An important part of following God is knowing what He wants and a great way to know what He wants is to read His Word. Follow this plan and you will finish reading the Bible in a year.
Ecclesiastes 9-12
1 Kings 13-14; Psalm 102
You can also download your own chart here.