Posts Tagged ‘art ministry’

Some of my best ideas came from my prayer walks. This was one of those. I knew I wanted to speak on forgiveness, but how could I express it in a way that would stick? I walled a couple of miles when it hit me. At first I just thought I was just being distracted, which happens far too often, but no it turned out to be the right image for the story. I started thinking about Pink Floyd’s album The Division Bell These two monolithic/robotic looking heads that when seen at a distance appear to be one face. Cool design, but the connection didn’t come right away, but then I thought about it. What if instead of two statue like heads, I did two human faces? And what if I make them look like they are about to fight. I put large frowns on their faces.

Then at the crucial moment near the end of the presentations, I pick up the paint and join the faces together. The large frown becomes the mustache, and the finished product is one face, the face of Christ. The idea is simple. There are many things that would keep us in conflict but there is one who gave His life to bring us together. For the message text I use Matthew 18, starting with Jesus teaching about how to deal with conflict and moving into the parable of the unforgiving servant. Here’s short clip to show you how it goes.

How would you illustrate forgiveness?

I’ve been called upon to do a 6 foot by 8 foot live painting for a camp here in PA. This is a different situation for me in some ways, because usually when I do a live painting I am also the speaker, so I’m also there to talk the viewers through what I’m thinking. This time I’m only doing the painting. My first run at a sketch just didn’t work so for the next run, I went classic. Their theme is on finding fulfillment, so I just did a straight up Jesus, since He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, He is the fulfillment of the OT law, of Scripture and, at least in my view, the ultimate source of fulfillment.

Why am I cross posting this one? Art is communication. If we want people to get our meaning, we need to make it speak clearly. My first run at this was misunderstood or maybe more correctly was just not understood and while, as I stated above, had I been the speaker, I would have been able to explain the piece to the audience and they would have gotten it. That’s all well and good if that audience is the only group to see the piece, but this piece will be kept and displayed probably for quite some time to be seen by people who were not in attendance when I made it. They need to get it too if I want the art to fulfill a greater purpose. Sometimes it’s best to keep a piece simple so it can be understood. An open armed Christ speaks volumes.

Well I did it today. I overcommitted. I had a last minute opportunity to paint and help someone out and I was already committed to an activity where to be honest I didn’t feel particularly needed. I figured that activity would have plenty of help, and since I’m not usually real useful in that area, I committed to paint. It was a mistake on my part. As it turns out, there was not enough help for the other activity and I was really needed. What to do?

Here’s the thing. I was already committed for the first activity and I probably should have just stuck with that and said “no” to the painting engagement. Why didn’t I? I usually do. I’m not a fan of overbooking. I think it comes down to confidence. I don’t mind helping with the other activity, but I never feel like an asset. It’s outside my gifting and all in all I am pretty useless at it. Given the opportunity to do something that is right in my wheelhouse, I rationalized that I was useless to the other activity and I would be doing the greater good by painting. As it turns out, I was wrong. The team for the first activity was dwindling due to sickness and prior commitments and as such they were hurting for people. I made an assumption based on my perceived strengths and weaknesses and left some friends in the lurch, well sort of.

My friends were kind and charitable but I could tell I disappointed them. I think that’s what I learned and maybe what you can learn. Strengths and weaknesses aside, commitments are commitments. Also don’t sell yourself short. There is something all of us can do and sometimes just stepping up and helping out, even if you’re just another warm body or a pair of hands is the most useful thing you can do. If you say you’re going to do something, and people are depending on you, step up and do what you said you would do even if you don’t feel like you’ll be much of an asset. Sometimes what’s really important is that you showed up and did what you said you would do.

My story has a happy ending. As I finished my church service yesterday morning, I headed out the door to get my painting stuff to do the painting project. While I was excited to paint, I couldn’t help feeling like I was really letting my other friends down. I arrived at the painting venue a few minutes early and double checked the address of my prior commitment. It was less than a half hour away. So I did my painting, I was happy with it and had a great time meeting new people and ministering in my gifting. Also by the time I had finished and loaded out, I was about 45 minutes from the start of my other commitment. I decided to hurry over and help my friends out. As it turned out all the skilled work was already done and all that was needed was people who could do exactly what I can do in that arena, labor and serve. I ended up being quite useful and it all worked out.

Please do not take this as an excuse to overcommit yourself. I was really blessed to be able to make all that work out. It almost never works like that. Instead learn from my mistake and honor your commitments whether you feel you’ll be useful or not.

You may be gifted in one area, but you are useful in many. Serve faithfully.

I’ve been hard at work generating the paintings for my new presentation Story: Parables of Jesus. These will be displayed in conjunction with the live paintings I do every night. I am excited to say I will be rolling out the extended presentation of Story as a revival/spiritual renewal series from tomorrow through Wednesday night at Mohrsville Church of the Brethren in Mohrsville, PA and the one hour version next Sunday at St. Thomas Independent Church of the Brethren in Mount Pleasant Mills, PA next Sunday. If you’re in PA. I’d love to see you there. Otherwise I’d love to bring it to you.

We’re in one of those places at the Weiss house. A time of decision. My faithful Chevy Trailblazer is getting up there in mileage and I have a decision to make. Do I stick some money into it and keep it or take that money and put it toward a newer vehicle? A van would work better for getting my presentations from place to place. On the other hand, not having a payment has been kind of nice. With a thousand mile weekend coming up, I’m leaning toward something new. We’re praying and would appreciate your prayers for this decision.

In other news, I am busily working on my new presentation, Story: Parables of Jesus. It will be ready to go in May. I am really liking where this is headed. The basic concept is to use the stories of Jesus to teach people to live a better story. This presentation should be about an hour long but I am also working it out into a five message series, perfect for retreats, revival/spiritual renewal series.
story poster
I’m also working on the vacation Bible School presentation Dr. Dave’s Creation Station. Which is all about God and His creation, His relationship with us and finding the purpose for which we were created.

I would love the opportunity to bring my ministry to your church. Please contact me at I basically ask for a free will offering and a night’s lodging. For churches requiring extensive travel, please consider teaming up with a few churches in your community and make it a weekend “tour.”