Posts Tagged ‘boise’

My friend Jessie Nilo has a heart for visual artists in the church, and that is putting it mildly. She has led a phenomenal arts ministry called VineArts in Boise Idaho for 11 years, in addition to all her other art pursuits. She has recently begun undertaking a new venture to start “A new online school for visual artists to grow spiritually and artistically in churches everywhere.” That school is called

Here’s how she describes it:
“I long for artists all over the world to be loved and welcomed into their own church communities. That’s a big deal, and sadly neglected in most churches. The flip side is that most churches have a huge, gaping hole where their artistic side should be. Churches need artists to show them how art can help their congregations grow spiritually.

That’s why I’m launching Art — to help churches love artists, and to help artists love the local church, wherever God calls them. My model centers on Christ and emphasizes “everyone gets to play” (there are places for all levels to participate).”

She has recently started an indiegogo campaign to help her get the ball rolling. I think this could be an awesome thing. If you agree, please consider supporting her and maybe even taking a few classes. Jessie is someone who knows her stuff, and she could be a big help in getting your own ministry going. I know she and her team have been a great help to me. To give to this worthy school, click here.

hwIn a little over a month, I will be headed to Boise Idaho to be a part of the Creative Church Conference with my friends at VineArts Boise. I’ve been asked to be part of a panel discussion on blogging and social media and here’s where I need you. I have lots of things to say about how I use this blog and social media but what I need to know is:

How has this blog and the various other channels (Facebook, Youtube, etc.) of AMOKArts blessed or inspired you?

It would also be beneficial to know what I do well, what I could do better, how this blog could get more interaction, have greater impact, etc.

Please also keep me in prayer that I might be a blessing to everyone I can.

Anything you could give me would be most beneficial. Just leave your comments in the comments below.

If you can make your way to Boise, ID this July, this would be well worth your while. Jessie Nilo and her team at VineArts Boise, Have put together a real awesome conference called the Creative Church Conference. The lineup is going to be amazing, some of the great minds in creative arts ministry (and to a lesser degree… me) are going to gather to talk about all things related to Creative Arts Ministry, not to mention times of creative worship. This is going to be a wonderful time! I hope to meet you there!
For more information, click here.

Years ago, over a decade, I started to feel led to use art as a tool for ministry. When I started, people didn’t quite know what to do with me. I knew there were others but we were so few and far between that I think all of us kind of felt like we were inventing it. Over the years I met some other folks, kindred spirits really, who were feeling the same leading and feeling a similar call. This vehicle called the internet has allowed us to share our resources, encourage each other, support each other and in some cases even meet in person. It has been a tremendous blessing.

Two friends in the movement, J. Scott McElroy and Jessie Nilo, have been spearheading the Creative Church Conference and this summer they will be holding two events, one in Indiana and the other in Idaho. I am hoping to attend at least one of those, but regardless, I highly recommend you get to one of them if you can.

My friend Jessie Nilo, who runs the amazing art ministry VineArts Boise posted this and I thought it was brilliant. I think we all need to check ourselves in this area, no matter what it is that we do. What’s your motivation?

“I have talked with a lot of artists lately about this: the things you do for God are fun and good and amazing, illuminating His love to others… but those things you do cannot possibly increase God’s love for you, and they don’t function at keeping God’s disapproval at bay. God’s love for you is already at full maximum, and he cannot disapprove of you when he looks at you and sees his son Jesus. Nothing you do or don’t do for God can change that. So make sure your motives for serving God are love and happiness: It’s a fun life to love God and love people.”

My friend Sherri Coffield from VineArts in Boise, ID posted this piece about taking the reins on a major project. In this post she perfectly shows the fears, struggles and ultimate triumph of taking a step of faith into a new role. I’ve lived in this place a hundred times. It’s a place where you find yourself in over your head and discover that you have only one option, the only one any of us really has, put your faith, your skills and everything else in God’s hands and trust Him to accomplish what only He can do. Sherri writes:

The new “Rivers of living water” backdrop at church is a testimony of Gods faithfulness.  When our Arts Leader, Jessie, told our group that she was starting a new job and couldn’t put together the new backdrop, she was asking that someone in our group take the project on. The room was silent. I felt nudged to relieve some of the pressure I precieved Jessie was feeling, with starting her new job yet trying to maintain an Arts Ministry, so after some silent moments I said I would do it.  Everyone said they would help, we all prayed about the subject but in the end finances kept us from the original design and I had to make an executive decision to change our original plan. 

Suddenly the pressure was on (self inflicted) and I became full of fear that I couldn’t do it.  I was convinced that I didn’t have the skill,  the resources, the time and now I don’t want to even do this. I’m sorry I volunteered for this. It is wrong for me and I can’t do it! I don’t even know what I’m doing. I put more stress on Jessie than she had before we started because we are less than a week out and I can’t pull myself together enough to start the process, overwhelmed even by the time constraints. 

All of a sudden events happened at church that made postponing the addition of the new backdrop inevitable, which at first just added to my panic, but then calmed me when I realized that I would have another week to finish it (blessing #1), and “oatmeal” walls would be a good experience for the congregation, since they haven’t seen the naked walls for about 4  years?  I drew up a mock up, spent a lot of time with Dean being encouraged (poor guy got an ear full) (Blessing #2 Dean)  and the night before we were to begin the painting I am inspired with this: (Blessing #3) “Put the fear and stress away, let it go. This is not about you.  Do you not have faith in me?  I have met you in this place many times before.  You have preached these very words to others.  You have believed them before.  Take a step and I will show up, meet you there and everything will be ok.  Have joy in this, fun in creating and fun with others in the creating.  I have great joy when you have joy.” 

… I have great joy when you have joy.  Wow.  Can you imagine the Lord of Heaven chuckling and smiling down on us when we are living in joy?  Happy for us!  So we Vine artists met the next evening and threw paint, all colors, on wet canvas, and laughed and sang and danced on the canvas (Blessing #4).  Everyone had a great time.  The next night we met again and re-examined what we had done the night before, making new decisions on the spot (inspired by God, Blessing #5)  The following 2 nights were spent refining it, scrubbing and washing areas for effect, adding a dark color and a splash of Gold.  God showed up everyday and inspiration was quick and easy (Blessing #6).  It was like playing with the Lord.  

Every day I came with a clear mind, no agenda, no plan and He showed me what to do.  God never fails, never gives up, never leaves us.  He is true to His word.  How come I forget this under stress?  Weakness, not enough faith, fear?  I’m still learning GOD NEVER LEAVES US, HE IS ALWAYS GOOD.  And every time I learn this lesson I get to be presented with a beautiful piece of art. Not so much a literal piece, although this time it was (Blessing #7), but a look at my growing love relationship with my Creator, my Father, my Abba my All.  An ongoing language of love.   

Look at what the Lord created! He is so good.”
VineArts Living Water Backdrop

I think it’s kind of fitting that a story where a person who felt in over her head would be painting living water because if there was ever a place to be over your head, it would be living water. When we are with Christ, we are never in over our heads. There is nothing He can’t do and He is both the living water and the solid Rock on which we stand.

Where is fear limiting you today? Maybe it’s time to dive into the living water.

I was at Vine Arts in Boise, ID in 2011 and it was truly amazing. Jessie Nilo and her team are doing great stuff for the Kingdom. From their open studio to their amazing art gallery. This is a creative team at the forefront of the arts ministry movement. If you are anywhere near Boise, you need to get there. This is a ministry that has blessed me immensely. Their philosophy of “everybody gets to play” touched me to the core of my being.

Click their logo below to checkout their website.

VineArts Boise

Then comment to tell us about your arts ministry.

If you are anywhere near Indianapolis, IN this weekend, you need to get to this event. Check out this video from Jessie Nilo from VineArts Boise that shares more about the conference and incorporating art in the life of the church. If you can’t make it to this one, there will be another in Boise in July. I wish I could be there. Several of my friends are involved in this conference and they are awesome both as artists and followers of Jesus.

Check it out:

I get questions from time to time about starting your own arts ministry. One of the most impressive local church arts ministries I have seen so far is VineArts at Vineyard Boise. I decided to share these videos from their director Jessie Nilo. After seeing these videos I knew I had to go out to Boise and see what’s happening in person. I did that in May and it’s fantastic. Watch these videos and learn from them. Jessie has a lot of great stuff to share.

Well I’m sitting in the business center in the Shilo Inn in Boise ID. Lord willing I will be boarding the plane for PA in a few hours. About now you might be wondering what I got out of this trip. Well to be honest not what I expected but a lot. See part of me thought I was going to travel out here to find ten easy steps to starting a thriving arts ministry. That’s not what I found. What I saw was better.

First I saw a group of people willing to take in a relative stranger simply because we have two things in common, art and Jesus. They prayed for me, spoke life to me and thoroughly blessed me. I got to see artists humble and loving far beyond their amazing talent. I got to see a church that embraces it’s artists and empowers them to be who they are and I got to see what happens when gifted people work together to bring God glory with their gifts.

I got to watch and participate and worship and commune with them. I got to work side by side with Lisa, an amazing abstract artist Who knocked out a painting in an hour or two that looked like it took months. But that wasn’t the most amazing thing. The most amazing thing was the deep celebratory worship she was experiencing as she painted. I looked to the Lord and said I want what she’s having.

I watched Alyee, all of 20 years old lay down her opportunity to paint to sow into the life of an eight year old. I have no doubt that little girl will continue to use her gifts for the Lord as she grows and I have no doubt that some day when Alyee receives her crowns one of them will be for that moment.

I watched Dean, who is a consummate artist in what seems like every visual arts discipline, share on art and ministry with such passion that it reinforced this path I have chosen to follow. This man, who could show in any gallery in the world, was most fond of the concept that in arts ministry, “everybody gets to play.”

Of course there was their fearless leader Jessie, who in the time I was there, demonstrated leadership and organization skills that were just wonderful and totally evident in the unity and cohesiveness of the group. She spoke into my life and the Spirit showed her the areas of my struggle and she and the group helped me. I also got to interact with her family and I got to see a ministry family living as God intends. Grace and faith and balance and wisdom. It was both a blessing and a challenge to me to look at my priorities when I return home to my “first tribe.”

I was blessed to meet so many artists and the church that embraces them. They are all artists in everything they do, whether visual or cullinary or every day life or… well you get the idea. They’re a tribe and I’m pleased that they’re part of my tribe.

Thanks to all the folks at VineArts Boise. You really have blessed me. I didn’t get my ten steps to a strong arts ministry instead, I got four steps. Pray, Love People, Love Jesus and then Make art!