Posts Tagged ‘dave weiss’


Literally anything we create and post could be considered content generation, and so the possibilities are literally limitless. There is something however that is not limitless. It’s time. We’ve already addressed the idea that your create is limited and the importance of making good choices on how to invest that limited time. This is of the utmost importance, but there is another side to this coin. Your audience’s time is also limited. Add to that the fact that there are countless people vying for their attention and you begin to see the issue. Generating content is one thing, generating something people will actually consume is something else entirely. If you have limited time to generate content, and we’ve already established we all do, why would we want to invest that time in things no one will see, read, look at or buy.

One of the best ways to get past this is to generate something people need and a good way to find that need and solve it is to look for problems that need solving and solve them. That is what I am trying to do here, but there’s a problem. I’ve spent most of my adult life creating things for people to read, whether it be ads, signs, articles, publications, books, etc. and one of the conclusions I have come to is people don’t read.
I came to this conclusion early in my art “career.” I was working in a sandwich shop that was not long for this world. Business was extremely slow. The management knew I was artistic and so in our vast amount of free time, the manager would have me make signs. One of these was a sign telling the customer which soup was soup of the day. We had limited materials, mainly paper pens and tape, but I made what I would consider to be a pretty impressive sign. I had just finished it and was standing directly behind the sign as a customer came in and asked, “What is the soup of the day?” I literally wanted to cry. The point being we don’t just need to meet their need, and solve their problem. Further, even if you do your best, there are no guarantees. What we need to do is get their attention. Then once we have their attention we need to make sure our creation was worth their limited time.

Basically there are three things we need to look for. First we need to find a need that we can meet. Is there something you know a lot about that a lot of other people need to know? Next you have it ask the question how will you deliver the information. Where do the people who will want your content go to look for it. Finally you need to figure our how to get their attention. Your audience is literally bombarded with messages every day of their lives. The question is how will you stand out from all the rest. Of course over and above all of this is generating the very best information you can.

Remember the content you’re generating is supposed to be a blessing. Finding the biggest audience you can spreads the blessing further. You just have to get their attention.

Author’s note, while I know all of this to be true, I’m still having some difficulty getting the attention of a larger audience. So I ask you, person who cared enough to read this post, how can I go about making this information more spreadable.


Theologian Charles Spurgeon one said “Discernment isn’t knowing right from wrong, it’s knowing right from almost right.” Well our content creation has a similar need for discernment. It’s not necessarily that we need to know right from wrong, though if you’re creating stuff you know Is wrong you need to stop that, now. No, the discernment we need is, as my friend Timothy Wallace says, between the good things and the God things. Case in point:

Since last fall I have participated in three daily art challenges. It all started when I discovered Inktober, a challenge to create an ink drawing each day for the month of October. Well one of my primary art forms is cartooning, which relies heavily on ink, so I jumped in and it was a lot of fun. I’m a pretty firm believer in creating every day to keep your skills sharp so I thought it was a good thing and I got connected to a few people through it. Then in March, I found out about Marchartoon, a similar challenge more specifically tailored to cartooning. Once again This one was a good time and I later found out it was created by some folks that run a youth sports club in Croatia. They liked my work and it led to me getting to speak, via video, to the club in one of their meetings. Then finally I thought, why to create your own, and so I came up with the one I am currently working through Art MAYhem, which has been a real blast, even through I have only one regular participant besides myself. My temptation is to create a different challenge for each month and try to build up a tribe of creatives under my Facebook page The Daily Creative.
The question is, is this a good thing or a God thing? To this point I am undecided.

On one hand I have a mission to help creatives, and as stated earlier I am a firm believer in creating every day to keep your skills sharp and growing, but I don’t just want to keep them busy, because while sharp skills are important, my mission is more than just getting people to create, it’s creating to the glory of God and helping creatives and the church to work together. For this reason I have some decisions to make. While these activities are really fun and I have been able to figure out ways to glorify God in them, they are also really time consuming. Time is the great equalizer in our lives. We all only have 24 hours, and since most of us do something else for a living, and all of us need to sleep, not to mention the other responsibilities, those hours are often really diluted. If we only have a few creative hours a day, is a daily creative challenge really a God thing or just a good thing? The answer is not as easy as you think.

The challenges have taken a lot of time, which may take me off task, but they have also opened doors into the world beyond the church, especially the art world, which is clearly part of my mission field. I’m reminded of the biblical proverb, “Do you see a man skilled in his work, he will serve before kings…” What if this time consuming art opens doors for me to glorify God? It’s already happened, Cost benefit analyses don’t often work in God’s Kingdom and economy. It is for this reason that we need discernment when entering into projects. It all starts with prayer.

Ask God to help you to stay on mission…

More coming soon


Okay so yesterday I made myself into a case study. If you missed it, go ahead and check it out. This won’t totally make sense without it.

Now you may have read this and thought, (especially if you’ve been around for a while), “This is nothing new, it’s even the stated objective of the website. That is true, but believe me when I tell you, this revelation has been desperately needed in my life. Even with a clear picture, there have been times, especially recently, where I have felt like I am way off task. There are a thousand things I could be weighing in on, that are oh so tempting and yet far off task. In fact some of these things have been so tempting that I have considered starting new blogs o deal with them. At times like that, I have some real discernment to do, and we’ll talk about that tomorrow.

Today I want to turn it over to you.

Let’s start with the basic question: 
What is the discontentment I am trying to help others to overcome?
and we’ll add the follow up question:
What is my discontenment?

While reading this blog probably means you have an interest in the church and creativity, it’s highly unlikely that your mission and calling is exactly the same as mine. You might be an artist/creative, looking for how to use your gift to advance the mission of your church or how to minister in the world/marketplace. You might be a pastor, who wants to learn how to work with/recruit/etc. the creative people in your church. Your calling might be evangelism or teaching or preaching or discipleship, or you might just want to make art that communicates your love of Christ in unconventional ways. These are just a few of the reasons you might seek this blog out. What I want to do now is help you to hone in on your mission/ministry and begin to narrow your focus. So start with the above two questions and when you have answered them to your satisfaction, it’s time to add two more.

What’s my calling? and What are My gifts?

When you start to have some clarity on that, there is one final question.

How will I deliver what I am creating to the world?

Needless to say, the first step in this is prayer and it will also take some time to answer these questions, but the work is worth it and leads to a life of purpose.

More tomorrow…


If you missed yesterday’s, go back and check it out, this one will make no sense without it. It’s okay… I’ll wait.

Today let’s put yesterday’s post to work. We’ll start with the question I asked yesterday, and then I will answer it. Please keep in mind this has been a major revelation for me and I am actually working through it as I write. The question is:

What is the discontentment I am trying to help others to overcome?

My answer to that question is ultimately I want to make the world a better place. Great, so does everyone else. Obviously, that’s too broad, so let’s narrow it down.

I want to use my talents to make the world a better place. That’s a little narrower. Now I know some of the tools I will use to accomplish the goal—in my case, art, design, and communication. A little better, but still way too broad, so let’s hone it down a little further with another question.

What is my discontenment?

In other words, What do I want to do? Why do I want to do what I do? How will I make the world a better place? What’s wrong that I want to make right? What needs fixing? What is that thing that makes me say “Someone should do something about this?” This leads to something that I really haven’t touched on yet—calling. This is the divine element that needs to be considered. Look the truth is there are a billion things that would make the world a better place, and you obviously can’t fix them all, but what is the thing that lays on your heart? What is the thing that burdens you?

For me, it comes down to one thing. I believe in the power of the Gospel to change lives. I believe every time someone receives Jesus, their life is changed forever and changed lives will change the world. I believe the Gospel of Jesus Christ, beyond all the eternal benefits, is a great force, the greatest force, for positive change in our world. I believe this because I have seen first hand the good that it has done in my own life. Now we’re getting somewhere.

So I want to help people to come to know Jesus. This, in and of itself, is a lofty goal, but, for me, there’s more. I’ve already identified the tools I can and do use. I could be very satisfied (content) just doing that for the rest of my life, (and I no doubt will) but I feel a broader calling. You see I know I am not alone. I know there are many others in the world with a similar desire. They are creative and they love Jesus and they know He is the answer to solving the world’s problems, but they are banging their heads against the wall (at least metaphorically) trying to figure out the hows and maybe the whys. What if I could help them too? Is there a way to unify our efforts to creatively point the world to Jesus?

Further, God has called me to pastoral ministry, to church leadership. I believe the church is God’s chosen instrument for taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Is there a way that I can unite these two worlds I live in, artist and pastor? Can I help churches to embrace creativity (and creative people) while helping creative people to embrace the church and to empower it (as far as any of us can)?

To be continued.


I was chatting with an artist friend of mine online. He was frustrated with art, thinking of giving up and the whole thing. I’ve been there, how about you? He wants to make art for a living and feels like the odds are stacked against him. I started sharing about how the internet has made amazing things possible, and that you can get your work out to the world with a click of a button. I mentioned that while I didn’t have a ton of sales, that I was still able to get my stuff out there. At this point he and a couple of other people sort of pounced about my work being a hobby. Encouragement is tough when people turn on you and, I’ll admit, part of me wanted to go into attack mode. Attack mode is not encouraging, so I went another way and clarified my point.

It’s true, I don’t make the majority of my income from selling the art, as a matter of fact I give a lot of my work away. That being said my work is far from a hobby, I just found another way. First off, I am a pastor and that is my primary income. That being said, this is by far the most creative thing I have ever done professionally in my life, and I’ve worked in various areas of design since the 80s. I literally create every single day (except for my days of rest) in the context of my ministry. There is always art to be made, stories to be written and creative ways to help my people understand the Bible, faith and more, and while I may not receive the check because I am an artist, the fact that I am an artist enhances most of what I do in ministry. It’s not a hobby, it’s a tool.

Now of course my friend may not want to be a pastor, but pastor is not all I do. I also have a speaking ministry and again art is the tool I use to convey my messages and stories. I get to make videos, graphics and live speed paintings. Once again, I don’t necessarily get paid for the actual painting, but people pay me to come and do the program and the reason they do that is at least in part because of the art. The art is what makes me different from all the others who just speak, so it opens doors for me. I often give the paintings I do in these presentations away, but I’ve already been paid for the program so what difference does it make? I may not be selling the painting, but the art helps me to make a living.

Again I know my speaking ministry is ministry and my friend may not want to do that, but ministry is not the only application of what I do. My Facebook friend David Garibaldi does something similar to what I do but largely in the motivational speaking world. You may have seen him. He came in fourth on America’s Got Talent, paints all over the world, drives a Lamborghini and is currently the warm up act on the Kiss world tour. He auctions off his paintings and has donated over a million dollars to charity from the proceeds. The point is, if you are willing to do the work, put yourself out there and look at different, creative options, the possibilities are endless. Sharing my work online has not made me wealthy, but it has connected me with people all over the world, and it has allowed me to reach people I never could have reached without it and through it God has given me a very cool and interesting life.

God has given you a gift. He wants you to use it to His glory. The how and the why is up to Him, but don’t get discouraged. Do the work, put it out there and see what He will do. He’s good like that.


Today’s encouragement takes a decidedly different turn. This is for those of you who feel like you’re swimming upstream. Like everyone else is going in one direction and you’re going in the other. You feel like you’re trying to do the right thing and everyone else is going a different way. I felt this way just yesterday. I was listening to what was for he most part a really good message, but somewhere along the way, it began to feel like the person was condemning so much of what I stand for. It was really disheartening, but it led me to a thought. I hear so many people talking about how the world is getting worse and worse and worse, and yet for some strange reason so may people feel compelled to follow along with the whims of the very things that are taking us in that direction. Why is that?
One of the things we are going to have to accept is that the conventional wisdom today is neither, and doing everything right will probably have consequences. To live in this world encouraged is to know who you are, and do what’s right even when it feels like you’re standing alone. Know this. You’re not alone.

There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2 The pattern of the world is what is taking the world in the direction it’s going, so don’t conform, be transformed.


When it comes to controversial stuff online, I have decided to adopt the attitude of the biblical hero Nehemiah. He was engaged in a great project, rebuilding the wall around Jerusalem after 70 years of exile had left it destroyed. In the mean time he faced all kinds of struggles and opposition. In one particular plot, the idea was to lure him away from the work. This was his response.
Likewise, there are times in all of our lives when we will face opposition and detractors. There are also times when we will face distractors, that is people who post controversial things that will either accidentally or by design take us off task. I’ve decided to take the same attitude. I don’t have time for needless controversies. Rather I need to stay on mission and do what I’m called to do. Maybe that’s what you need to do to do. You have your calling, you’re on your mission. You are carrying on a great project, don’t let other people bring you “down.”