Posts Tagged ‘service’


A friend of mine asked me if I could design a logo for him and his radio show. I worked this up for him.
moonlogo
This program is part of his ministry and I believe in what He is doing, so I used my gift to serve him. (1 Peter 4:10) I can’t always do things like this or I would never get anything else done, but part of our calling in this life is to help and serve people.

Sometimes we need to look for opportunities to help people just because it is the right thing to do. Of course there are other benefits. You improve your own skills, gain experience, get exposure and develop portfolio pieces just to name a few.

Who could you serve today? Seek out an opportunity and go do some good.

Sometimes you gotta serve somebody!


So most of the readers of this post will probably acknowledge that their creative gifts come from God, but did you ever consider why they were given? Today I want to explore that a bit, in the context of the Scripture.

1. To beautify. When God created everything, he said it was either good or very good. Then sin came along and started to corrupt and destroy. The world we live in now while still being beautiful is a shadow of what it was intended to be. If you are gifted to beautify, you have the potential to give brief glimpses of the world as God intended.
2. To illustrate. You don’t have to be a visual artist to illustrate. Think about Jesus. We have no records of him painting a picture or making a sculpture, (other than creating everything, but I digress) what he did do, and it’s recorded all over scripture, is paint pictures with Words. He used simple stories to illustrate complex concepts, and that is something we can do as well. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Illustrations help people to understand a message and the message we have is too important not to be illustrated.
3. To tell the story. When Jesus said therefore go and make disciples. He meant it. We are in this world to let people know about Him. To communicate the message os the Word of God. To be sermons in shoes. We are His ambassadors entrusted with the message of how to be reconciled to God in Christ. To point the world to a God who loves them. To do this we need to tell the story of God, Jesus, his interaction with and love for humanity and what He has done for us.
4.To serve. The Bible says, “Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others.” Serving is one of the key examples Jesus gave us as He walked the earth. One key “visual” Jesus gave us was in John 13 when he washed the feet of His disciples. In this act, he was illustrating. He was showing us that if He, the creator of all things could stoop to wash the feet of His creations, we should bow to serve others and He promises we will be blessed if we serve likewise.
5. To provide. Yes we are gifted to provide for our own needs, to work, to earn a living. He loves us and has not left us empty handed. We however must not fall to selfishness even in this. This gift is not just for us but so that we would provide for the needs of others.
6. To build up the body of Christ. The Bible speaks of certain gifts being used to prepare God’s people for works of service to build up the body of Christ. The church, the body of Christ is a living organism and living organisms grow and reproduce. When we use our gifts to serve and help others we draw them to Christ and into the body. The side-effect of this is that they add their gifts and talents to the body which expands the ways we can reach, touch and bless others.
7. To worship. When it’s all said and done, isn’t that why we’re here. To praise the one who created us all? When we bring our gifts to God in worship we are using them in their primary context to honor the One who gave us all.

And finally there is an overarching principle to all of this. Our gifts are given that we might glorify God and point others to Him, doing His will in this world. We do this so people might “see our good works and praise our Father in Heaven.” Ultimately this should be the motivation behind all of our creations.

I know this is a long post and it is far from an exhaustive list, but it’s a good start. How do you use your gifts and how can those gifts glorify God?

When you know why you’re gifted, it’s easier to appropriately use your gift.


ephratatree
I shot this with the web cam on my computer and it didn’t get great but this is the project I just completed for our Advent series at church. It’s a painting of a Christmas tree. I kept it pretty basic because in addition to our Advent series, the month has an overriding theme of the Spiritual discipline of simplicity.

Sometimes boundaries on out art can force us into trying new things and working in new ways. These paintings are a prime example. Maintaining simplicity in imagery is actually forcing me to rethink the usual way I work. I tend toward busyness in my subject matter and I need to strip that away. On the other hand, working in this style is also moving me toward a more realistic approach. So while the subject is simple, the simplicity is somewhat deceptive, as the realism is stretching my technique to new levels. We often tell artists to push their boundaries, but sometimes it’s okay to let boundaries push you.

I’m loving doing this project and I hope the pieces bless you as well.


Yes I know I’ve used that title before, the title of an old Bob Dylan song, but so much more. One of the things I tell people quite often is there is no substitute for practice. You have got to practice your craft. You have to try new things. You are responsible for your own growth. Now often it’s hard to get someone to pay you to practice, and jobs you just made up might be fun but it’s hard to stay motivated.

logosI have found a great way to get real world experience while learning new skills. Are you ready? VOLUNTEER. Let’s face it, there are many people out there that could use what you do but can’t afford it. Why not take that as an opportunity to use that WHATEVER gift of yours to serve others (see 1 Peter 4:10). I recently joined an online group called The HELP Experiment, where people selflessly offer their talents to help others in the group work toward fulfilling their missions and making their dreams come true. I signed up to design five logos for five different people. I said they could leave the challenge up for a couple months. I had all my takers that same day and I’m working on them now. No money changes hands in this, but I’m strangely okay with that because I am trying new things and experimenting with different techniques while making something someone will actually use. It builds my portfolio, but more than that it helps me fulfill God’s command to serve others with my gifts and to be frank, it’s fun. When I finish these five, I am going to sign up for a different project that will stretch a different set of skills. It’s a great way to grow. (The image on the left contains two drafts of the logos I designed.)

And that’s not all. I am also making graphics for a friend’s Bible Study App. I’ve never designed for an app before but I know that is something I will be doing a lot more in the future. Yesterday a friend who works for a ministry I believe in asked me to design a graphic for a new twitter feed he is developing to help youth workers. I’m already a small financial supporter, but “gold and silver I do not have…” but I can give my art which is also something he needs.

Last year a young friend was embarking on a rather lengthy mission experience toward a possible career as a missionary. My original intent was to write her a check for $50, which was what I could afford at the time. Instead I took those $50 and invested them in art supplies and did a benefit presentation of Pictures of Jesus at her church, took a freewill offering and auctioned the paintings and raised $1200, an amount I could not have given myself.

I don’t say any of this to boast but to give you ideas and merely to say, we are creative people and when we serve with our creativity, we can accomplish great things for the Kingdom.

How can you use your gift to serve the Lord?

Here’s Etta James singing Dylan’s classic…


ktsstaff

Yesterday we had a freezing rain wintry mess. I’m never a fan of winter weather and ice is the worst. I was out scraping my windows when I looked at my front tire, it was going flat, I was not happy but I’m not writing this post to whine. God is good all the time. I write this post to tell you about great service I received. I go to this place called Kantner’s Tire Service in Shoemakersville, PA. They are the only people from whom I buy tires, ever. The reason is simple. When I pull into their garage, they ascend on my car like a NASCAR pit crew. I was in and out in a very short period of time with a tire as good as new. When I talk to other customers of theirs, almost to a person, they have the same response. These people have developed a great reputation for quality work, quality products and affordable prices. That’s a great reputation for any business and any person.

Look at your own life and your own work. What’s your reputation? How could you improve it?

Proverbs 22:29 says Do you see someone skilled in their work?  They will serve before kings;  they will not serve before officials of low rank.

We can tell a better story by always delivering our best. What kind of story are you telling?


My Church Won't Accept My Gift...One of the most difficulty things for artists in the church is finding acceptance for their work. I have talked to many people who have said some variation of “My Church Doesn’t Accept My Gift…” What do you do when your church and your gift don’t seem to line up?

Some people get prideful and hurt and leave the church, shaking the dust off their shoes as they go. More often than not, this is not the correct approach, after all pride is the sin that made the devil fall, as such it is not a good motivation for anything done in the house of God. What should you do instead?

  1. Pray. I know it’s the Sunday School answer but it’s the truth. The first step in anything we attempt to do in service to the Lord is prayer. Ask God to give you the right ideas for your gift. Ask God to open up the doors, to show you the opportunities and give you the ability to do them
  2. Humble yourself and show yourself faithful. In other words don’t put too many things beneath you. You may be a very accomplished artist with accolades from all over the world, but your church may not know what to do with that. Look for the needs, do the small humble job, show yourself faithful in the small things and the doors will open to those dream projects. Most of the time those dream projects are visions from God and sometimes we just need to serve faithfully until everyone catches up. So do the mural in the nursery, do the coloring pages, the bulletin cover, face painting at the community outreach and give it your best. Be a team player and humbly offer your gift. Remember those who humble themselves will be exalted. You usually can’t skip the humbling step nor should you try.
  3. Check the fit. Sometimes what you are making does not fit the venue. At this point you have two choices, change the gift or find the venue and neither solution is wrong. Sometimes you have to be humble enough to meet people where they are and sometimes you have to find the people that are ready to meet your creation where it is. Either is an appropriate alternative.

The truth is breaking fellowship over your gifts and talents is almost never the right thing to do. Better to submit your creation to the Lord’s will and let Him work on the hearts of those who will receive it even as He is working on the heart of the one who created it. If God gave it to you, He will also give you the way to use it. It may not be easy, and it may take a lot of work, but God is faithful so follow His example…

Be faithful.


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 AMOKArts@aol.com
God bless,
Dave Weiss

www.amokarts.com