Posts Tagged ‘teaching’

A project that has been on my mind for years, and it’s time. I call it The Imaginative Church. The idea is pretty simple. I want to see the church embrace their imagination to find new ways to communicate the unchanging truth of God’s Word. I already have worked up a lot of this material in various forms, but I am finally going to curate it into a compendium of (hopefully) useful information. Stay tuned, and in the mean time, which cover do you like better?


or B.

Share your vote in the comments.

As a person who is a total right-brainer, I pretty much hated math. My eyes would glaze over at the mention of the word. That being said, if this guy had been teaching my classes (and if this technology had existed, which it didn’t. I’m old!), perhaps my response would have been different. This is some of the finest, most creative presentation technique I have ever seen.

Does anyone know how he did it?

Tonight I have the awesome privilege of teaching the subject of art in worship during a class on worship for people training to be pastors. I am so looking forward to this evening. The following is the copy of a handout I will be sharing. There are just some of the things to be thought about when using the arts in ministry and worship. I hope this blesses you in your creative ministry pursuits.

Why Art Should Be a Part of Worship.

Each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others. 1 Peter 4:10

  • Beauty is something only humans can behold it’s a mark of our being created in the image of God.
  • The first person to be called filled with the Spirit in Scripture is Bezalel, an artist.
  • It draws people into the message.
  • Many, if not most, people are visual learners. Adding the visual adds impact to the message.
  • The rest of the world utilizes the arts to get their message across
  • The act of making art, like music, is can be an act of worship
  • Art is no more a distraction than music
  • Don’t forget the other art forms, storytelling, drama, comedy, dance, etc.
  • The ultimate goals of art in worship are the same as the rest of the service. 1. To worship, honor and glorify God and 2. to help the congregation to remember the message, take it to hear and put it into action.
  • What I hear I forget, what I see I remember, what I do I understand. If our goal is helping people to understand, not to mention action, we need to move toward visual and tactile.

Why the Church Needs Creativity

  • Gets more people involved.
  • Eliminates consumer mentality.
  • Creates opportunities to reach more people.
  • Takes the load off the pastor.
  • It’s biblical, see Ephesians 4:12
  • People are bombarded by millions of messages every day. How do we make our message (the most important message there is) stand out? How do we take the unchanging message of the Gospel to an ever changing world?VERY CREATIVELY.
  • How do we utilize all the parts of the Body of Christ?

Ways to use art and utilize the artists/designers in your congregation

Worship Service/Teaching

  • Live painting/art illustrating message, coordinating with the message.
  • Previously prepared art
  • Creative presentation graphics/announcement slides, etc.
  • Flyers
  • Bulletin covers
  • Pulpit area/sanctuary decoration based on themes
  • Children’s bulletins
  • Murals, wall graphics
  • Themed art displays, installations
  • Vacation Bible School displays and props
  • Drama sets and props
  • Teaching projects and crafts
  • Illustrated lessons
  • Custom teaching tools
  • Special programs
  • Children’s/youth activities
  • Interactive teaching/hands on projects
  • Design creative worship spaces/stations
  • Create take away materials

Community outreach

  • Art lessons
  • Italian street painting
  • Face painting
  • Custom outreach materials
  • What your church’s creatives need from you.

    • Opportunities
    • Encouragement and support
    • A venue
    • A safe place to fail
    • Educating the congregation
    • Creating a permission giving church environment
    • Discipleship
    • Boundaries/parameters
    • Creativity in helping people find and utilize their gifts

    As with any list of this type, I am sure it is incomplete. And you don’t have to do them all to have a successful creative ministry. What’s missing from this list? What should be added? How could a list like this help you moving forward.

    I was chatting with a friend the other day. She is about to preach her first message at church. While preaching is a new thing for her, she is a gifted teacher who has been teaching in the church for years. I have to admit I was taken aback a little when she asked me, “What is the difference between preaching and teaching?” I wasn’t taken aback because the question was weird. I was taken aback because after all these years of preaching and teaching, I really didn’t have an answer.

    I always saw them as synonymous. My pastor is an awesome teacher and most of my favorite preachers are the ones from whom I learn a lot. The Bible seems to link them together. For example, in Ephesians 4, in the passage about the five fold gifts pastor and teacher seem to be linked. James also seems to link teaching with ministry leadership when he writes, “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” So to some degree maybe they are one in the same and yet there are some differences.

    The first thing I thought of in my chat with my friend is that teaching seems to desire interaction. When I go to teach in a workshop, class or seminar, I don’t want to lecture for an hour. I want to ask questions and I want to get answers. While I still have an end point to get to, a truth to be shared, I want to help people arrive there through dialogue and discussion. In preaching it’s different. Preaching, at least to me, is a monologue. The questions are rhetorical, something to be thought through rather than discussed. I’ve prayed, I have a message, I have worked hard to make it clear and concise and it is to be delivered without interruption. It’s less about discussion and more about “Thus sayeth the Lord.” I’ve experienced times where someone has tried to turn a sermon into a discussion, into a conversation, and it fell apart quickly. So perhaps that is the difference.

    But then I had another thought, and this one is admittedly flawed. Teaching feels like it is more about information, while preaching is about inspiration. Now again, I know this is flawed. Some of the best teaching inspires and some of the best preaching gives great information, but I have also sat under teaching that had very little information and preaching that had very little inspiration. Both were highly disappointing. At its core, for me at least, when I teach, I want you to learn something and when I preach, I want you to do something. If my teaching makes you go beyond learning and do something, great! If, in my preaching, you learn something new, also great!

    Ultimately though up to this point in this post, I have taken a human approach to it. What I HOPE happens based on MY efforts. The reality is, that is a really small part of it. The largest part is what the Holy Spirit does in the hearts and minds of the congregation. It’s truly Him that inspires both the learning and the doing. My job is faithfulness, to pray and the really listen and then to deliver what I have been given. After that, it’s all up to Him and to God be the glory!

    At the end of the day, we never know what is going to touch hearts and minds. We never know what word or phrase, or action or creation is going to resonate. Our best bet is to trust Him, listen, create and deliver, whatever the format.

    This is the message I preached at my Home church, Ephrata Church of the Brethren. Some of you might have heard it before. It’s my message on the Parable of the Talents called Hurried, Buried and Worried. Hear it here.

    I love to go to the theater. What I love even more is being part of the production. I rarely am on stage, but I usually help with sets and things and you know me any day with paint on my hands is a good day. I love to help my friends put on a show. That being said, the theater is place in my life where I like drama.

    Why do we have so much drama in our lives? Well first of all it’s part of the human condition in this Broken World. Andy Andrews says something to the effect of “We’re all either going into a crisis, going through a crisis or coming out of a crisis.”

    The thing is there are ways to minimize the drama:

    • Make good decisions: There is no worse drama than the self inflicted kind. Too many people volunteer for drama by taking short cuts, taking the easy out or doing things they know are just plain wrong. Yes contrary to popular belief, right and wrong do still exist. Do the right thing!
    •  Stay out of other people’s drama: I’m not talking about being uncaring, but there is always someone out there who is trying to drag you into their mess. Don’t fall for it. If someone needs your help, help them but if they’re trying to drag you into something you have no business being in, STAY OUT OF IT!
    • Follow Jesus and the Teaching of the Bible: Jesus never sinned. Jesus didn’t get dragged into stupid arguments and when Jesus took a stand, He was always right. His life had plenty of drama, but all of his drama had a point. He was nice enough to give us a book to follow that is jam packed with wisdom for living a life without self-inflicted drama and drama with a point. FOLLOW IT!

    Remember Jesus said in this world you will have trouble (drama?) but take heart, I have overcome the world.

    The best drama’s happen when the players listen to the Director!

    What’s the cause of the drama in your life right now? Be honest!

    I think I posted this before at some point but it bears repeating. This is an ingenious video by Vonda Skelton called Solomon’s Beloved. She uses it to talk about how we define beauty and what true beauty is. It’s hilarious, it’s memorable and it makes a great point. When I tell about telling a better story, this is a fine example. How can you tell a better story and share the truth of God’s love in a way people will remember?