Effective Evangelism Needs Artistic Expression

Evangelism that works is more than just spewing ‘correct’ biblical information; correct?  (Things like John 3:16, Romans 10:9 & 10, 1 Corinthians 15: 3-8.)  Certainly, the objective realities of these revealed truths must be present.  But their presence does not guarantee that the one(s) being evangelized will come to faith. Effective evangelism needs artistic expression:  the imaginative rearrangement of human metaphors, symbols...

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A Theology for the Depressed Creative
Mar02

A Theology for the Depressed Creative

  One of the great things about a blog is that sometimes you can share your own personal deep, dark secrets with your readers.  I don’t have any deep and dark secrets to share today, but I do have a struggle.  Those who know me know that when I was 17 years old, I was filled with suicidal thoughts and experienced long drawn-out seasons of deep, dark depression and loneliness.  At that point in my life, I wanted nothing to with...

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Feb22

Enjoy this Comic from WMC and GCP’s illustrator Chris Jones Garden City and Worship Ministry Catalyst’s vision is to see innovators and creatives engaging the world in worship and mission through their art. Here’s a sample from Chris Jones. We don’t often see the dangers that lie in front of us, and this humorous graphic reminds us to Dive in Prayer, lest we Dive into Danger. Give this comic away to someone...

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Comics for Faith and Culture
Feb15

Comics for Faith and Culture

Enjoy this Comic from WMC and GCP’s illustrator Chris Jones Garden City and Worship Ministry Catalyst’s vision is to see innovators and creatives engaging the world in worship and mission through their art. Here’s a sample from Chris Jones. God’s creation reminds us not only of his goodness and love but also of his sound judgments. Whether people acknowledge God or not, God still “reigns.” This...

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Radical Hospitality and Worship
Feb07

Radical Hospitality and Worship

  I had the privilege recently to read Radical Hospitality, and its implications toward artful living and worship are so very helpful.   I’ve read hundreds of books on hospitality over the course of my track in ministry, and it is a pleasure to see the authors place the accent mark where they do.  They state that real hospitality is not in what we do, but in who we are.  They say that hospitality begins with a person’s identity,...

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The Creative Spirit in All of Us
Jan31

The Creative Spirit in All of Us

Henderik Roelof “Hans” Rookmaaker (February 27, 1922–March 13, 1977) was a Dutch Christian scholar, professor, and author who wrote and lectured on art theory, art history, music, philosophy, and religion. In 1948 he met Christian theologian Francis Schaeffer and became a member of L’Abri in Switzerland. Hans wrote a book about the creative spirit called Art Needs No Justification. In reading it, I’ve found that many...

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The Art of Giving a Testimony
Jan26

The Art of Giving a Testimony

  If telling stories is an art, then telling our life story is a trade worthy of being mastered.  The only trouble when it comes to our life story, our “testimony,” is what should we tell?  Should we focus in our passions, our expertise, our experiences, or even our most secret failures and unwanted mistakes?  What is it that receives the accent mark? The Bible’s word for accent mark is glory!  God tends to highlight and place...

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The Art of Parenting with Beauty
Jan24

The Art of Parenting with Beauty

Proverbs 22:6 implores the believing parent to “Train up a child in the way he should go, even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Lying within the crags of this command is an imperative for those who love beauty and the finer things of life.  The Hebrew word for “train” is chanak. One of the cultural and Hebraic inferences of this word is to make serenely clear to the parent that their role in their child’s life is to...

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Storied Lives
Jan17

Storied Lives

We are captured by great stories.  They are aesthetic in the sense that they call us into participation with the storyline, the characters, the plot, and the ultimate resolution and beauty of the tale.  Stories are art! Leo Tolstoy’s words come to mind in helping us think through the impact of story: “Art is a human activity consisting in this, that one man consciously, by means of certain external signs, hands on to others feelings...

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Shepherding Creatives
Jan05

Shepherding Creatives

There is a desire many young artists have to write worship music, create graphic art, dance, paint, etc. And it’s a wonderful thing that must be encouraged. In fact, research shows that the younger we encourage imagination and creativity, the more creative people will become. Of course, along with this desire, there comes the desire for people to see and laud the work. This desire is coupled with the temptation of an accessible...

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Rejection
Dec22

Rejection

  Every artist faces rejection. For writers it’s usually at the hands of an agent, editor, critique group, beta reader, or terrible Amazon review. To be clear, rejection is not the same as helpful suggestions or critiques (like ways to strengthen underdeveloped characters, plot holes, the dreaded sagging middle, etc). Rejection is a flat out dismissal of a writer’s ideas, work or abilities. Although some writers are able to...

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The Creative Process
Dec06

The Creative Process

  Every one of us is filled with imagination, creativity, and ingenious ability. We need to recognize this about ourselves because it is foundational to who we are as humans, and, the fact is, everything we do and think is connected to what we believe.  Our theological belief about God and our ontological (big word meaning “being”) belief about who we are comes out in everything we do. Whatever comes out of or goes into our five...

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The Desert
Nov10

The Desert

    For the last several years whenever my family has more than a few days of consecutive vacation time we tend to flee to the deserts of Utah, soaking in the magic of places like Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon, and my all time favorite: Moab. The beauty of these arid spaces boggles my mind. I love the vast stretches of openness, unmarred by massed humanity, strip malls and suburbs. I admire the extreme essence of the...

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The Purpose of Christian Change and What it Means for Worship Leaders
Jul30

The Purpose of Christian Change and What it Means for Worship Leaders

We all know the cliché that change is the only constant—yet, it’s pretty much human nature to struggle when we are hit with change, right? One would expect Christians to be more receptive to change simply because our very faith is built upon the concept of change—the old giving way to the new. Remember how our Lord famously declared, “Behold, I am making ALL things new” (Revelation 21:5), how about that! But when we speak about change...

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Staying Strong
Jan22

Staying Strong

If you know me, you know that when it comes to football I like two teams: The Oregon Ducks and the Seattle Seahawks.  You might also know that this past week both those teams played in a significant and meaningful game: The Ducks played in the College Football National Championship and the Seahawks played in the NFC Championship Game.  And both those games had different results. For the Ducks, they lost to an Ohio State team that was...

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Worship Ministry Catalyst Podcast – Episode 0087 – Taking care of yourself during Easter
Mar31

Worship Ministry Catalyst Podcast – Episode 0087 – Taking care of yourself during Easter

I once heard Craig Groeschel say (I think he was quoting someone else) “I will never sacrifice my family on the altar of Ministry.”  That statement hit me hard and stuck with me. That doesn’t make it easy. There are times in worship ministry when we have to have things out of balance in one way or another. There are times when our family will come first, but then there are times when ministry will come first. With...

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