Byron Spradlin

Artists In Ministry & Missions

Category: Discipleship (page 1 of 5)

Jesus Has Granted Us Access!

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Is God a Religious God?

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Art in Christian Missions by Dave Yauk

Jesus Makes…

In Matthew 4:19 Jesus called his disciples to follow and promised them that He would “make them fishers of men.” The Greek word for make, poieō, has some interesting implications. This word can refer to authorship, production, construction, formation, fashion, commerce, and even performance. In the same way that John the Baptist “prepared”—poieō the way for the Lord, so was Jesus planning to prepare these seemingly earthy men for works of God.

Jesus’ choice of words here is that of an artist. He wasn’t just planning to speak with a word and see things happen at his command, rather his call to disciple making is much more organic. He is promising here to take the shreds of humanities garments and turn it into robes of righteousness like that of a fashion designer. He’s vowing to collect the scatter lumber of humanities’ disheveled forests and build them into homes like a construction worker, and an interior designer. He claims here in Matthew that he will take normal people who are like clay and form like a potter. Like money is to an entrepreneur, and like performance in the hands of a gifted actor, Jesus is going to turn us into a sculpture, a play, and a treasure for the ages.

What does Art have to do with Mission?

As the source of the cosmos, Jesus claims here to make people, the greatest commodity in his kingdom, into fishermen. This is how Jesus views his mission on earth. It’s not a dry skill he undertakes, its an art. So why does this matter? It matters in how we see and do everything—it helps us interpret the very approach and nature of Christ’s ministry. He specializes in gathering dust, adding water and making it into clay, and forming it into beautiful pottery. He delights in taking what has been devalued and ascribed to have little or no purpose, what is antique, and he likes to refinish it, repurpose it and redeem it.

When we see anything “beautiful,” from a building to a movie, to poetry, to a thoughtfully crafted and shaped street corner, we are viewing God’s method for making disciples. He takes normal, everyday elements that are all too often overlooked and despised in and of themselves, and it combines them to make them beautiful TOGETHER.

The Church? Jesus’ Art…

In Ephesians 2:14 Paul picks this same word up when he’s talking about Jesus bringing the whole world together—both Jews and Gentile—to worship him when he says, “for he (Jesus) himself is our peace, who has made us both one and has broken down in his flesh the dividing wall of hostility.This means, that today, when we see a gathering of Christ’s body—Jew, Gentile, Slave, Free, Weak, Strong, Rich, Poor, Every Creed, Every tongue etc.—we are taking a look at the result of God’s discipleship finesse. His ART!

His mission is to shape us into a Christ-Honoring people together through the gospel, and our worship is to respond as a people in joining in with him into this same mission. Will you?

Author: Dave Yauk

Dave Yauk is first a foremost a follower of Jesus. He is Husband to Katie, and Father to 4 wonderful children (Naomi, Jesse, Levi, and Analise). Dave’s primary passion is to seek after Gods Glory in all things, and in his contribution you’ll find he holds a passion for Theology and all things Beautiful as seen in the Creator, Creativity, Character and Culture. Dave has been privileged to do ministry in over 17 countries. This has been his primary means of education and learning as a follower of Jesus. However, Dave has also had the honor of getting a B.A. from Colorado Christian University in Organizational Management and Christian Leadership, a Master’s in Divinity from Liberty University, and a Doctorate in Worship Studies from I.W.S. Dave owns the Garden City Project (an online collaborative marketplace for Christian artists and innovators), Finale School of Music, and teaches online guitar for He is also a Professor of Theology, Worship and Missiology at Visible Music College and Grand Canyon University.

More posts by Dave Yauk


Lang Bliss: Our Days Are Numbered, Make a Difference!

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Artistic Expression In World Evangelism

When an entire village of Bolivian Indian ranch workers came to the Lord awhile ago, some missionary friends of mine were faced with very big questions. What do we do with this entire village of people that now know the Lord as Savior?  In what ways do they worship?  How do we teach them to study the Bible when most of them don’t read? And when they have no Bible-base music in their own heart-expressions, what do we suggest they sing?

My missionary friends encouraged the Bolivian Indians to make up their own musical expression using texts right from the Bible. They understood the importance of culturally appropriate communication and affirmed the leadership in the village, that it would be best to sing songs they composed themselves.

When evangelization happens in its fullness, culturally appropriate and sensitive communication is crucial. In many parts of the world, due to lack of literacy, much communication will be through artistic or imaginative expression. Music, drama, storytelling, painting, architecture, mime, puppets, crafts, festivals, movement, ritual, and on and on, are all forms of artistic expression.

Artistic communicators are Christians endowed by God with unusual wisdom in creative things. They may be pastors, teachers, musicians, painters, writers, managers, factory workers, farmers, or housewives. They are simply Christians with a vision and ability for actively incorporating appropriate artistic forms and methods into worship and evangelism.

People generally hear and understand with their hearts long before they hear and understand with their heads. And their heartstrings are generally plucked, not by the academic and the apologist, but by the artist and the poet.

This reality leads me to shout from the rooftops that Christian musicians and artists play a critical role in world evangelization these days. Where the Great Commission has truly been carried out, the penetrated cultures most often worship and proclaim their faith in their own mother tongues, heart-music and cultural styles. These heart-languages and cultural styles are very often uncovered by indigenous artists, or better stated, arts ministry specialists.

Whether in ceremonies, liturgy, pageants, visual or movement expression, music, storytelling, or other dynamics of gathered expression, it is usually the arts ministry specialist who helps facilitate the believing community in its public and private expressions of worship.

That said, artists passionate for God because they’re overwhelmed by their own salvation through His work in Jesus, are essential in the Church’s strategies, methods and efforts in world evangelization.

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