Byron Spradlin

Artists In Ministry & Missions

Is Your Job Your Identity?

Please Follow and Like us:
Facebook
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
YouTube
LINKEDIN

In past days I had a quote above my desk that generally states that “. . . success is piloting ideas with small, bootlegged budget.” And it goes on to say the ” too many ideas are grandiose and far reaching at the beginning . .. and appear to have only a ‘shot in the dark’ possibility’ of being achieved.

On the other hand, Moses reminds the Israeli’s they must move forward toward their objective, little by little. Inn Dt. 7: 21, 22 . . as they prepared to take the Land their father’s had wimped out over, Moses reminds them that they should . . . “(21) not be terrified . . . for the Lord your God, who is among your, is a great and awesome God. (22) The Lord your God will drive out those nations before you, (but) little by little. You will not be allowed to eliminate them all at once, or (if, in fact you did drive them out all at once) the wild animals will multiply around you (and eat you up–[Byron Spradlin’s. translation])

My point here: You must keep you long range mission in view, while at the same time focusing on one piece of it at a time—yet you must keep doing at least one piece of it at all times.

Which piece are you working on right now?

My overall point: If what you are hearing is really from God—you will pursue and do that CALLING no matter how you make your money; especially if you throw off the Metro, first-world notion—popular but incorrect—that occupation IS identity.

Bi-vocationalism is a viable and biblical status—with many benefits. May you strive with all your heart, mind and soul to move into a full-time occupation pursuing your ministry calling. Most will need to at least press for that objective at some points in their lives. But if it doesn’t happen, release that reality to God and look for and allow Him to release you into your calling through other, and just as creative—but different—avenues of His provision.

Summary Reminder:

No matter what, you need to be doing your ministry calling (assignment from God) in your local area, no matter how you are making your money.

If you are not ‘doing’ ministry—for free at first—not only will few ‘normal’ Christians take you seriously about being called by God for some sort of specific Kingdom ministry, you will rarely raise donated support. And what’s even more likely in question is the reality that you are responding to a true call from God for ministry.


Want more content?

Subscribe Here!

Help  Mobilize Arts-Ministry Specialists With Your Giving !

39815108 - donate now blue paper sign on white background

Please Follow and Like us:
Facebook
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
YouTube
LINKEDIN

Imagination, Artistic Expression & Worship? 2 of 2

Please Follow and Like us:
Facebook
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
YouTube
LINKEDIN

How Imagination And Artistic Expression Relate To Worship

Scripture assures the believer that one approaches God through the work of Jesus. So when one prays, there is help by imagining Jesus on the Cross; picturing Him on the Cross; picturing their self bowing before the Cross; seeing with the eyes of their imagination His blood running down the beam, flowing right around their knees. This kind of ‘mental’ exercise—combining the objective historical truth of the Crucifixion with the eyes of the imagination—helps one draw near to God. Bowing the head, kneeling down, closing the eyes, holding a Bible, lifting an arm, looking up to the sky, or any number of other inward/outward practices helps look through the eyes of their imagination into the unseen realities of God. The mystery is that none of these practices provide in themselves any spiritual merit. But, when worshipers allow their imagination to join their intellect when they worship, they may indeed engage more fully with God.


When people worship in public, their worship is more fully facilitated by their environment, the influences of worship leadership, their understanding of theology, and the cultural contexts surrounding them. People come together, . . . in some sort of “environment,” . . . to participate in human activities, . . . that involve metaphors and symbols. When the experience is genuine, fused with reverence and focused faith on God, the worshiper often comes to a point where the ”whole” of the experience is greater than the sum of its parts. When genuine worship is experienced, something goes on larger than all the parts of that gathering. It is at this point that Imaginative human expression takes place. And, imaginative human expression is always present in any public worship context.

Additionally, public gatherings will often be more successful if . . . someone endowed and skilled with more-than-average abilities in artistic human expression . . . are released to plan and help implement the gathering’s process.


Whether in private or public worship settings, 1) imaginative expressions help the worship experience; and 2) human expression specialists are strategic in facilitating worship. Therefore we can be sure that God designed artistic expression to be a central part of the fabric of human life and community.

Along with being spiritual, cognitive, and moral, humans are also imaginative. Animals have instinct, but people have imagination in a highly developed way. And that imagination reflects, in a small way, our Creator. It’s no wonder that Paul reaches the limitations of language in describing the vastness of Christ’s love for us—its width and length and height and depth. He leans into the poetic to more fully express to us that this love “surpasses knowledge,” and Paul struggles to articulate his prayer for us to “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18–19 NIV).


So when it comes to the activity of worship—worship that must make sense to us in the context of our culture if it is to have meaning at all—that sort of worship demands more than just propositions of fact. It requires symbols and metaphors and rituals that help people connect with the invisible realities of God Himself; the sort of worship that moves people to press toward the edges of one’s human capacity to express. Those kinds of worship activities—private or public—demand that one take the realities of God and His truths beyond the languages of the head into the languages of the heart. And that realm is the realm of artistic expression.


Want more content?

Subscribe Here!

Help  Mobilize Arts-Ministry Specialists With Your Giving !

39815108 - donate now blue paper sign on white background

Please Follow and Like us:
Facebook
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
YouTube
LINKEDIN

Imagination, Artistic Expression & Worship? 1 of 2

Please Follow and Like us:
Facebook
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
YouTube
LINKEDIN

How Imagination And Artistic Expression Relate To Worship

Evangelical author and philosophy professor Dallas Willard writes, “Sometimes important things can be presented in literature and art that cannot be effectively presented in any other way.” Given the way God has designed the human being and human community, people need all the capacities He created—reason, emotion, imagination, memory and language, all working together. As mysterious as that transaction is, they need all these capacities so that they may “know” God and not simply know about Him.

In fact, the Bible reveals that people are to know Him so intimately that they ultimately live every minute of each day in a companioning-worship-walk with Him. Jesus pressed this very issue when explaining to the woman at Jacob’s well that, “. . . God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth” (John 4:24, NIV). The Apostle Paul presses the same mandate when he urges Christians to, “. . . present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your logical, reasonable worship-way-of-living (latreian)” (Rm12:1, author’s rendering).

The Bible reveals that the essence of worship is to find one’s satisfaction in God above all and everyone else. The Apostle Paul boldly declares, “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Phil 1:21, NIV).

But based on these submissions, there exists one important question: If humans and human community are to engage in an intimate and interactive involvement with God, how does this interactive transaction actually happen?


Most would say that the goal and essence of worship are both wrapped up in a relationship with God. But still, how do finite people have relational interaction with a Divine God? Is not God unique from humans? Of course. He alone is Divine, Holy, Supreme. But how; or in what way, or in what realm, has God created humans to ‘experience’ in transactional reality, relations with Himself?


At this point it is important to note Bible Role for Imaginative Expression. God designed finite humans in such a way . . . that the mystery of transactional engagement with God happens through environments of imaginative human expressions.

When people go to worship, whether in groups or alone, God designed them to need to exercise their imaginal intellect as much as any other dynamic of their being—including their rational intellect.

When people worship God alone, they “practice” focusing their faith toward God through the gate of their imagination. As they couple their imagination with their intellect, they will imagine the unseen realities they ‘know’ are true in Scripture.


Want more content?

Subscribe Here!

Help  Mobilize Arts-Ministry Specialists With Your Giving !

39815108 - donate now blue paper sign on white background

Please Follow and Like us:
Facebook
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
YouTube
LINKEDIN

Is Art Essential for Christian Life?

Please Follow and Like us:
Facebook
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
YouTube
LINKEDIN

The Biblical Definition of Art and Artistic Expression

Artistic expression, as observed in the biblical record, is essential to life and Christian ministry—especially the worship ministries of the Church. This is because Artistic expression is the essential context wherein humans touch the transcendent realities of life in general, and most importantly, with God. Artistic and “imaginative” expressions—the metaphors, symbols, expressions, rituals, memorials, ceremonies, liturgies—form the amniotic fluid in which life and community grow and mature.


Art is a part of life. It is not something people can choose to omit from their lives. Artistic expressions—imaginative human expressions—are more than a form of human communication. They are the substance, the amniotic fluid, in which human relationships live and grow—human-to-human, and humans-with-God. Therefore, in order to see the importance that ‘amniotic fluid’ of God-designed-human-expressions is to the flourishing of human relationships with each other and in worship of God, Church leaders and worship practitioners should maintain a biblical view of ‘imaginative human expression’.


Want more content?

Subscribe Here!

Help  Mobilize Arts-Ministry Specialists With Your Giving !

39815108 - donate now blue paper sign on white background

Please Follow and Like us:
Facebook
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
YouTube
LINKEDIN

The Modern Falsehood of Artists and the Arts

Please Follow and Like us:
Facebook
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
YouTube
LINKEDIN

The Modern Idea of Artists and the Arts

Modern culture’s ideas about art seems to designate “artists” as a specialized elite group of art-makers. First are the elite who’s artistic skills are very high. They possess an extreme level of virtuosity—whether as in Paul McCartney or Yo Yo Ma. Second are those who have either gained some level of fame or who have somehow found some commercial traction with their art-making. Third are the artists who have gained some traction with the general cultural elite – this could include popular graffiti artist David Choe.


There is also another way one could describe the modern view of the artist in the Western Modern World; that of high art which is related to institutions of high art. Christian and philosopher Dr. Nicolas Wolterstorff writes the following:

A striking feature of how the arts occur in our society is that there is among us a cultural elite, and that from the totality of works of art to be found in our society a vast number are used (in the way intended by artist or distributor) almost exclusively by the members of that elite. I shall call those works our society’s works of high art. The works of Beethoven, or Matisse, or Piero della Francesca, are examples. Correspondingly , our society’s institution of high art consists of the characteristic arrangements and patterns of action pertaining to the production, distribution , and use in our society of those works of art.


These notions of works of and institutions of high art are mentioned here for three major reasons:

  • First, these categories are not biblical categories. They are not the categories, nor the realities that truly define either the essence of or the role of artistic expression, or artistic expressions themselves.
  • Second, these categories seem to form the unconscious grid through which most Church Leaders evaluate artistic specialists and imaginative human expressions they facilitate.
  • Third, Church Leaders generally hold these modern but incorrect views about the arts and artists; and that leads them to either see no connection between artists and the Church, or to fear that artists and arts might do damage to the agendas of the Church.

This preconceived concept about art, and its relationship to the Church, does major damage to the Church’s ability to pursue artist expression as a means for making worship central to the mission of the body of Christ. Church leaders need to reject this modern view of artist expression, which excludes the imaginative realm of metaphors, symbols and human expressions (or signal systems), and come back to a biblical view of the arts. In doing so, they will find new vitality for worship as the central agenda of the churches.


Want more content?

Subscribe Here!

Help  Mobilize Arts-Ministry Specialists With Your Giving !

39815108 - donate now blue paper sign on white background

Please Follow and Like us:
Facebook
Facebook
RSS
Follow by Email
YouTube
LINKEDIN
« Older posts

© 2018 Byron Spradlin

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑