I have an almost 2 year old boy and a 4 year old girl. And they are addicted to Arts and Crafts thanks to their mother. They love to "art" things. Anything will serve as a canvas; sticks, rocks, paper, cardboard, mirrors, and much to my chagrin my new back deck. They use all kinds of mediums; chalk, crayons, glitter, stickers, paper-mache, foam, paint, and a few things I am not sure what it is. Many times in a week I will come home to the joyful exuberance of, "Daddy we made something for your office!" At which point I will be presented with the days artistic offering. My wall is beginning to lose space for all their art.
I love their art. They color outside the lines, their glued on pieces fall off, their stickers are torn, their paint colors are all mixed up, and most of the time it is just random fun. The sheer joy they receive from making art is the stuff of childlike wonder I fear I am slowly losing. I could never not accept their art. That would never do, it would cause unnecessary sadness. So even though my office is just about full of their masterpieces I will keep finding places to stash the works.
I believe this artistic exuberance can be a lesson for the church. If we think about ministry to often we are looking for masterful works of art from spiritual toddlers. We should be setting up messy craft spaces in our churches for its members to practice, without fear, messy ministry moments. There should be a place for our people to suggest new ministry ideas, even really bad ones. There should be a place for us to allow them to color outside the lines onto the table and mix up all the paints into a gross brown. They should be given opportunities to suggest and lead ministries that might end up failing miserably. And we should hang these works of art around our churches like banners of pride.
The only reason I have found any level of understanding in ministry is because I have been around people, churches, and a denomination that has allowed me to finger paint my way to better understanding. I want to say thank you to all those who have set out the materials and allowed me to go nuts. My encouragement and challenge is to say, won't you also set up such places for your youth, young adults, and spiritual toddlers who want nothing more than to be a participant in Christ's redemptive process. I hope that I in turn will do the same for others.
Putting out a Welcome Sign for guests. This is a pretty cool idea.
Being Honest: Have you ever felt you needed a place to just open up and be honest with yourself and others?
Daily Discipleship according to David Platt will depend on where you are in life.
If you haven't heard Marc Driscoll turned Esther into a whore recently from the pulpit. The blogosphere is all abuzz with pointing out how misguided his statements were. Here is Rachel Held Evans response.