just home from speaking at a youth group in belfast tonight. was good fun because i brought a new friend along with me to do some art stuff. i met him earlier this month, when i was speaking at a youth weekend. during that weekend i’d asked him to do some stuff on stage together. he painted as i spoke. i suppose it goes well together, we’re both trying to paint a picture – he uses brushes and paint while i try to use words.

anyway, i invited phil up to belfast tonight to do some more art stuff alongside me on stage as i spoke. the whole visual element just added so much to what i was wanting to do, taking my mere words to another level as the concepts i was speaking on just seemed to really land with the young people there.

i love the visual element that art provides and how it unlocks the truth in a fresh way. i found it very powerful tonight as we brought this to a climax. even as i stood in front of this group and looked at one of the paintings, the truth of what i was sharing hit me afresh. it was special.

for me, the absence of art within our corporate gatherings is sad. add to that the lack of poets, dj’s, photography and creative writers and we begin to realise the gap is glaring and shocking. the church was once the most creative place on earth. culture looked to the church for guidance and inspiration. this led to the church shaping areas such as art, music, and media.

it seems the flip side of that is now true. how sad, especially as we have the marks of the ultimate creator and designer living within us. let’s try to continue pushing the boundaries. and let’s discover and rediscover ways in which we can share this amazing truth and help it connect with people in a real way. let’s catapult the church back into the heart of creative culture.