Wild Words . . . Photos & Fine Art

Co-creating by heart with sandy cathcart through writers helps and art info, focusing on all things wild.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Steve Hopkins Message to Artists and Writers - Part X

Continuing the second half of Steve’s two messages given at the recent Artists Retreat at Box R Ranch in Southern Oregon.

Point One cautioned us to be patient but persistent with our pastors. A lot of folks have given me suggestions and I will be sharing those at the end of the entire series.

Point Two explained the need to be persistent but patient with our pastors, and Point Three told us to think local.

Today we learn how to be a servant and it applies very well to both artists and writers, or anyone involved in creating:


The Apostle Paul exhorts us to do our work heartily as unto the Lord.
Jesus Himself gave us the example of a servant when He washed His disciples’ feet.

Much of the bad perception of artists and their callings has been brought on by the artists themselves. Too many are struggling, tormented in soul, crying to be heard, living a bohemian life, consumed by their craft.

This is not a picture of a Christian artist.

Your craft is handiwork, an offering of worship to the God whose image you bear.

You create because you were first created as Imago Dei and you bear His creative mark within you.

The motive behind your work should be the glory of God through serving, not assaulting your audience’s sensibilities, nor impressing them with your prowess.

Now that’s not to say that your work should not be fun or entertaining, stimulating or challenging. But remember, Christian artists during the Reformation had the greatest impact on the culture by making their art accessible to the common people.

These artists, out of a servant’s heart, came down from their “ivory towers” and connected with the populace, and as a result, Christian art flourished.

We do not hear much about the modern, avant-garde Christian artists mainly because many have succumbed to the anti-Christian view of the “bohemian” artist instead of approaching their craft as a “servant-artist.”

Again, I am not saying that a Christian Artist should not explore new horizons of creativity or produce art that makes us think or challenges us, but you must not lose sight of the fact that your gifts are given by God to serve His people.

When artists continually create “over the heads” of people, they may as well be speaking in an unknown tongue.

So be a servant—and be a teacher with your craft.

Exercise your creativity by finding ways to make your handiwork easily accessible and understandable to your community without compromising your dedication to excellence.

Be Creative.

Discover ways to integrate your craft into life.



Now, those were some pretty heavy words, a bit of stuff there I hadn’t thought about before, but I like the overall idea of being creative in our lives as well as in our craft.

A fellow artist recently started a new cartoon and is beginning a cartoon club at his church. Now, that’s creative. Way to go, Dave!

Part of my problem is not setting enough time aside to be creative. When I find myself with any time at all I often simply start painting without putting a whole lot of thought into what I’m going to paint. I just let it happen.

That’s okay part of the time, but I suspect I’m missing out on the bigger picture by not taking time to seek God for direction. Oh, I pray and ask for direction, but I don’t take much time to be still and listen for the answer. I opt instead to kind of let God ooze through my fingers. Sometimes that works. Sometimes, God really wants me to listen up. And sometimes it’s a matter of me either being lazy or afraid to dream the big dreams God has for me.

So here is the challenge just as Steve gave it:

Exercise your creativity by finding ways to make your handiwork easily accessible and understandable to your community without compromising your dedication to excellence.


At 8:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Thanks for sharing this teaching. I especially appreciated the comment re Reformation artists, and the profound challenge at the end.

May we all seek God,listen for His directions and follow them, to create art for His glory.

Grace to you,



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