To worship God in spirit and truth is to get our hands dirty and uncomfortable, to move into the brokenness of people’s lives. Artistry and faith are like that—a little messy most of the time and extremely messy now and again. But we’re called to a gospel artistry, called to live out the gospel in practical ways, to creatively incite people toward the good news. Gospel artistry starts with the willingness to show up, allowing your heart—yourself—to be available and vulnerable to those around you. As we do that, we become gospel artists, but more than that, we become an image of his work of art.
I believe we can live out our faith creatively and push beyond the borders culture and church have placed on service and social justice. Christians everywhere can apply an intentional lifestyle of creativity throughout the week. We have ample opportunities to practice the art of conversation with others and to move into their lives – even those that aren’t so loveable in order that they enter into the discovery process of our faith. It’s much like a swimmer diving down deep to retrieve a pearl from the ocean floor, eventually resurfacing with something to not only say but also to show.
The Christian life and heart of worship itself is about our focus on God; our daily interactions with him and with other people create the context of our worship. Worship should inspire, strengthen and build the church, and lead to the transformation of individual lives, communities and the world.
Though our lifestyles may look the same, how we shape the expression of the creativity that flows from our lives will look different. In doing so the church truly becomes the church, a vivid snapshot of uniqueness and diversity; a body made up of different parts, skill sets and gifts – a work of art that incites people to worship. It’s an act of creative incitement that we share. It’s the art of helping others.
Another thought we may want to consider is not only living with intention but also pressing forward into intentional tension in the most positive and productive sense. Intentional tension is synonymous with creative incitement. When our resolve is purposeful, it creates forces that act in opposition to each other – like a tug of war. The intentional creation of positive tension can bring about dramatic transformation, as evidenced in the civil rights movement, the Reformation, the martyr tradition, and even the turning of the table by Jesus in the temple.
I hope this book inspires you in your faith, creativity, and in truth, and is the first of many to be written and shared.
A BIG thanks to Jason at Brave Reviews for the opportunity to introduce my book to you.
Please consider purchasing a printed or digital copy of The Art of Helping Others. Share about my book with your friends and visit my author website, douglascmann.com where you can find me loitering along with additional content.
Douglas Mann is a former record producer, published songwriter, a music business and book-publishing executive, missionary and now a published author.
His writing style can best be described as Inspire to Act Nonfiction or better yet, A Cup of Cold Water in your Face Nonfiction. He is known as a “Creative Inciter,” embracing the role of risk-taker culminating in positive and productive action from truth.
Follow Douglas’ tweets @douglascmann