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the resource for adventist youth leaders

Creative Leadership 30 Years Later
for the Non-creative Leader …and Jesus Wept

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Disciples in ActionTM

grow reflect reveal
the character of christ

participant’s guide
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Guest E ditorial By Gr a em e Fr aue n f e l de r

magine a world with only Welcoming creativity in our personal, church,
one fruit, and community aspects of life is welcoming
one taste, the present-day work of the Creator!
one kind of bird,
one breed of animal, SAY YES … THEN FIGURE OUT
one colour, HOW!
identical people with identical You are inherently creative simply by being
personalities, alive. We express our creativity in a variety
one song of a single note and sound, of ways that are not just limited to music,
identical sunsets, art and performing… AND each of us can
and just one type of flower and design. always develop that creativity in every area
of our lives. My life exploded with new skills
Help! How mundane and deadly boring and opportunities when I learned to “Say ‘Yes’
compared to the exuberance of the creativity, … then figure out how!” My life as a global
diversity, and variety we experience in our adventurer of love, kindness, playfulness,
lives on this planet. and creativity wasn’t planned by me. It came
SEE THE MIRACLE… from initially saying “Yes!” to opportunities
beyond my capabilities and comfort zone,
How creative are you? Look in the mirror: then discovering the skills, ideas, supportive
You are an amazing artwork of God’s team, and inspiration to do them. Pursuing
creativity. Cells are dying and being replaced the ways in which God made ‘my heart sing’
by brand new ones right now. You are a work opened up even more opportunities. It’s been
of creation-in-action in this moment. Exquisite an enriching journey. The Bible is filled with
design makes us living, breathing, moving, stories of people hearing the call to do what
interacting, and worshipping sculptures – what they weren’t qualified to do, but saying “Yes”
works of art! The world of human society and anyway and going on the creative adventure
nature is a dynamic gallery and performance of being stretched and empowered beyond
Graeme Frauenfelder venue of divine artistry and drama, filled with their wildest dreams.
is an inspiring storyteller, dancing electrons.
professional speaker, and heARTspace of LOVE…
team-builder. He is also Human creativity is a tiny part of almost
known as a “minister infinite miracles of creation in everyday Whatever you do or make from a
of happiness” by his life. Creation is more than an event in the heARTspace of love is God creating art in this
clowning and kindness in distant past. It is an all-the-time amazing world with you as His musical instrument, His
displaced-people’s camps.
phenomenon with new life constantly being brush or His pen! Enjoy exploring the creative
generated. New galaxies, stars, and other journeys and inspiration of a variety of people
cosmic bodies are being born right now. throughout these pages. The Old and New
Atoms and molecules continually recombine Testaments tell the stories of God’s creativity
into different animate and inanimate forms. on the world stage. But the stories didn’t
People’s lives are transformed and re-created. stop when the last book was written. We are

Life, existence, the universe: without creativity the living stories of God’s creation in this
they would neither begin nor continue. present time. Wow, what a privilege!
3 YMA . April – jUNE 2013

the resource for adventist youth leaders

Departmental Director Gilbert Cangy
editor Jonatán Tejel 3 editorial : imagine, Graeme Frauenfelder
Consulting editor Nathan Brown
Copy editor Erica Richards
5 art : an expression of social justice
editorial Assistant/Production Manager 6 30 years later : and Jesus wept
Maria A. Dunchie
Advisors Hiskia Missah, Armando Miranda, 12 creativity and faithfulness in our hands
Silvia Sicalo

16 creative leadership for the non-creative leader
ACCENT is a quarterly online resource for 22 and I don’t even like the word
youth leaders, published by the Youth Ministries
accent accent accent
Department, General Conference of Seventh-day
Adventists®. All rights reserved. Copyright © 24 thunderbirds, legos, and working with God
2013 by The General Conference of Seventh-day
Adventist Youth Ministries Department.
29 the art of life : creativity and nathan brown
Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the
®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International 33 ready-to-use programs
Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan
Publishing House. All rights reserved. Skits
editorial Matters • A Picture is Worth…
Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome, as well as
letters to the editor, youth ministry tips, youth
• Psalm 150 : Worship
volunteer service reports, programming and story • Breaking News
ideas. Send manuscripts to YMA Editor at the ad-
dress below or email:
• Jesus Juice
Contact information
• The Complete Disciple
Phone: 301-680-6170 • Fax: 301-680-6155
Website: • Practicing Creativity and Creativity and Problem Solving
Mailing Address • Creative Arts as Ministry
GC Youth Ministries Department,
12501 Old Columbia Pike, Short Films by Nathan Dalton
Silver Spring, MD 20904-6600, USA.
Publisher • Love : Loss
General Conference of Seventh-day Adventist® • Life : Loss
Youth Ministries Department.
• Faith : Loss
Printing and Distribution ____________________
Advent Press Limited
e-mail: or cover: Dunchie
Phone: 00 44 1494 375 987

4 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
Kee pin g It R eal By M a ria D un c h i e

…an expression
Arts of social justice
For most of us, social justice is not You can find ways to use the talents and creative
associated with the arts, and yet, one experiences of the youth among you to reach
of the most non-combative ways to the community. You will see a difference—both
bring about social change is through in and outside the church.
the arts. Whether it is music, drawing,
dance, drama, or some other artistic Maybe, just maybe, the artist in them can swing
discipline, the awareness, change, the balance.
and inspiration gained can be lasting, The Huffington Post reported the stories of
contagious, and effective. eleven children who made a difference in
You might be wondering, what does 2011. Read their stories and see how a simple
art have to do with youth ministry? beginning can make a huge change in effecting
Well, a lot. social change.
“As world leaders struggled in 2011
Artists are in a unique position to to save a famine-struck Africa, end
Maria Dunchie use their work, especially when done the global water crisis and continue to
is an Editorial with spiritual values, to effect social research cures for devastating cancers, a
Assistant with change. Yes, that quiet girl who
the General host of young activists also stepped up. As
is content to put her thought on a young as 7, these young people who want
Youth Ministries canvas, she can become the voice of to make a difference offered their insight,
Department. change. The young man who seems experience and commitment to resolving
odd and sits in a corner, constantly these plaguing issues. Meet 11 such
strutting his guitar and rambling on budding activists who may just inspire you
about the change he wishes to see, to help make this world a better place.”
he can become a voice of change.
They can become connectors between

members to strengthen and help grow top-kids-making-difference_n_1133564.
the church. html#slide=523310 l

5 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
30 Years Later

…and Jesus wept.
By Nathan Brown

6 YMA . April – jUNE 2013 FEAtUrE story
The soldiers were coming! In the early morning darkness,
the parents grabbed what they could, packing as quickly and
quietly as possible, not expecting they would ever be able to
return. Whatever they couldn’t pack or carry would be lost
and they had to carry whatever they needed to survive on the
run. They had a little money and a few valuable possessions
they might be able to sell, but they would never receive what
Nathan Brown is book
they were really worth. If they could make it to the border
editor at the Adventist they might be safe, but they couldn’t afford to wonder how
Church’s Signs
Publishing Company they might be received in the neighbouring nation.
near Melbourne,
Australia. He is author
of five books including

I Hope and 7 Reasons
Life is Better With s the husband packed their and less concerned about being quiet,
God, and is currently
writing monthly meagre possessions together, more concerned about travelling as quickly
short stories for www. he kept urging his wife to as possible. By daylight, they were well
SpectrumMagazine. hurry. “The soldiers are coming!” he away from the village but exposed to the
org. Nathan is one whispered again to his already frantic dangers of the road. There were always
of the conveners of
the Manifest Creative wife. The infant child was wrapped to those ready to take advantage of desperate
Arts Festival (www. keep him warm against the cool night travellers. and air and the couple did one more look She shuddered at the thought of what
has worked on a number around the bare room to see what they
of projects with the might have happened if they had not been
Adventist Development had forgotten. This was not a time for warned to leave when they did. But she
and Relief Agency in sentiment, but the wife-and-mother was still uneasy. Was there a risk of being
Australia. He also is a paused for just a moment. This had pursued? Had anyone seen them leave?
continuing university been their first home as a family and she
student, plays basketball Although her husband’s family came from
in an “old man’s
expected they would never see it again. this region, she had never before been this
league,” assists his wife The village seemed unusually quiet far south. How long would it take them
with gardening, and to reach the border? Would they be safe
as they stepped out the door after
takes his big dog for
regular walks. extinguishing the light. Sticking to the even then? Would they ever see their home
shadows, they were soon out of the village again?

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Feature Story
Amid the uproar and For three decades, Bethlehem had
outrage, the horror and the suffered the reminder of a missing
generation. They had not celebrated any
grief of the next morning, 30th birthdays for a couple of years now,
no one noticed the sudden absence of that but this gap had been obvious at each
peasant family from up north. They were stage of these missing lives. Each absent
distant cousins somehow but they might milestone was a reminder of the tragedy
have left a week ago. And if they were that had been sent to their village—and a
away from here, they were luckier than the time to mourn anew. Although dulled by
rest of them. the years, the grief was still real.
After thirty years, their memories of that
time were a blur. It had been a strange
time. First there had been the census and Today was Rachel’s
the influx of visitors to the village. Then particular day for grief.
Estimates vary there were stories of some of the out-of-
between 300 to Her firstborn son would have been turning
town shepherds seeing angels, and awhile
thirty today. He had been six days old
1000 residents later a group of strange foreigners came
that morning. She was still considered
of Bethlehem looking for a recently-born child. They
“unclean” and had not yet left the house
at the time of seemed exotic and wealthy and quite
since giving birth. Worse, her son had not
unlike any other visitors the village could
Jesus’ birth; yet been named. As they had watched their
of these there newborn son with justifiable pride, Rachel
But all of these occurrences were all- and her husband had narrowed their list of
might have
but-lost in the sorrow of the morning the ideas to three, but they had two more days
been between before he would to be circumcised and
soldiers came and killed a generation
seven and of their children. This was still painfully named.
twenty baby clear. “Messiahs” came and went— In the early morning, she had heard
boys in the age and the people’s hopes with them, noise coming from the street but, numbed
group targeted particularly in Bethlehem, which seemed by the fatigue of early motherhood, she
to have a special place in some of the had not dragged herself from the bed
by Herod.
old prophecies—but their children were to look out before the door was roughly
brutally taken away. pushed open and, in a blur of violence and
The order from Herod had been to kill brutality too horrible to describe, imagine,
all the boys under two years old, but with or remember, her son was taken from her.
ruthless efficiency and the taste for blood, Then her son was gone. He was never
the soldiers were not checking carefully. In named. The tree sons who were born after
their small village, at least twenty children were given the shortlisted names. Now
were dragged from their mothers’ arms, men with young families of their own, she
taken from their humble homes, and loved them dearly—but her first-born was
callously murdered that morning. always absent.

8 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
Feature Story
That she was not alone in her sorrow possible “messiah”—who was attracting
offered little comfort at first. Her grief was some attention and was said to be coming
hers alone, too raw to share, and without through their village. Being so close to
having properly named her son it always Jerusalem, they heard most of the stories
seemed too difficult to talk about him. And of new teachers and potential messiahs,
having spent so little time with him, she but this man was becoming known for
had few stories to tell. Her own nine-month being able to work miracles and part of the
relationship with her son was something she interest in his rumoured visit to their village
was unable to share or even understand. focused on this. A new messiah might
There were so many “why” questions. make his stand or his statement at some
At first she refused the comfort offered point, but it seemed there was a possibility
by other families, but an informal “club” of of a miracle today. The village waited with
the bereaved grew among those mothers excitement.
over the years. It was a terrible bond but a
It bothered bond no less and one that mellowed with
me that the
Mary had told Jesus the
the decades. When they acknowledged
last we hear of each other in the street, there was a deeper stories of Bethlehem many
Bethlehem in knowing between them. At times, they times but, when He turned
the whole Bible
remembered quietly together. And they twelve, she told Him the story of
eventually became the group of women their escape from Bethlehem in the early
story is Matthew who would work together to support a morning darkness and the massacre that
2:18, so one family that lost a child in some new tragedy. happened behind them. She told the story
way of wrestling But today was another day for Rachel’s with a heavy heart, remembering Simeon’s
with this was own grief. Not only did she still mourn her warnings to her, but also recognising the
by imagining son, she mourned not getting to know him duty placed on her from the first angel
this story—what better, seeing him grow into the young man announcing her miraculous child. “Highly
he would have become. She mourned the favoured,” perhaps, but also seriously
might have lost years and also the lost hope. What if burdened with an awesome responsibility.
been. one of the boys from their village had been It was a key moment in Jesus’
the Messiah as the king had feared? What understanding of His identity and His
if it might have been her son? She hardly mission. This story cemented His growing
dared think further on this. What if tyrant and sobering realisation that He must
Herod had won? There was always talk of be “about His Father’s business,” the
“messiahs”—but what if Israel really had explanation He gave for His three-day
lost their one true hope in that morning of disappearance at the temple in Jerusalem
murder? Would God have let that happen? later that same year. While it would be
To add salt to the wound of her grief years until He became publicly known as
and insult to her dark reflections, there was a teacher and—as was first whispered,
a buzz around Bethlehem that morning then talked about more openly—possible
about a new teacher—undoubtedly another messiah, Mary’s telling of this story worked

9 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
Feature Story
in His heart and mind like a carpenter’s As news of His soon
arrival spread through the
It was a bitter irony that the tragedy that village, Rachel joined the small crowd in
had visited Bethlehem was not because of the marketplace who were curious to see
the people’s godlessness, as some would this teacher and supposed miracle worker.
allege, or because of God’s indifferent It seemed a good distraction from her
absence, as so many more would argue dominant thoughts of the day and she was
by their desperate question, “Where was as curious as anyone. The market was
God?” Instead, this horrific crime came winding down after the morning’s trade
about precisely because of His presence. and she stood under the shade of a small
This troubled Him deeply. tree with a group of “the mothers.”
In His first major public sermon, He The crowd accompanying this teacher
This story was referenced this story at the climax of His list was a strange assortment but, from their
written in the of those who are “blessed” in the kingdom accents, mostly Galileans and mostly
of heaven: “Blessed are those who suffer uneducated, which was strange for a
aftermath because of Me.” Even before He was teacher and his disciples. Almost all of
of the Sandy conscious of His identity—either His them were dressed as common people,
Hook school humanity or His divinity—there were those unwashed and dusty from the road. There
shooting in who suffered because of Him. It broke was nothing to distinguish their teacher
His heart and, more so, as He imagined from the rest of the crowd except for the
December 2012.
the countless more who would suffer in attention directed toward the one they
The questions so many different ways “because of Him” called Jesus.
about “Why?” or “for His sake.” Somehow they must be
and “Where “blessed.” For a teacher rapidly becoming famous,
she was surprised that He seemed so
was God?” So His journeying took Him to young, maybe about . . . thirty. He could . .
were fresh and Bethlehem. He could hardly stay away. . he could have been her son.
not always It was becoming more difficult for Him
around Jerusalem and He expected He As they came to the marketplace, the
answered local villagers were subsumed into the
would soon focus His ministry around
helpfully by Galilee, away from the dangerous crowds travelling crowd and the group came to a
Christian voices. and politics of the city. But first He wanted halt as Jesus turned to speak directly to the
to visit the village of His birth that had informal gathering. Rachel and the other
featured in so many of Mary’s special women stayed in their shade and a step
stories, as well as being so significant in removed from the group but could hear
the history of the Hebrew people. Not what was said.
knowing quite what He would find there, “Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs
He suspected He would not be able to is the kingdom of heaven,” Jesus began.
ignore the darker, more troubling story His followers’ response suggested they
of His family’s escape on the eve of the recognised a message they had heard a
darkest day in Bethlehem’s history. number of times before.

10 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
Feature Story
“Blessed are they that mourn: for they Then He was standing before her, like
shall be comforted.” the son she had never known. “Blessed
Eventually, perhaps, thought Rachel are those who suffer because of Me,” He
bitterly. The teacher had hit a sensitive spot, repeated quietly.
especially today. She had spent so long “What . . . what do you mean?” Rachel
refusing to be comforted. asked, her hurt wrestling with her confusion.
“Blessed are the meek: for they shall “I have suffered—as have many here—but
inherit the earth,” Jesus continued, pausing not ‘because of you’ . . .”
after each statement to allow responses. “The Son of Man is a son of Bethlehem,”
“Blessed are they who hunger and thirst Jesus said.
after righteousness: for they shall be filled.” “But all the stories say you are from
The conclusion A few villagers were still arriving but the Galilee, from Nazareth?” a bystander
to this story is marketplace had grown quiet as the teacher’s interjected.
based not just voice hung in the warm afternoon air. “The Son of Man is also a son of
on imagination “Blessed are the merciful: for they shall Bethlehem,” Jesus repeated, still focused
but also on obtain mercy. on Rachel. “I was born here. My mother
what I believe “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they told me the story of how my family left
about what shall see God.” Bethlehem after being warned that King
Herod was trying to kill Me. My mother and
Jesus is like. Rachel could sense the grandeur of what Joseph has no idea how Herod would do
He cares, He this Jesus was saying. He was describing a that—or they would have warned everyone.”
weeps with us, way of living and measuring life that seemed
so different from what she experienced. She “Why . . . ?” Rachel began to ask the
He comforts us. countless questions that had haunted her for
looked around her. For the most part, these
I don’t think thirty years but stopped as tears filled her eyes.
were the poor, the mourning, the meek, even
He could have the hungry sometimes. “I’m sorry,” Jesus said to her with a
ignored this sincerity that could not be doubted and
She had tuned out for a moment but
part of His Jesus caught her attention again. somehow an authority that seemed enough.
story on earth For a few agonising moments, Rachel
“Blessed are those who suffer because of
and the impact Me”—and then He caught her eye, looking continued to sob. And Jesus wept.
it had on this directly at her under the tree. Then God hugged Rachel until their
village. It was as if He saw her thirty-year-old tears subsided and she and Jesus were
pain. She held her breath as He stepped silent together under that tree in the village
toward her and the crowd opened before marketplace, as the crowd looked on with
Him. A murmur went through the crowd, a strange sense of impromptu road-side
unsure why Jesus had picked out Rachel, not reverence.

knowing or remembering the significance of And, after thirty years, she was
this date. comforted.

11 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
Feature Story
by Moe Ioane Stiles

my early years of full-time limited view of creativity, assuming it is only
ministry, I remember sitting found in these few areas of giftedness. But
with my new “worship” I was also confronted with the fact that we
team to discuss the calendar for the are in a culture in which people’s distrust
approaching year and working out what of religion and church affect how we must
we were going to do, which themes we communicate when we are talking about
were going to explore, and praying for and sharing beliefs that make an eternal
where God wanted to lead our church. difference.
Our conversation turned to creativity and
Some people have the knack for
what we wanted to put into our worship
producing something that I would not be
programs to make them God-glorifying,
able to create in my wildest dreams. We
interesting, but also sensory-engaging.
should celebrate them and their giftedness.
One of the challenges we faced in that If you’re reading this and you fall into this
meeting was resources—mainly human category or you have been affirmed with
resources. Many church conversations these gifts, praise Jesus for you. We need
about creativity revolve around talented you! You have something to contribute in the
musicians, storytellers, scriptwriters and communication of Jesus.
actors, and the various types of visual
But we also have been stumped by the
artists. It is daunting to even think about
notion that because we don’t have these
creativity outside of these “art forms.”
people in our midst—or so we think—we
I was confronted by the dilemma that have to settle for mediocrity, without thinking
many of our communities have faced: a about or intentionally focusing on creativity.

12 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
1 Creativity questions
So what is creativity and what is
there is a place for creativity to be
explored, it should be in our church
him, ‘What is that in your hand?’
‘A shepherd’s staff,’ Moses replied”
(Exodus 4:2).
it for? What difference will it make?
Does it have a place in our church This is why we might have The people of God were in
community? And what resources gotten it wrong with our assumed slavery. There was a cry coming
do we need to make sure this is understanding of creativity, that out of Egypt from the people to be
explored and encouraged in our our “creatives”—musicians, visual saved and rescued. The solution
church family? artists, actors, poets, chefs, and from God is found in the man of
florists—are the only ones who Moses, his staff, and his brother
We only have to look into the have creativity in their bones. Every Aaron. Moses was reluctant—to say
creation story in Genesis to see one of us can create and re-create the least—and gave God all the
that creating and recreating brings to bring beauty into our community, excuses he could imagine. But God
goodness. God saw what He had to communicate the life found in had an answer for him.
done and said “it was very good” Jesus. Someone once commented
(see Genesis 1:31). Throughout When God calls us to bring life
that “Creativity is life, not a
Scripture, we see creative and into a situation in desperate need
hobby.” We are creating every day.
re-creative work wherever God is of Him, He comes with ways to
And what we are creating must
involved in the hearts and lives of equip us for this calling. Moses was
communicate life, love, beauty,
people. called by God to lead His people
justice, joy, peace, and goodness.
out of Egypt—and God’s response
Creativity brings joy, beauty,
We are all called to the work of to his excuses—and his fears—was
and life in a world where these
creativity and re-creativity—a life, to ask what was in his hand. God
are needed. It also allows us to
not a hobby—with the resources told him to “take your shepherd’s
communicate what words cannot
we are given wherever we find staff with you, and use it to perform
fully express. In a world where
ourselves. This realisation is life- the miraculous signs I have shown
godly beauty is desperately needed
changing and, in turn, a creative you” (Exodus 4:17).
and we have a life-giving message
life assists in kingdom building. “What is that in your hand?” is
to be shared, creativity plays an
enormous part. an important question for our own
creativity challenges. Moses only

At its core, evangelism is simply
A biblical example had his staff but it was something
sharing Jesus. But how we do this
he knew how to use. God knew
is not confined to one model or In the book of Exodus, we find
Moses’s limitations but He also
methodology. We are each created Moses called to lead the people
knew what Moses could do with
uniquely and with this comes the of Israel out of Egypt. Most of us
His leading using what he knew.
challenge of portraying this same are familiar with the story and
For each of us, God begins with
message in ways that different the famous question God asked
what we have in our hands. It is
people can understand and Moses. We are also familiar with
yet another way that He meets us
receive. We must imagine every the excuses offered by Moses as
where we are.
angle, method and medium by to why he was not the right person
which the person of Jesus is shared for the job of freeing the children In our calling to communicate
to breathe life into the world. So if of Israel. “Then the Lord asked Jesus, God uses what we have

13 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
in our hand. In our privilege of for one of our schools, so students However, while there may well
partnering with Him to respond to are protected from kidnapping be moments of miracle, creativity
oppression and injustice, God uses and murder. On arrival, we had also requires faithfulness. It is easy
what we have within our reach. In questions regarding the methods to say, “Use what God has placed in
our ministry of bringing freedom, for building the wall, especially your hands,” but it is harder to face
creating beauty or whatever it is in relation to scaffolding. In one the fact that it is going to be hard
God wants to engage us in, God place there was a drop-off on one work. This is where our faithfulness
uses what we have among our side of the wall, so we needed to needs to be put into practice.
resources. God always works with ensure that construction would be
what we have in our hands. secure and safe. As we read the story of Moses,
he faced many challenges,
Further, God brings people to But the local tradesmen had
particularly from the people he
assist with what He needs to achieve already thought through the
led and their seemingly endless
through us and them. God brought process. They were familiar with
complaints. These were the very
Aaron because Moses was nervous the project and the site and had
people who needed freedom,
about speaking in front of people already built part of the wall. Using
what we had right there and then, which he had brought to them
due to his stutter. God also used with the help of God, but it never
Moses’s wife to save his life when we used the bricks for the wall
together with planks of wood as seemed enough. Yet Moses
God was about to smite him (see persevered faithfully using that one
Exodus 4:24–26). However amazing makeshift scaffolding, and we
had a wall by the end of our time. trusty and familiar tool as God
and bizarre and “creative” her action continued to lead.
God had prepared a team for
seems to us, she assisted Moses in
us to work alongside, to ensure Easier said than done.
the bigger task ahead, allowing him
protection of those students. We We cannot afford to become
to live so he could bring the children
had to get creative but it worked. discouraged and let go of what
of Israel out of Egypt.
Too often we think bigger we have that can be used to bring
healing, hope, joy, beauty, and

and more is best. My dad always
Creativity and freedom. There is a place for what
says, “Little is much”—and this
faithfulness in is especially true when God is we have to offer, and we must
practice with us. The trusty staff in Moses’ continue to bring together what
In 2012, I was able to be part of hand—old, worn, and familiar— we have imagined for our church
two international short-term mission was pointed out to Moses as a tool community. Imagine what we can
trips with my husband’s school and to be used to bring freedom to do with all of our creativity—and
the people of Israel. God used his what we can share with the world!
the Adventist Development and
staff to perform signs, to part the
Relief Agency (ADRA). On both trips,
Red Sea and the Jordan River so
I experienced the creative use of the

the children of Israel could cross
resources on hand to achieve the Creatively simple
safely, and to bring water out of
task—because that is all we had. I recently visited both my birth
rocks. These were things Moses
In the African nation of would never have imagined as he country of Samoa and its sister
Tanzania, for instance, we were to carried that stick across the desert island Vanuatu. I was confronted
assist in building part of the wall while herding sheep. by how rich both cultures are, even

14 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
amid a lack of obvious resources. When we keep our creativity your might” (Ecclesiastes 9:10) and

They do not run “church” as we and worship simple, it allows the “do it all for the glory of God” (1
would have it in many developed Holy Spirit to do what He needs Corinthians 10:31).
nations, but their faithfulness in to do among our community and
worship and commitment to serving the people involved. It also frees
Jesus is obvious. us to not be so busy working for
God that we forget to include God
Whatever they have is used Moe Ioane Stiles
in our doing for Him! My creative
creatively, beautifully, and simply— is director of
faithfulness is challenged when I am youth ministries
and I found it refreshing. Exotic
busy running around thinking up for the Victorian Conference, based in
flowers and plants are used to
all sorts of wonderful and creative Melbourne, Australia.
brighten the church. The fragrance
ideas to put into a project, event, or
of the flowers is delightful and fresh
program. I’ve often caught myself,
and fills the space. Colours come
realising that I have forgotten to
not from lights but by materials
stop to seek His guidance, His
woven together and plastered on wisdom, and His creative power
the front wall of the church. The for the task He has assigned to me.
statement is clear—this is something Building God’s Kingdom needs
that we took time to create for God God Himself. Sometimes our best
and this place is for God. creativity might be found in this kind
What follows is a flood of of simplifying and re-focusing.
beautiful harmonies that drown
the one or two guitars played
during the worship service. There
are no worship leaders but the 5 for his Glory
So what is in your hand? What
whole building is filled with rich, has God placed within your grasp
melodious sound. At the end of the that can be utilised creatively to
worship service, the members file reflect His character? And how is
outside and pray with and for each this bringing life and justice into
other. the world that so desperately needs ROUNDABOUT FAITH
Him? How is what’s in your hand is a journey through 28 fundamental
My heart was filled and beliefs for young adults. Each chapter
blessing you and the community
overflowing with an encounter is framed in a format that celebrates the
you are placed in?
with Jesus that was simple yet young adult search for meaning while
profound! I was again confronted Faithful creativity is not handed challenging them to connect what they
by people who are creatively using over only to our “artists”—as believe to how they live. In the same way
that a roundabout flows in one direction
what they have in their hand and important as what they do can around a center point, each lesson urges
in their reach to bring glory to God be. Creativity is most importantly participants to yield their mind to Christ
and bring justice and healing to a about serving as we are able with and merge their life with the Word of
world that can seem so dark and whatever we have. So “whatever God. This study can be used for personal
hopeless. your hand finds to do, do it with all study as well as with small groups.

15 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
If leadership is
about developing a
team and working
with God to bring

out the best in
every person, how
do you do that in

LEADERSHIP the arts where—
like me—you may

By Glenn Townend talent?

“and i don’T eVen Like The Word”
by Joanna Darby

16 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
D uring Church has given me the
opportunity to exercise and
develop is leadership. So
reflected on his relationship
with the Author of life whom
he worshipped—whatever
the 1970s, string art became
what is the role of leaders in his feelings. At times, David’s
popular. I would copy and
relationship to creativity and joy was so exuberant that
measure up designs on a
the arts? And does a leader he danced in worship (see 2
board, marking exactly where
have to be a creative artist to Samuel 6:14). Most of David’s
each nail would go. After
allow the creative energies creativity was directed to
painting the board and nails
black, I would thread cotton of others to prosper? After God in worship, but he also
between the various rows of all, God the Creator created appreciated beauty and its
nails like an intricate spider every human being in His source. His palace was made
web and be amazed as image. Each human being of the most precious minerals,
various patterns and shapes is potentially an inventor. If exotic stone, and expensive
emerged. leadership is about developing timber (see 1 Chronicles 14:1,
a team and working with God 15:1, 17:1).
At the time, I lived in Papua to bring out the best in every
David’s son, Solomon, was
New Guinea and spent most person, how do you do that in
also a reflective writer. The Song
of my limited skill copying the arts where—like me—you
of Songs exquisitely celebrates
other people’s designs. In a may have very hidden talent?
human love. His knowledge
rare moment of inspiration,
encouraged by my parents, of nature, human nature, and
I used a picture of a bird of governance reflected God-
Bible leaders and given wisdom in proverbs that
paradise and designed a string
art version. These sold in the creativity are good advice today. David
local markets—I was a better According to the biblical record, made plans to build a temple
entrepreneur than artist—as my the creative arts flourished in Jerusalem for the Almighty
only triumph in the art world. in Israel during the reigns of God and devoted most of
David and his son Solomon his wealth to that, but it was
At the same time, I had a in the 11th and 10th centuries Solomon who worked with the
dream of being a guitarist. My B. C. (1 Chronicles 14–26). world’s best craftsmen to build
parents bought me a classical David was an artist. He was an the temple. The descriptions of
guitar and spent a small fortune excellent musician called upon the cedar-lined walls carved
to teach me how to read music when still a boy to soothe the with angels and flowers and
and play classically. Today, I can then-king with his music (see covered with gold are still
strum along using chords but I 1 Samuel 16:14–25). He was amazing (see 1 Kings 6–7).
still cannot read music. At best, a poet who authored many of In the New Testament,
it is a “joyful noise.” the psalms, probably writing the apostle Paul knew
But, like all human beings, music for many of them as well. contemporary poets and
God did gift me with talents Writing in the desert or in the quoted them when trying to
and abilities. One that He palace, his psalms express raw connect with people who read
and the Seventh-day Adventist and vivid emotions, yet they all these poets (see Acts 17:28,

17 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
cover s t o ry
Titus 1:12). He encouraged the The story line in the first part of without. John sees the
early churches to sing and he the book of Luke’s gospel, leading
quoted psalms and the lyrics of an up to this question, switches from differences—and it bothers
early Christian song that he may John to Jesus three times (see Luke him. Jesus does not meet
have authored (see Philippians
2:5–11, Ephesians 5:19,
1–4), suggesting that a comparison John’s expectations. How
between the two is intended. There
Colossians 3:16). are many similarities between can such different styles
There is no doubt that creativity their lives, ministry, and message, of ministry both be from
and the arts flourish when such a but there are also quite a few God? And that is the
leader has artistic skills and models differences.
creativity. But while many of the source of his questions.
John is a wild man of the desert,
Bible’s leaders wrote, few others When John’s disciples relay
dressed in camel skins and eating
shared such creative talent and this question to Jesus, He does
what he can find. He is such a
passion. So what of leaders like me not answer immediately, He just
powerful preacher with a relevant
who cannot hold a tune or explain heals people. Actions always speak
message that he attracts people
depth and symbolism in a song or louder than words. His verbal
from all walks of life—peasants,
a painting? reply then reminds John of Isaiah’s
religious leaders, foreigners, and
tax collectors come to hear him in prophecy—that this is exactly what
the desert. He asks them to repent, the Messiah is expected to do (see
Jesus and John change their lives, and be baptized Isaiah 35:5 and 61:1, 2). Jesus
In his re-telling of the story of as a sign of that change (see Luke knows the heart of John’s struggle
Jesus, Luke offers us some insights 3:1–14, Matthew 3:1–12). There is the difference in style of their
into how to lead in a way that is no record of John leaving the ministry and concludes with a word
encourages creativity in every desert to mix with people. of encouragement: “Blessed is
way, including the arts, from the anyone who does not stumble on
On the other hand, Jesus looks account of me” (Luke 7:23).
comparisons he draws between the
like a normal person, eats normal
respective ministries of Jesus and When John’s disciples leave,
food, and accepts invitations to eat
John the Baptist. Jesus turns to the crowd and
with religious leaders as well as
tax collectors and prostitutes. Like contrasts John the captive with
In Luke 7, the imprisoned John
John, He does teach in the open air Herod the captor using a series of
the Baptist sent two of his disciples rhetorical questions. Jesus confirms
to ask Jesus, “Are you the one who but He also goes to the synagogues
and temple to teach and heal. John as the prophet predicted
is to come or should we expect by Malachi to come before the
someone else?” (Luke 7:19, 20,
NIV). In other words, “Are you really
Jesus blends in with Messiah. Despite appearances, the
captive has more power than the
the Messiah?—because from what society and changes captor. Jesus then gives the best
I am hearing and where I am at, it from within. John affirmation of John and his ministry
I am not sure.” The way Jesus did that anyone could wish for: “I tell
stands opposed to society
ministry was different from the way you, among those born of women
John had gone about his ministry. and changes it from there is no one greater than John”

18 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
cover s t o ry
(Luke 7:28a, NIV). John is affirmed by not mixing with people and leadership and the program was
as the forerunner to Jesus, even living in the wilderness. He was rigid. It was terrible. You ought to
though their styles of ministry were straight and strict—and people remind these people that we live in
completely different. thought he was demon possessed. God’s grace and there is freedom
On the other hand, Jesus’ to try new things.” I listen carefully
approach to ministry was more like without making many comments.
Different songs the song of the flute. You would I then respond with the latest facts
Jesus concludes His comparison dance if you had been paralyzed about the fruit of this ministry. This
between Himself and John by and could now walk; you would church has baptized ten people this
quoting a common market song dance if you were blind and could year and their tithe has increased
sung by children: “We played now see. Jesus ate and drank by thirteen percent. The unspoken
the flute for you, and you did not with all manner of people with message is this: God seems to be
dance; we sang a dirge and you no thought to their social status. blessing them, so why should I
did not cry”(Luke 7:32). In the People thought He was too soft interfere?
ancient marketplaces, there were or lenient in lifestyle and He was Others come to me with other
no childcare centers. As the parents called a glutton and a drunkard— reports. “You would not have
traded their fruit, vegetables, linen, hardly a description one would believed what it was like when
spices, leather, timber furniture expect of the Messiah. I visited a particular ministry,”
and the like, the children were left But Jesus clearly articulates His they begin. “The music was just
to care for themselves in the alleys point: “Wisdom is proved right by like you hear on the radio and
behind the stalls. When children all her children” (Luke 7:35). it was loud—just like a night
play without adult supervision, club. The beat of the drums is
We humans often evaluate
they make their own rules and the still reverberating in my ears.
ministry—including creative and
natural leaders carry them through, People wore whatever clothes
artistic ministry—on the method and
but not everyone agrees with the they wanted; there seemed to
style, without thinking about the end
rules or the leader promoting them be no decorum at all. It was not
result or the fruit.
and conflict usually ensues. This what God would want.” Again,
market-place ditty expressed this I listen carefully to what is said
truth, suggesting that whatever Fixing ministry? and respond in a similar fashion.
music is offered, some do not want From time to time, people come to I happen to know that 25 young
to sing or participate. When the me and share their thoughts on a people gave their hearts to Jesus
flute played bright music, no-one recent visit to a church or ministry. and are now in a weekly Bible
danced. When a funeral song I think they believe a conference study as a result of this ministry.
was sung, no-one cried. Some The unspoken message: Do you
president has a magic wand and
children—some people—are just really want me to close something
can fix things with a wave of the
hard to please. down that God is using to bring
hand. “You would not believe
John’s approach to ministry people to Himself?
what that church was like,” they
was more like the dirge. As a begin. “They only sang hymns, God uses different methods to
Nazarene, he did not eat bread or the worship leaders all wore ties, reach different types of people.
drink wine. He kept himself pure there were no women involved in Jesus and John were both sent and

19 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
cover s t o ry
used by God for His purpose, but
their methods and style of ministry
were completely different. God
ordained the different ways they did
ministry because He wanted people
in His kingdom. If we are to fulfill
the commission God gave to us to
make disciples of all people, we
need freedom to be able to reach
all people where they are. Methods
and style of ministry are not as
important as whether a particular
ministry is effectively reaching
people for Jesus and His truth.
Both Jesus and John had a
clear message and a listening
audience. Both are needed for
effective ministry. If we have a clear
message but no-one listening, we
have not connected and no-one’s
life will be changed by Jesus. If
we have many people listening,
we have connected, but if there is
no clear message we will not be
effective and no-one’s life will be
changed by Jesus.

The style or method does not
matter. Jesus did not rebuff the
criticism that He was a glutton,
a drunkard, and friends with the
outcasts of society. What mattered
to Him was that some of those
people’s lives were changed
because they met Him. He simply
continued His ministry. If you are
called to ministry and have the
balance of message and audience,
just keep doing it—and let God
make the ministry effective (see
also 1 Corinthians 9:19–23).

20 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
cover s t o ry
To the glory of God I dream of more artists who will I remember visiting a village
The arts should flourish within paint Jesus in modern-day scenes church in the highlands of Papua
Christian community and ministry that we connect with, and churches New Guinea one Sabbath when I
because God is the Creator, Jesus and schools will hang them on their was a boy and hearing the people
is the head of the church, and the walls. I dream of more Adventists sing with heart, gusto, and volume.
Holy Spirit is with us. If a leader who sing in community choirs and I commented to my dad that the
can lead by example within the play in community orchestras. I song sounded like “Jesus loves
arts, they should do so. But if not, also dream of each local church me”—and he told me it was. It was
leaders must do their best to teach having a choir, a band, brass or off-key in many places and had no
the principles of Scripture that allow sting ensembles, quartets and proper timing, but it reminded me
freedom in the style of ministry, trios—young and old with voice, that the Bible is correct in urging
creating an open and accepting guitar, cello, drums, and trumpet— that whatever we do, we must do
environment for creativity. given the opportunity to praise it with heart and do all to the glory
Jesus in song and music! I dream of God (see 1 Corinthians 10:31).
The arts in the Bible were usually of Adventists winning talent shows.
used to glorify gods. Apart from I dream of more Adventist artists— In ministry, in worship, in
Israel, most other nations modeled, painters, sculptors, photographers— creativity, in art, whether we are
carved, and drew their gods (see who are world-renowned and doing it is always more important
Isaiah 41:7, 44:9–20). But the one invited to hold exhibitions in major than how. A creative leader
true God is awesome and beyond galleries. I dream of Adventists encourages this faithful doing—
human comprehension and producing a movie on the life makes space for it, defends it and
cannot be depicted in earthly art of Daniel that breaks box-office urges it to be better, blesses it,

(see Exodus 20:3-6, Isaiah 40:6- records. I dream . . . prays for it, and celebrates what
31). Yet those who worship and God is doing among us.
honoured the one true God created However, there are still some
poetry, music, and beautiful of us in the church who have
buildings that were instruments to Puritanical roots. Like John the
connect people to God. This art Baptist, we do not want to be
created the environment where the worldly in any way. We see how
Almighty God dwelt. They revealed the creativity is used today for self-
and portrayed a God who was indulgence and so reject the arts
mysteriously distant, great, mighty, rather than commit this sin. Glenn Townend has
and holy but also close, loving, been the president of
There will be churches that still the Western Australian
and understanding.
hang the fifty-year-old pictures of Conference for ten
Within a creative and accepting Jesus in the Sabbath school rooms years, and before
environment, the church can aim and people will still sense the peace this was a pastor
for excellence in the arts. I dream in thirteen different
in Jesus’ face. There will still be
churches around
of more young people who can churches that have a pianist who Australia. He is still learning to lead,
create video clips that become viral makes a mistake in every verse of a listen to God, and allow freedom at the
and share God’s message in a new song, but those songs will be sung same time. Glenn is married to Pam and
and creative way. with sincerity and reverence. they have three adult children.

21 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
cover s t o ry
And I Don’t Even Like the
Creativity. I don’t even like the Time and again, we see writes poetry, and still today
word. our God acting in the most God partners with us—with
unconventional, unheard you—to achieve His will.
Well, actually that’s not true
of, revolutionary, innovative
at all—I love the word. Every time you partner
and creative ways. Beyond
But I hate that the meaning Genesis, we see miracles, with God and He works
of creativity has been distorted, healings, transformation and through you, it is an explosion
and the misshapen perception resurrection. And we look of possibility the world has
of what creativity is (and isn’t) forward to an earth made never seen before. We are
has often resulted in debate new where the creativity will expected to nurture our God-
about the value of creativity. continue for all eternity. Clearly, given creativity, just as we
Nevertheless, I believe creativity creativity matters to God. pursue other godly qualities
is central to my faith and— The centrality of creativity to like humility and compassion.
despite what you may have the character and nature of When we acknowledge
heard or experienced—central God therefore becomes very the creative ways in which
to our Adventist identity. important to my faith, my Jesus built relationships and
understanding of His heart, interacted with the world, we
To help us determine the follow His lead to do the same.
and His purpose for this world.
significance of creativity we In doing so, we not only nurture
could simply ask, “Does it And, if it matters to God, it our own spirit of creativity but
matter to God?” The answer matters to me. We most fully the creativity of those around
is a resounding yes. He spoke live in our purpose when we us. It’s another way of loving
into the nothingness and live as the creative beings our neighbour and helping our
created order, colour, and He designed us to be. The brothers and sisters live the life
all the extravagant design concept of God partnering with God intended.
of all living things. He even humanity to achieve His will is
set up a memorial for us to astounding, unexpected,o and Most importantly, each
celebrate once a week so we a creative idea in itself. We of us has the opportunity to
wouldn’t forget. He always uses see it recorded all throughout personally experience God’s
the most creative means to Scripture—Adam names the most creative work—grace. He
communicate with His people animals, Bezalel crafts all sorts makes beauty out of ruin, light
and demonstrate His power of wonder for the tabernacle, where there was dark, and life
and love. David writes music, Solomon where there was death. Daily,

22 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
cover s t o ry
Word. by Joanna Darby

help your youth group grow closer to god
He makes all things new. Clearly, for the few. Creativity allows us to
creativity matters to you. invent and re-invent, asking questions
When we understand that we are all and looking at things differently.
Creativity allows us to serve in new and

f re e dow nload available at
creative and our creativity is important
to us and to God, the possibilities exciting ways, offering an alternative to
for creative input and involvement the themes of this world.
are endless—and include everyone. You might not have considered
When we rightfully value creativity, creativity as significant to your faith or
our churches can become centres for to who you are and your purpose on
creativity and creative influence in our this earth, but it’s worth reconsidering.
communities. A fuller understanding of the
This is why I want to encourage significance and value of creativity
churches and groups to organize will almost certainly result in a richer
creative arts festivals. Based on this experience of God and a greater

understanding of the significance of appreciation of your place in this
creativity and the arts in our churches, world.
these event can explore, encourage,
and celebrate faithful creativity with a
particular focus on the arts. Creative
arts festivals can also help create Joanna Darby is co-editor of a new book
a supportive community of creative on creativity called Manifest: Our Call to
artists in which creative arts are Faithful Creativity (coming soon), and a a co-
awarded, recognised, encouraged, convener of Manifest Creative Arts Festival
celebrated, and enjoyed. The held in Avondale,
Australia (Fall 2012).
programs can include competitions,
She is a mother, artist,
workshops, performances, showcases, teacher and preacher
exhibitions, worship, and many from Newcastle,
conversations and interactions. New South Wales.
Like “
Creativity is a way of living and jodarbyministry” and
believing, not just something we do. “Joanna Darby (artist)”
And it is certainly not something just on Facebook.

23 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
cover s t o ry
Tip-toeing down the stairs in an
effort not to wake the rest of the house, I furtively crept toward my goal. The massive “ON” switch made
a deafening “CLICK,” followed closely by a loud humming as our huge black-and-white TV began its
laborious warm up. I literally trembled with anticipation as the congealed mass on the monochrome screen
gradually resolved itself into a test pattern. For a kid growing up in the 1960s, school holidays were the
best time of year, especially since at least two of the four available TV stations started broadcasting an hour
earlier than normal.
Finally, the awaited moment came—“10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, and 1 . . . THUNDERBIRDS ARE GO!” As
the mighty strains of the Thunderbirds anthem shook the house, I was now oblivious to the noise, being
swept away into a captivating world of adventure, resourcefulness, heroism, and wondrous machines
seemingly designed for every contingency under the sun.
For those of you unfamiliar with the world of Thunderbirds, the show uses a vast array of beautifully
constructed models, miniature sets, and puppet characters to tell the story of International Rescue, a service
dedicated to saving human lives. Spawned in the fertile mind of creative genius Gerry Anderson, the scenes
are complex and elaborate. You don’t just board your rescue craft, you stand with your back to a life-sized
panel with your picture on it. The panel revolves, then tilts, shooting you headfirst down a chute where your
slide is arrested, you again rotate, the panel reshapes into a chair while an articulated arm carries you to
your rocket and places you in the cockpit. Fantastic stuff—and the real adventure hasn’t even begun yet . . .

Thunderbirds, Legos, and Working

With God
Because He creates, I too must create!
By Tony Knight

creativity and ministry

24 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
The next fifty minutes materials, but the underlying But where did the thought
would inevitably pass by all principle remained: whatever come from? How did a five
too quickly. As the final scenes it is, you can make it. If you year old come to this conclusion
were replaced by a dying can picture it in your minds- by himself? And how does he
white blip on the screen and eye, you can create it! In many know how to fold the paper
the call to breakfast would ways, this has been my mantra like this, cut it like that and
come—dragging me from my throughout life and, now, long place the sticky-tape here,
reverie—my mind would be into my ministry. and arrange the blocks in
filled with an unquenchable that fashion according to
creative spark. The rest of those colours in that scale to
the day would be spent with
cardboard and sticky-tape,
The God of Creation
 create the replica of the things
he has seen only once on a
Texta colours and glue, re- Not long after this, I flickering screen a few moments
creating the scenarios that experienced another one of before? Or perhaps not at
had been played out before those life-changing “light- all—things he has conceived
my receptive eyes and bulb” moments that many all by himself? And where did
absorbed by my fertile mind. of us experience from time the creative spark come from
The scenes I re-created were to time. The difference here that inspired the scriptwriter,
just as elaborate, the models was that I was still a child, director, artist, or author of
just as detailed, no part of constructing some bizarre new whatever TV show, painting,
the house was spared— Lego creation, and the thought poem, photograph, play, or
stairways, landings, every was philosophically profound, story it was the child had just
square inch was covered with at least more than normally seen or heard or read?
my own carefully constructed profound given my early years. I have no doubt in my
miniatures. The panels rotated, The thought was this: “The mind. With the same clarity and
the chute shot, the turntables world only works because things certainty that allowed me to
turned, even the palm trees can’t go through other things!” “know” and “understand” how
leaned over at the appropriate You might chuckle at certain physical laws operate, I
time (if you’ve watched the the naiveté of this and think also “know” and “understand”
show, you’ll know what I’m that the creative impulse
“Obviously!” But to me as a five
talking about), as all the while originates with the Creator
year old, this was a watershed
I hummed along to the theme God. This too has become my
moment. Holding the two Lego mantra: “I am creative because
running around in my head.
pieces in hand and putting He is creative and I am created
Then someone gave me them together and apart again, in His image.” In my life, this
Legos! It’s no exaggeration to considering gravity and the fact belief goes yet a step further
say my life changed that day. that we don’t sink through the as I consider how deep the
Through those little coloured earth but stand upon it, that our creative urge runs in my life:
blocks I was swept into a love clothes hang from our shoulder “Because He creates, I too
affair with the three dimensions rather than passing through MUST create!” When I consider
that has never entirely left me. our bodies, and our stomachs this, I become aware of another
The cardboard and sticky-tape hold in our hurriedly eaten profundity: “I am never truly
were replaced with a more breakfast, all this was a new happy unless I am creating
sophisticated set of building way of looking at the world. something!”

25 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
appear he possesses no ministry (see Matthew 28). As
The Image of God
 creative ability of his own. collaborators with Satan in the
When I make a statement like fall, we are all now invited to
Where God creates, Satan
this, I am often greeted with work with Christ to share the
can only destroy or “de-create.”
responses like “Well, that’s good news of redemption to
God creates life; Satan works
OK for you, you’re a creative this damaged world. Just as
to end it. God creates us in His
person!” That can be a nice all have sinned and fall short
image; Satan seeks to disfigure
thing to hear—good for the of God’s glory (see Romans
that image. God gives us
ego, flattering even, as if it 3:23), so to all is offered the
marriage and the family unit;
sets me apart somehow from opportunity to be a part of a
Satan seeks to ruin the divine
lesser mortals. But it isn’t true. royal priesthood (see 1 Peter
pattern through lust, adultery,
If I read Genesis 1 correctly, I 2:9), personally commissioned
violence, abuse, addiction, and
discover that when God formed by Jesus to go into the world
infidelity of every type. God
man of the dust of the ground to make disciples (see Matthew
gives us a wonderful world to
and breathed into Adam—and 28:18–20). Paul calls us to
live in; Satan persuades us to
later Eve—His own breath, He join with him in the “ministry
destroy it through greed and
imbued not just a special few of reconciliation,” a term
ambition. God gives us the
but all of humanity with qualities that implies a bringing back
Sabbath as the memorial of
and characteristics that are His together or a restoration of the
His creative work; Satan sets way things once were. To put
alone as part of the “image” up alternate forms of worship
we reflect. Male and female, it another way, we are invited
or persuades the followers of to use our creative impulses to
we were created in His image, Christ to defile the Sabbath in
gifted with the ability to live, counter the destructive impulses
any way possible. God imbues of Satan through the power of
reproduce, think, choose, and
us with creativity; Satan has the Creator God.
create. As Paul put it, we have
us use that creativity to invent
the “mind of Christ” (see 1 I find it curious that
ever more elaborate ways to
Corinthians 2:16; Philippians many seem to feel they need
degrade, wound, and destroy
2:5), and that creative spark permission to be creative
ourselves and others. Jesus
within is part of that special gift. in ministry. I would suggest
offers us life; Satan delivers
It is little wonder that Satan death. that creativity in ministry
hates humankind with such a is an expectation, even a
passion. Himself a product of requirement. Jesus’ delivery of
uncontrolled blind ambition, the parable of the talents (see
he arrived on planet earth Matthew 25:14–30) and its
filled with hate for the Son The Ministry of positioning immediately before
of God and determined, not
surprisingly, to make as his
 the sheep and goats judgment
scene (see verses 31–46) seems
special points of attack the So what does this have to to declare His intention that we
very things God created and do with ministry? Everything! should use all the gifts at our
gifted to humanity in that sinless Simply stated, the God who disposal in the faithful delivery
world. Variously described as spoke the world into existence of our mission to the world—
a dragon or serpent, and as (see John 1:1-5; Genesis 1:1) and more so given how close
a deceiver, persecutor, killer, and created us in His image is we are to the end of the story.
murderer, and liar, it would the same God who calls us to It is a divine imperative that we

26 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
keep in step with the Spirit (see ignore it to our peril. The tests had made, and it was “very
Galatians 5:56) in every part of of Scripture should be applied good.” There was only one
our lives, including the creative to all our efforts. We must never time when God noticed a flaw
impulse so unique to God and set aside the counsel of the Word in His creation, something that
consequently to us. To deny for the sake of “creative license.” was “not good” (Gen 2:18),
use of this faculty, especially We should “fix your thoughts on and He immediately set about
in ministry, would be to deny what is true, and honorable, and rectifying the problem. The
God’s special gift to us above right, and pure, and lovely, and result was the creation of Eve.
all other creation. admirable. Think about things As a creative ministry principle,
that are excellent and worthy of this evaluative process is key.
praise” (Philippians 4:8). God did it and the result was
excellence. We would do well
Creative Ministry
 Your turn now! to follow His example, striving
For reasons only to be for excellence in every aspect
Once He had a well-illuminated of our ministry. Let’s not get so
marvelled at, the Creator
workspace, God set about caught up and single minded
Himself has seen fit to involve
creating the perfect environment about our creations that we
us in His work of redemption.
to sustain, inspire, and nurture are not prepared to see flaws
He gifted us for the task,
His later creations, us included. where flaws exist. Creative
provided us with a “Comforter”
He provided everything people have been known to fall
to be our guide along the
way, and provided us with a necessary for us to thrive and into this trap.
blueprint of how it all looked grow, to learn of Him, to walk
in the beginning. A study and talk and live with Him. Then
He provided a weekly memorial Same but different!
of God’s creative process
reveals four powerful and for us to be reminded of His One of the things I love most
overarching creative ministry creative energy in providing this about Legos is that I can use
principles: illumination, place for us. Interestingly, He the same basic pieces to create
empowerment, excellence, then He set us loose, inviting millions of different things. I
and diversity. us to name, arrange, order, can make a car or a rocket or
nurture, care for and husband a house or a dinosaur from the
Let there be light! this place. In other words, He same components and I can
A quick read of Genesis 1:1–3 provided the raw materials and do it a thousand different ways.
and John 1:1–5 reveal a clear the creative spark. Then He Same bits, a hundred different
ministry principle—that light stepped back to see what we houses. Some would argue
drives out darkness, light would do with it all. that we only need one kind of
is good, and that the true house—a functional one that
creative process thrives in an And it was very good! provides warmth and shelter
environment illuminated by the After each major step in the and a place to raise the kids. In
light of the Word. Every creative creative process, God stood the same way, we could argue
ministry effort must be subjected back, had a good look at what that we only need one kind of
to scrutiny under the clarifying He had done, and declared it dog to be our friend, one type
light of the Creator’s Word, the “good.” At the end of the entire of cat to ignore us, one type of
only reliable “lamp to guide process, Genesis 1:31 tells us bird to fill the skies, one type of
my feet” (Psalm 119:105). We that God looked over all He fish to inhabit the oceans, and

27 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
certainly only one race of people— 2. Empower others without
ours, of course—to populate the earth. micromanaging the results.
Yet before sin entered the world, God Gather the resources—both
created multitudes of species of life people and things. Bring them
on this planet. Why? Was it all just together, inspire them, spark the
about functionality? Or was it about flow of ideas, nurture them along
beauty and lavishness and texture and the way, but let them have a go. ONE YEAR TO
taste and smell and a crazy variety This is God’s way.
and whimsy that made His heart soar
3. Recognise that there are many
and His lips curl up in a smile, so
much so that as He looked out as His different ways of approaching
amazingly diverse creation He could a problem or achieving an The rationale for this initiative was based on
not help but blurt out “Wow—that outcome. There can be great the need within the Seventh-day Adventist
strength in diversity. Church to:
really IS very good!” In the same 1. Maximize the interest and passion of
way, He gifted His servants with a 4. Evaluate every step of the way. the Seventh-day Adventist youth for
diverse range of talents and creative Strive for excellence in all things. mission and to graduate from short-
abilities and let them loose on this term to long-term mission.
planet. Same mission, different gifts. God created us to experience true 2. Provide greater opportunities for
Some would argue that all should joy in our lives, delighting both in His our youth to directly engage in
leadership, decision-making, and in the
speak in tongues, or that all should presence and in the wonderful world proclamation of the Everlasting Gospel.
be evangelists or teachers. But the He had created for us. Jesus declared 3. Integrate youth projects within the
principle of Scripture is diversity—in that He had come to restore all things. framework of the church’s wider
creation, in giftedness, in ministry, in “The thief’s purpose is to steal and initiatives.
creativity. kill and destroy. My purpose is to give 4. Redirect the best energies of the church
them a rich and satisfying life” (John away from peripheral issues onto the
10:10). It is no exaggeration to say real reason for its existence: Mission.
that I thank Him daily that He gives 5. Respond appropriately to the growing
The Tools of the Trade
 disengagement of alarming numbers of
me this opportunity and—even more
young adults from the life and mission
I said earlier that I like to make things. than this—that He considers it the of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
In fact, for a number of years I made highest praise when I use His unique In order to address these needs, every

a living from making false teeth. and precious gifts to me, joining with world Division, the Greater Middle East
Experience has now taught me that Him in sharing the good news. Union, and Israel was invited to choose
with the right tools and materials, I a representative to form part of the first
can create almost anything. Whether pilot volunteer task force in New York City
during 2013. Their essential tasks will
it’s an item of furniture, taking a comprise leadership in community service,
beautiful picture, writing a drama evangelism, and communication.
script, planning a worship service, When the volunteers return to their
drafting a sermon, or building up respective divisions, their inspiration and
a young person to be a leader in insight will be wisely and strategically
the church, the principles and the utilized to motivate all other entities of the
Tony Knight is church to create OYIM opportunities for
motivation are the same:
director of youth their young people.
1. Illuminate your work area—allow ministries for the Please pray for this exciting and important
every idea, plan, and dream to Australian Union Conference, based in initiative. Together, we can change the
be measured against the Word. Melbourne, Australia.

28 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
by Nathan Brown

few months ago, I took the opportunity winner and runner-up—were self-portraits.
to visit the travelling exhibition of I was disappointed, not only because I was
the finalists of the Archibald Prize, deprived of the “celebrity spotting” offered
one of Australia’s best-known and most by the other paintings, but also because, as
prestigious art prizes awarded each year a survey of this kind of art and creativity, it
for the best portrait painting. The criteria for seemed too self-centred and self-serving.
the competition encourages artists to paint I later discovered that I was not the only
portraits of Australians who have publicly “critic” who had noticed and questioned this
contributed to the arts, letters, science or trend.
politics, and part of the popularity of this Of course, there are pragmatic reasons
annual competition and exhibition is that for this. The entry conditions for the Archibald
many of the subjects of the paintings are well Prize require that the portrait be “painted
known, meaning the artist’s portrayal of their from life”—that the artist gets to know their
subject is open to assessment and judgment subject personally and has them participate
by even the most amateur art critic. in at least one live sitting. Arranging time
As such an amateur, viewing the forty- and place for such sittings can be difficult
one paintings selected as finalists, I was and potentially expensive when considering
surprised at the number of self-portraits the busyness of most prominent people and
in the exhibition. In one of the gallery’s travel costs. So it is understandable why
rooms, I paused and counted that nine of many artists choose to paint themselves or
the nineteen paintings—including the prize each other.

29 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
While convenience is not always put it like this: “No work of Our most important acts of
the best criteria for worthwhile art is more important than the creativity might never be awarded,
art, there is a measure of truth Christian’s own life, and every framed, published, performed,
reflected in such an act of creative Christian is called upon to be sold, or even recognised. Large or
self-representation. There is a an artist in this sense. He may small, they make a difference in the
sense in which all art is about the have no gift of writing. No gift of lives of those with whom we have
artist. As William Zinsser comments composing or singing, but each influence. At times, this may call for
about writing—but his statement man has the gift of creativity in artistic creativity within our skills and
could be equally applied to all acts terms of how he lives his life. In this abilities but, perhaps more often, it
of creativity—“Writing is an act of sense, the Christian’s life is to be might be about simply showing up
ego, and you might as well admit a thing of truth and also a thing of and doing our part—but doing it
it” (On Writing Well, page 23). beauty in the midst of a lost and well, doing it thoughtfully, doing it
Zinsser later makes the distinction despairing world” (page 94). creatively.
between ego and egotism—the Jesus was quoting from
first, necessary for creativity, the Deuteronomy when He explained
second, a drag on it—and, despite Living creativity the greatest commandment as
its well-established place in the One of the recurring tasks of this loving God (see Mark 12:30), so
traditions of art, where individual collection of perspectives has this command was first given in
examples of self-portraiture fit been to reflect on the meaning of the context of the larger laws that
within this distinction often seems creativity. But the call to faithful encompassed all of life, worship,
open to question. creativity gives this term the widest annual festivals, care for health,

“The art of our lives is primarily
God’s work, made possible by our
collaboration with Him.”
But there is also a deeper truth, possible meaning: creativity is care for others, care for land and
perhaps not intended by some of primarily a way of living life. animals, even what we eat. As
the artists but hinted at in some It is never only on the page, suggested by the second “great”
of the other self-representations canvas, musical instrument or commandment—love for others as
I viewed that afternoon, that the stage of whatever kind. It is first ourselves—loving is not so much
artist’s life is an important work of about the home, the community, a fuzzy feeling but an active living.
creativity in its own right. And this is the workplace, the school, the So loving God is not about our
even more true in the faithful life of office, the church, and the street. feeling so much as our faithfulness,
the creative Christian. Wherever we have a choice as to loving and living with passion,
In Art and the Bible, creative how we live, respond, and react, engagement, energy, purpose and
Christian thinker Francis Schaeffer we can choose creativity or not. creativity, living “with all our heart,

30 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
all our soul, all our mind, nature of life in our world and tragedies seem engagement, love, and
and all our strength” (see (see Job 38–40). In God’s overwhelming. We can creativity, always seeking
Mark 12:30). explanations, beauty is succumb to compassion to overcome evil by doing
an important factor in a fatigue and the paralysis good, by creating beauty,
proper understanding of of repeated pain. We are by practicing hope.
Truth and beauty
His creation and our lives. tempted to despair.
Such creative living
will be focused on the We can be tempted Paul responds: “Don’t
let evil conquer you, but Collaboration
most important values, to view faithful living
conquer evil by doing with others
including truth and as a succession of grim
beauty. But our first and dour tasks, but that good” (Romans 12:21, One of the romanticised
instinct might suggest that is not the world God NLT). This is a call to images of art and
beauty does not belong created or the way of faithful creativity and creativity is that of the
among the cardinal living Jesus taught: “He imagination. Art in all its lonely artist working
values of faithfulness, has surrounded you with forms can confront the feverishly in a cluttered
demonstrating our beauty to teach you that brokenness and despair studio or remote location,
need for a larger and you are not placed on around us and within us, but the art of the creative
deeper understanding earth merely to delve for as well as creating beauty faithful life is best lived in
of beauty. True beauty self, to dig and build, to as an act of profound collaboration. The tasks
is not the province of toil and spin, but to make resistance and hope of creativity are difficult,
salons, fashion, or gossip life bright and joyous and in the face of seeming requiring our best efforts
magazines—the “beauty” beautiful with the love of hopelessness. We reject and a healthy balance
industry—rather it is the Christ—like the flowers, the voices that tell us that of ego and empathy. It is
appreciation, sharing, and to gladden other lives by what we see and feel are more difficult still when
creation of what is true, the ministry of love” (Ellen all there is and all that practiced as resistance
good, and pleasing in so White, Thoughts from the can be. Instead, we offer against evil and despair.
many ways. Mount of Blessing). Again, alternative and hopeful The Christian’s life
this is a call to faithful and acts of imagination that as a thing of truth and
In the beginning, God
beautiful creativity. begin to transform the beauty—our great
created a world that He
world around us today, call to creativity—
described as “very good”
as well as pointing to needs a community
(see Genesis 1:31),
Resisting despair our ultimate hopes about of collaboration and
expressing a contented,
However, we cannot what our world will be support. In the context of
justified, and healthy pride
and should not try to and how our Creator will the hope we have, the
in not just the function
deny that we live in a re-create. writer of Hebrews urges,
but also the beauty of
all He had created. This “lost and despairing And, as we have “Let us think of ways to
beauty is a recurring world.” So much around seen, this is not only motivate one another
cause for praising God us is broken. So many about art but about to acts of love and
and something God people are hurt. Violence the faithful art of living good works” (Hebrews
points to in responding to and power grab the well. We resist despair 10:24, NLT). We are not
questions about the true headlines. The problems in our choices, actions, expected to do this on our

31 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
own. We should be able to draw The art of our lives is
on the resources of a creative primarily God’s work, made From the
and faithful community. possible by our collaboration
We must also be prepared to with Him. Our best lives, our author of the
contribute to such a community, best creativity, are based on
encouraging others in their the grace, hope, and love He 2013 Young
creative living and contributing offers us. The most profound
to a community environment truth and beauty we can Adults Week of
in which creative and counter- imagine are found in His acts
cultural lives and projects are of creativity and re-creativity. Prayer
supported and welcomed. Our invitation—and our most
When others fear and attack significant creative act—is to
acts of creativity or when truth choose collaboration with the
is devalued or beauty dismissed kingdom-building creativity

as worthless or unnecessary, we of God in our lives and in our
will use our voices and influence world.
to create safety and support Remarkably, our creativity
for those whose work has been is one of the ways He is
criticised and to encourage them at work in our world. Our
to still greater “acts of love and most authentic and faithful
is a collection of editorials, essays and stories to
good works.” creativity—in all its forms: life,
relationships, good works, encourage your faith • challenge your life
art, imagination, and so grow your church • change your world
CollaBoraTIon WITH our much more—spring from our
CrEaTor Creator, as do we ourselves as “One cannot read this book without being profoundly
His masterpieces of creativity. challenged, impacted and blessed. In I Hope, Nathan
But even this creative role,
And when we acknowledge this has articulated so powerfully what many of us in this
together with all the other creative generation are grappling with—how to authentically
inspiration and this source, the
calls on our lives, is built on a live out the kingdom of God in the here and now,
self-portraits our lives create
deeper and greater collaboration yet still looking forward to the coming of Jesus. It’s

become less acts of ego than challenging—but he does offer suggestions for how we
with the Creator Himself. The call
acts of worship. can go about this with hope.”
to live our lives as our greatest —Moe Ioane Stiles, Director of Youth Ministries,
work of art is daunting—until Victorian Conference, Australia
we recognise that even this work
is one of collaboration with the “In a world increasingly infected by bombast and over-
simplified generalizations, Nathan Brown uses words as
Great Artist: “For we are God’s a surgeon uses a laser to perform a delicate operation. I
masterpiece. He has created us Nathan Brown is book Hope is a book that examines current issues as they should
editor at the Adventist be examined: carefully, deliberately and precisely.”
anew in Christ Jesus, so we can
Church’s Signs – Steven Chavez, Managing Editor, Adventist Re-
do the good things he planned Publishing Company view/Adventist World
for us long ago” (Ephesians near Melbourne,
2:10, NLT). Australia.

32 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
toolbox Debbonnaire Kovacs
has been writing since she
Kimberley Tagert-Paul was a small child and sold her
IN THIS ISSUE: is an internationally published first story at the age of eleven.
author whose passion is writing Today she is a full-time author
Skits by Kimberley Tagert-Paul for young people. She has been and speaker, with fifteen books
• A Picture is Worth… married to the love of her life for and more than 200 stories
• Psalms 150: Worship more than thirty years. Her life goal and articles published. She also
is to make it to heaven and take as has taught writing classes for
adults and children. She can be
Skits by Scott Wegener many people with her as she can.
contacted at debbonnaire@
• Breaking News
• Jesus Juice
• The Complete Disciple

• Practicing Creativity and
Creativity and Problem Solving
by Scott Wegener
• Creative Arts as Ministry by Scott Wegener is an
Debbonnaire Kovacs award-winning writer (for
originality and creativity), game
creator and drama director
Short Films by Nathan Dalton. View at his church in suburban Nathan Dalton is
them at vimeo . com / nathandalton Melbourne, Australia. a filmmaker from Australia.
• Love : Loss His work can be viewed on
Scott is the imagination
• Life : Loss behind s a bba t h i de a s . o rg Vimeo, the home for high
• Faith : Loss and, loving the creativity of quality videos and the people
Disneyland, has published a who love them.
book called Things to Do in
Theme Park Queues.

33 YMA . April – jUNE 2013

r ea dy- t o - u s e resources
4 this Kareem: (Frowns) It’s just a picture of a baby. He’s
^A Picture is Worth. . .
crying and his fists are all balled up. He doesn’t look
very happy.
FOCUS: Helping young people see how the
visual arts can be encompassed in witnessing Karen: Jordon, what do you see?
Jordon: Kareem is right. It’s a baby. He isn’t happy. But
why? That’s the real question, isn’t it?
Central Bible Truth: Jesus calls us to reach out to Chelsea: I don’t think he is happy because it looks
our community with His Word and truth, using the like he is laying on straw. That must not feel very good.
talents He has given to us. It’s probably pricking him.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 2:15 Karen: Why would a baby be laying in a straw bed?
Program Target: Creativity in worship and Marcia: (Pretending to look intently into the picture.)
witness are called for in the days we live.
It’s not just straw. He’s laying in some kind of. . .that’s a
Cast: Karen, a museum tour guide, and several
wooden. . .oh, I get it, that’s not just any baby is it?
people who are taking the tour with the host. If
your group is large enough, include a few with non- Karen: Look at the name plate and read it to us,
speaking roles. would you please Marcia?
Props: Most of the scene will be portrayed by the Marcia: It say’s, Gift of God. It’s Jesus, isn’t it? I get it now.
actor’s words and imaginations.You could put up a
cord between two poles as if it were keeping people Karen: What looks ordinary can sometimes be quite
back from getting too close to the work of art. fooling.Yes, it’s a depiction of Jesus as a baby. Now
what do you think of it?
Setting: Museum setting. Since it would be very hard
to construct this setting, most of it will have to be Kareem: He still looks angry. His fists are still balled up.
brought out by the actors in their describing what Karen: Do you think He understood that He was
they see. God’s Son when He came from the womb and was laid
(Karen and the group enter the stage as if they had just in the straw, Kareem?
been looking at a work of art. They stop and pretend to Kareem: No, I suppose not. He was. . .vulnerable.
stand before another piece of art, studying it. They must
stand turned slightly toward the audience so that they can Chelsea: He was just a baby. He was tired and hungry
be heard.) and helpless, just like us, wasn’t he?
Jordan: He was a baby. A real baby. I never thought
Karen: As you can see, we have a fine example of
of it that way. He was helpless, yet He was the Son of
modern art here. Look at the details. What do you see?
God. That puts it in a whole new light.
Kareem: It’s a baby.
Gift of God. Wow, I never thought of Jesus as being like
Karen: Ah. But is it just a baby? every other baby.

34 YMA . April – jUNE 2013

r ea dy- t o - u s e resources
Mary had to change his diaper, and burp
him, and do all the other things that a
baby needs. SHORT FILMS by
Nathan dalton SUITABLE FOR
Marcia: But still he came. And laid in a ALL AUDIENCES
bed of straw. God. Wow.

Kareem: I never knew a picture could
make me think this deep. I thought they Love : Loss (2012 Manifest Creative Arts Winner: Best Original Film)
were all just pretty things to look at. I’ve The first in a three part series on loss.
never thought that much about what A short story about a man attempting to move on from a failed marriage.
was behind the meaning. It puts Jesus’
coming in a whole new light. v i m e o . c o m / n a t h a n d a lt o n / l o v e l o s s
Written by Nathan Dalton and Jesse O’Brien
Karen: Does it? Or is it just a picture?
(Karen starts to move off to the next Shot by Christian D’Alessi
portrait, but the group stays and keeps Music by Kylie Stacey
examining the picture, pointing quietly
to different details and continuing to talk
among themselves. She stops and watches Life : Loss
them and gets a big smile on her face.) The second in a three part series on loss
Inspired by a poem about a miscarriage.

v i m e o . c o m / n a t h a n d a lt o n / l i f e l o s s
Written By Nathan Dalton
Voice by Sienna Glasbergen and Kylie Stacey
Discussion Questions Music by Bart Raethel

1. Can using visual art be a source of
witnessing? How? faith : Loss
2. Can an audience see the faith of an The third in a three part series on loss.
artist in their work, without using
words? As an older man faces his mortality, he questions what he believes.

3. How can we learn new things from v i m e o . c o m / n a t h a n d a lt o n / fa i t h l o s s
how an artist portrays a subject? By Nathan Dalton with Marty O’Neill
4. Why was Karen smiling as she was Music by Jetson Roller
watching the group at the end?

35 YMA . April – jUNE 2013

r ea dy- t o - u s e resources
^Psalm 150 : Worship 4 this
FOCUS: Using the creative arts in ministry to reach young people.
Central Bible Truth: All that we do should be done with excellence. That includes our worship of God.
Scripture: Psalm 150:1-6
Program Target: To help young people see that they can use creativity in their worship.
Cast: Rachel, Seth, Beth, Nathan: members of the youth group in the age that you are presenting to. Mr. Barkley,
the youth pastor who leads the group discussion.
Props: Chairs for each member of the cast and a few others if you have a large group. (See note in Setting.) Bible
for each person on stage.
Setting: Youth classroom. Chairs are arranged in an open circle (a U-shape with the opening toward the
audience.) The five named characters are seated as listed in the skit. (There can be some members on stage who
don’t have a speaking part other than to nod in agreement or disagreement, if you have a very large group.)

(The skit opens with the members of the group seated as (Mr. Barkley nods at Nathan to read the last verse.)
described above.)
Nathan: Let everything that has breath praise the
Mr. Barkley: O.K. Let’s open our Bibles to Psalm 150. Each Lord. Praise the Lord.
person can read. (Allow time for everyone to open to the right
page.) Rachel, why don’t you start for us, then Seth, and so Mr. Barkley: (Looking around at the class, he asks,)
on. What does that tell you about how God loves for
us to worship Him?
Rachel: Praise the Lord. Praise God in His sanctuary;
praise Him in His mighty heavens. Seth: Sounds like He isn’t afraid of a little noise.
Seth: Praise Him for his acts of power; praise Him for His (The others laugh.)
surpassing greatness. Mr. Barkley: Sound like it, doesn’t it Seth?
Mr. Barley: Beth, can you read the next three verses, Rachel: Is that how He always wants us to worship
please? Him?
Beth: (She nods at Mr. Barkley.) Praise Him with the Nathan: Doesn’t Psalm 46:10 say something about.
sounding of the trumpet, Praise Him with the harp and lyre, . .” be still and know that I am God.”? Could there
Praise Him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise Him
be different ways that we can and should worship?
with the harp and lyre, praise Him with timbrel and dancing,
praise Him with the strings and pipe, praise Him with the Beth: So, are you saying that we can use different
clash of cymbals, praise Him with resounding cymbals. talents to worship with, including different methods?

36 YMA . April – jUNE 2013

r ea dy- t o - u s e resources
Mr. Barkley: (He looks around at the class, waiting for
breaking news 4 this
someone to jump in, then says) Class, what do you think? Are ^Probation Closed! first
there many forms of worship that are acceptable to God?
Seth: Well, Beth read about a lot of instruments that we FOCUS:  A short play about hope in Jesus
don’t use as much in worship. Why do you think that is?
Setting: If you have multiple live cameras running on
Rachel : Yeah, the verses even mentioned timbrel and
the day and showing on the screen, have one pointing
dancing. Is that like a tambourine? Man, can you imagine a
at the news desk and another at each ‘location’ that is
tambourine and dancing in worship today?
crossed to – so the big screen shows the news program
Seth: We’d have to have paramedics standing by. (He laughs as if on TV. Have the actors speak into the cameras also.
and the others join him.) I know David danced before the
Two are seated at a news desk (or one, if you haven’t
Lord, but would that ever be appropriate for today?
the actors) and the other actors appear elsewhere for
Mr. Barkley: Well, why don’t we open our Bibles and their live crosses, then leave.
hearts and see what we can find out. Let’s begin our study
with prayer. We always want to do that, right? (The group (Some ‘newsy’ intro music is played as the lively news
nods and bows their heads.) readers begin to talk.)

The End
Desk 1:  Welcome to Universe Network News.
Discussion Questions
Desk 2:  Coming up in today’s bulletin:
1. What did the group do at the end of the skit that Andromeda galaxy begins roll out of a galaxy wide
is important when studying God’s Word? Why is it broadband network.
important to always begin any study with prayer? Desk  1:  Horse-head nebular government to fund
construction of rest of horses body
2. What does Psalm 150 tell us about God’s character?
(Answer:That He wants our worship.) Why is Desk 2:  and Pleiades wins the rights to host the
worship such an important part of our walk with God? 14 billionth universe Olympics.

3. Does the Psalm explain what some of the worship at (music stopped by now)
the time of David was like? Desk 1:  But first up, some breaking news:
probation has just closed on the troubled planet
4. Why don’t we worship with that same exuberance
Earth of the Milky Way galaxy. We now cross to
Alex ,who is on the scene. 
5. Can we add some elements of creative worship to Alex, what’s the mood down there?
make our time with God have more meaning and (Alex is standing with two earthlings – Chris and Althea
experience a deeper relationship with Him? – on either side.)

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Alex:  (wait two seconds and nod Alex:  Well there you have it, split Jesus:  Well, I’ve just got the last few
as if listening - pretending there is a opinions but both still optimistic. billion angels to position, then we’re
delay in the live cross) Yes, I’m here Back to you in the studio. off to Earth to pick up my kids.
on Earth where the news has been
Desk 2:  Thanks, Alex. Now we Gabe:  So this is the much awaited
received that probation has indeed
cross to an expert in the Bible’s Second Coming?
just closed.  This means God has now
probationology. Theo, what does
ended Earth’s decision making time this mean for those two friends on Jesus:  That’s it. And no more
of whether to follow Him or not, and earth—do either of them have any eagerly awaited than by me.
it’s now time for Jesus to return.  hope in being united with Jesus for
Now this news has been received Gabe:  Any clues as to what we’ll be
an eternity? seeing in the Second Coming?
with mixed reactions. Here I have a
long time Christian with me. Chris, Theo:  (a sedate brainiac that does Jesus:  I can’t say too much. Just be
what does this mean for you, and not get excited ) In Chris’ case, yes. prepared for the brightest, most
why the excitement? Having put his faith in Jesus has given colorful, fragrant and surround
him a clean slate, even though he has sound experience ever performed
Chris (excited):  Well, it means Jesus is a worse behavioral past than Althea. in the history of the universe. Not
returning sooner than we expected. While Chris clearly has hope for a much really. (sarcastically)
We’re all very excited to be able to future, on the contrary, there is no
finally meet Him and be taken home hope for Althea whatsoever. Gabe:  Looking forward to it.
from this sinful planet.  (excitedly)
HE’S COMING BACK BABY!!! Desk 1:  Sorry, we’ll have to cut you Jesus:  Thanks, Gabe. (Starts to
off there, Theo, we’ve just managed quickly walk off) Love your work!
Alex:  Well, there’s sheer joy for you, to get Jesus before He leaves home.
but over here I have Althea, who still Gabe:  Looks like this will be the
Let’s cross to Gabe. Gabe, what’s
believes this is all made up. Althea, show of all shows. I’m off to get my
happening in Heaven?
you’re not concerned that your seat. Back to you in the studio.
disbelief in Jesus as the son of God Gabe:  Hi guys, I’m here with Jesus
Desk 2:  Thanks, Gabe. That’s
will prevent you from an eternity of who is perhaps more excited than
exciting news for Heaven and Earth
joy with Him? the entirety of the universe put
together. Jesus, thanks for taking alike. Stay tuned for coverage of the
Althea:  I’m not worried at all. a moment to speak to us, I know Second Coming, live as it happens.
This is just another stunt by the you’re a very busy man slash God. Desk 1:  After the break, an
Christians. But even if Chris was right alarming report on the dangers of
Jesus:  No worries, Gabe. (Waves
and will be going to heaven, I think texting while teleporting. Back soon.
and gives the thumbs up at people in
I’ll be going too. He’s done some
the crowd, clearly excited and distracted (start short news music play out)
nasty stuff in his day.  I’m more than
a little, but listening)
happy to stand in some ‘heavenly The End
courtroom’ with Chris, if such a place Gabe:  So we have word probation
actually exists. He’ll make me look is now closed. What’s happening
like an angel. (laughs) next?

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Empty2:  Good to see you. Juice: I do—check this out!
4 this
first ^jesus juice Juice: [relieved] Right, see ya.
Empty 1,2,3: [all gasp] Where did
FOCUS: Witnessing, sharing Jesus [Empty 2 leaves, Empty 3 enters; Juice you get all that from?
with those around us hides bottle again]
Juice: [proudly] Bible study and
[Person walks in (“Juice”) with a bottle Empty 3: Hi prayer.
full of juice. Another (“Empty 1”) walks Juice: Hi. How’s it going? Angel: You may enter.
towards them with an empty bottle.
Empty 3: Not great. My dad died [Juice steps to other side of Angel but
Juice quickly hides his full bottle as not
the other week. waits, looking back]
to draw attention that he has juice and
they don’t. ] Juice: Oh no. Angel: Greetings! Do you have
Jesus in your life?
Empty3: Oh well, he’s happy now.
Empty 1: Hi He’s probably looking down on me Empty 1: Umm, no.
Juice: Hi now if the Christians are right, eh.
Empty 2: But we’re with him.
Empty1: Doing anything on the Juice:  Right,ummm,I’m not sure that  ...
Empty 3: He has lots of Jesus.
weekend? Empty 3: Well, gotta run.
Angel: I’m sorry, the opportunity
Juice: [hesitant to share they go to Juice: [relieved] Righto, see you later. for sharing Jesus has now finally
church] Umm, not really. passed.
[Empty 3 leaves - TRUMPET SOUNDS.
Empty 1: Me neither. Maybe we can Empty 1: But. We didn’t know
Juice proudly pulls out his full bottle of
go to the footy on Saturday. about this:
juice and lines up behind a few others
Juice: [hesitant to share they go to who beat him to the front of the line Empty 2: [to Juice] How come you
church on Sabbath] Oh, err, mmmm. with just a tiny bit of juice in their bottle. never told us we needed Jesus?
Empty 1:  I’ll chat later. Empty 1,2,3 come out to see what’s
Juice: [relieved] Right, see ya. happening and join the end of the line Empty 3: Yeah, why didn’t you say
behind Juice. Angel meets first in the line] something. . .
[Empty 1 leaves, Empty 2 enters with
empty bottle; Juice hides bottle again] Angel: Greetings! Do you have Angel: I am sorry.  We delayed
Jesus in your life? as long as we could. The time has
Empty 2: Hey, I haven’t seen you in indeed now passed.
ages. What are you up to these days? Tiny Juice 1: I do, only I have
Still the party animal I remember? shared much of Him with my friends. [Angel walks off, Juice lingers, shrugs
shoulders slowly as there’s nothing he
Juice: Nah. How bout you? Angel: Well done good and faithful can do now and mouths ‘sorry’, then
Empty2: I’m struggling actually. One servant, you may all enter. walks off. Empties walk out other door,
day at a time. There’s gotta be more [Juice approaches] bemused.]
to life than this. Empty 3: Now what’s going to
Angel: Greetings! Do you have
Juice: Yeah, ummm, well. Jesus in your life? happen to us? THE END

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4 this [Disciple 1 jumps up and walks to the audience and begins to preach]
^the complete
disciple [Jesus looks miffed briefly and then starts miming to the remaining
Cast - Jesus, Eager Disciple 1, Scholarly Disciple 1: The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, it’s . . . very
Disciple 2 small. Heaven is . . .  kind of spicy. . . . But probably not too spicy for
those who don’t like spicy food.
Scene - Jesus sits on a chair (or stage rise)
facing audience. [Disciple 1 slowly returns and sits down during the following dialogue]
Disciples sit on floor facing Jesus, backs to
audience. Jesus:  . . . now go and share this knowledge.

Disciple 2: No, Master, just tell me more. I must know more.
Jesus: I am the vine. . .
[Jesus thinks for a moment and smiles, and makes them put their arms
[Disciple 1 jumps up and walks to the
around each other and gestures to hold onto each other.]
audience and begins to preach]

[ Jesus looks miffed briefly and then starts Jesus: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
miming to the remaining disciple]
[Disciple 1 tries to leave, Disciple 2 holds him down to wait until the end]
Disciple 1:  Jesus is the vine. He is . . .
thin and has brown flaky skin.  Jesus: Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them
in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and
Jesus . . . grows grapes that we can . . . teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely
make wine to sell to our neighbours. I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
He…is the vine of… knowledge of…
[Disciple 1 pulls up Disciple 2, who wanted to stay.They leave down the
good and evil??
aisle and exit the back of the room, while calling out as they exit]
[Disciple 1 slowly returns and sits down
during the following dialogue] [Jesus stands still as they go, looking out proudly]

Jesus:  . . . now go and share this Both Disciples: “Learn the ways of Jesus. Love Him as He loves you.
knowledge. Share this message to your family and friends.”  (Repeat until you’ve
left the room.)
Disciple 2: No, Master, just tell me more.
I must know more. [Five or so seconds after the disciples have left the room and are quiet, He
Jesus: The kingdom of heaven is like a leaves side of stage, nodding.]
mustard seed. . . The End

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MacBook Pro
MacBook ProPro
MacBook Pro
A workshop by Scott W eg ener

Practicing Creativity and
Creativity and Problem Solving

How many creatives does it take to change a light bulb?
Everyone is creative. God made us that way.
This workshop looks at methodical steps to tap into everyone’s creativity.

What Is Creativity?
Creativity is essentially inventive problem solving. Most often it is used to combat two opposite
1. Boredom – the need to make a familiar situation unfamiliar and interesting
2. Confusion – the need to make an unfamiliar situation familiar and easy

You Try: Which problem category do the following challenges fall into?

a. You’d planned to cook a meal for a family arriving soon and discover that some of the
ingredients you thought you had are missing. You have no time to go and buy more.
b. You’re in an airport, luggage is checked in, your flight is delayed for five hours and
you have little money at your disposal. You have young children in your care.
c. You need to make an ad to convince more than 50 percent of your church’s members
to attend a business meeting.
d. You want to create a drama that communicates God’s love to people who have never
grasped the concept before.

42 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
How to find Creativity you. Using the internet or asking friends or experts for
their creative solutions for the challenge ahead of you
Step 1: Define can really give you a kick start, if not provide a complete
solution. Sometimes the foundation of an existing solution
The best place to begin in solving a challenge with
can be adapted to better suit your specific needs.
creativity is to be clear about two things:
1. What the current situation or challenge is You try: With the four earlier examples, what
2. What the desired outcome or solution is search engine keywords could you use to find
exsisting solutions to the challenges?
As well as speeding up your journey to a solution,
knowing where you are and where you need to end
up will give you a more focused solution. Unfocused
creativity can take you off track and you could end up B. Stocktake method
using a “solution” that doesn’t actually solve the problem. (Great for: unexpected challenges, activities
with few resources)
So before you get too creative, be clear on where you are
now and where you want to be. The stocktake method consists of three basic steps:

1. List how many different attributes exist in the
You Try: Define the specific problem elements of the
current situation.
four earlier examples and also the specific outcomes you
hope to achieve for each. 2. Explore how each listed attribute could be
substituted with a variation.
3. Experiment with different combinations of
substituted attributes and see what you end up with.
Step 2: Create
There are four main methods that help deliver a creative This is a somewhat methodical way to go about being
solution, which we’ll look at now. creative. That might sound oxymoron, but these three
steps are what’s happening in the mind of many of the
A. Detective method most creative people—usually at amazingly fast speeds.
(Great for: games, activities, and plays)
For some, this will be the first port of call, especially Example:
when there’s a tight deadline to meet. Others will use Make an ad to convince church members to attend a
this as their last resort when attempts to come up with business meeting.
their own creative solutions fail. The mantra for the
1. List the attributes we have to work with.
detective method of creativity is: “Go online or get living
There’s the ad format and the tone of the
examples” (or G.O.O.G.L.E.).
language, the church members that need incentive
Whether to save time or to help when you’re stumped, to come, the meeting’s advertised agenda, and its
seeing what already exists will often create a solution for time and location.

43 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
2. Explore the variations of each of the listed You try: Use the stocktake method to find a solution
attributes. to the following challenge:
• The ad format: A bulletin paragraph, Being stuck at the airport with some children you need to
a printed bulletin insert, posters, a entertain.
promotional video clip, an email out,
1. List what’s available to work with. Let’s start with our
up-the-front announcements, an acted
personal inventory: A pen, box of mints, and wallet/purse
drama, a song, a sermon, personal phone
(and its contents).
calls, text messaging, Facebook posts,
PowerPoint slides. 2. Explore what can be done with these items individually.
• The tone: stern, friendly, mischievous? • Pen: Write, draw, colour, score, spin, roll, click, throw,
drop, catch, balance, pull apart.
• The church members who need an
incentive: food, giveaways, concert, • Box of Mints:
games, trivia, craft, child minding, linked
• Wallet/purse:
to some other activity or event?
• The meeting agenda: boring, critical,
entertaining? 3. Experiment with what activities you can do with individual
items on their own and then by combining with another
• Time: weeknight, Sabbath afternoon/
item. Come up with ten activities and then decide on your
evening, Sunday morning/afternoon/
three best activities to solve the problem by using the ‘stock’
of items you have.
• Location: Church hall, parking lot,
parkland, restaurant, forest, beach? a. ____________________________________________________

3. Experiment with the variations we came up b. ____________________________________________________
with for the attributes of our challenge.
• It could be: a drama that promotes a fun c. ____________________________________________________
afternoon in the forest, with trivia games
intermingled with the business meeting. d. ____________________________________________________
• It could be: personal phone calls regarding
the critical nature of the upcoming e. ____________________________________________________
meeting and free pizza to all those who
attend. NOTE: That was just our personal inventory explored. We
• It could be . . . so many other variations! could also look at the attributes of the building around us, our
(Although clearly not all will be practical clothing, the signs, the people, or make a small purchase to
solutions.) add to our inventory.

44 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
C. brainstorm method Sometimes a great idea or two will become obvious
(Great for: finding ‘far out’ ideas, titles, and during a brainstorming session; sometimes it will still be
advertising) hard work, with a solution possibly coming to someone in
the group days later.
If the above method seems all a little too regimented,
or you just can’t put your figure on a unique enough Example:
solution, it might be time to set your brain’s rational Here’s a real brainstorm’s result when trying to find an
governor to “off” and let your thoughts roam unrestricted interesting way to begin a workshop about creativity
for a moment. (perhaps you’re in the middle of it now). The list
Brainstorming is the process of listing idea after idea as developed as follows:
they come to mind, no matter how random they might be. Famous quote twisted, story, example, joke, song,
It can be done individually, but a group brainstorm will puzzle, different language, web address, GPS
usually get more ideas flowing and take you to concepts directions, ten commandments, analogy, metaphor,
you’d struggle to ever invent yourself. wrong topic, creativity for dummies, creativity 101,
light bulb, apple fall on head, flash back, quiz, cartoon,
But despite the whole point of the process being “free school, blackboard, detention, driving test, personal
thinking,” here’s some structure to guide the freedom trainer, gym membership, poem, point form, fanfare,
into something useful: infomercial.
1. Define the issue and desired outcome first.
There are several good ideas and the rest probably not.
2. List the known or obvious solutions, even if they But essentially it helped me choose an opening to this
don’t completely solve the challenge or problem. workshop.

3. Start listing “crazy” variations to these solutions. And how many creatives does it take to change a
light bulb?
4. Continue on with any ideas or concepts that
come to mind, without stopping to discuss good or Answer: Who says it has to be a light bulb? (And there’s
discount bad ideas. a nod to the stocktake method.)

5. When all the ideas come to an end, spend a minute You try: Go through the brainstorming steps
or two exploring each idea: listed to come up with an enticing title for a
youth trivia night.
a. Is it worth exploring further or ignoring?
b. Are there any elements to the idea that can be
used elsewhere? D. INSPIRATION method
c. Are there any elements to the idea that mean (Great for: long, unsolved challenges)
it won’t work? If so, explore what would be Finding a creative solution is not always easy. As well
needed to make it work with that inhibitive as trying the other methods, sometimes creativity just
element or how it could be replaced. appears in random moments.

45 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
For some, creativity comes in a quiet or uninterrupted place like in the shower,
in bed at night, watching the ocean or clouds, or driving a car. Other times,
you might find inspiration as you see or hear different things or interact with
different people. And sometimes inspiration comes from experiencing a movie,
song, artwork, or simply seeing someone else’s solution to a similar problem.
Given its fickleness, this is a difficult method to use if you need quick results
(or as an activity to try in a workshop). But being still and letting inspiration
strike is another important method for finding creative solutions to long term

Share: Where are you when you come up with your best/crazyiest ideas?

Step 3: Evaluate
Once you have your creative solution, evaluate it with your initial brief to see
if it is an acceptable, workable or worthwhile solution. It’s also a good exercise
to evaluate how well it worked after the solution has been implemented. If it
is not working as you envisioned, maybe it’s not too late to implement some
of the variations you thought up along the way.

You try: the solutions you came up with for the children at the airport, get
those items and try out the activity on some kids – evaluate what activity they
liked the best. See if they have any ideas.

Finally, the first thing
All said and done, the ultimate source of inspiration for creativity comes from
God. The ultimate thing you can do before you even attempt to be creative
is pray for inspiration, then delve into one or more of the methods suggested.
God has more creativity than we can handle.
When inspiration does strike and it’s an outstanding sucess, even if you didn’t
pray, give Him the glory. Without God and the abilities He’s given us, we
wouldn’t have any creativity!

Ponder: God was creative with His design of earth, but how much more
creativity has He used in Heaven and the other worlds?

46 YMA . April – jUNE 2013

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YMA April – jUNE 2013
r E A dy- t o - U s E r E s o U r c E s

CREATIVE ARTS as ministry

How do we begin to restore the place
of the god-given arts in worship?

Exercise #1 Introduction small, seemingly insignificant ways—
but we do know when it began. It
• Materials needed: Bibles, a • Time: 5 minutes was, according to Exodus 1:8, after
white board and markers or a new king arose “who didn’t know
other means of recording. In Genesis 1, the Bible tells us that Joseph.” Eventually, the multitudes
human beings were created “in the of Israelites were used as slaves
• Time: 5 minutes image of God.” It is doubtful whether for a very common goal in those
humanity fully understands (or will, times: they were building palaces,
Read aloud together Exodus 31:1-11. on this planet) all that this means, monuments, possibly temples and
Have the group name all the kinds of but one thing it certainly means is pyramids, to honor various people of
artistic work represented by the text. that we were created to be creative, power—mostly Pharaohs.
Have a scribe record the list on the like God. One of the clearest
board. Now ask which of these arts demonstrations in the whole Bible These edifices displayed the height
the members of the group have some of how strongly God feels about our that architectural and artistic
ability in. List the names beside the artistic ability and creations and how ability had reached, but they were
representative arts on the board. we use them is in Exodus. for one purpose—glorifying some
human being who believed he (and
Discuss, but only briefly We know that God rescued the occasionally she) was greater and
at this point—1-2 minutes: people of Israel from slavery in more important than all the subjects
Have you thought of these as Egypt, but we often forget to think who did the actual work. Sometimes
ministries? Which arts may not about what they had been doing Pharaohs were even seen as gods. In
be mentioned that we think of as all those centuries. We don’t know essence, this was art put to the use of
ministries? how their slavery began—possibly in worship—of a human being.

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It is possible that Bezalel and his of the jewelry God had given them • Have a scribe write down kinds
peers had already been jewelers, (see Ex. 3:22) to Aaron, and he of arts that were not mentioned
woodworkers, silversmiths, and so (certainly not by himself, but with in the first passage. But instead
on in Egypt. If so, their gifts (given the work of skilled goldsmiths) made of simply talking about the
them by God alone) had been twisted them a calf idol. As if that weren’t subject of arts and ministry, have
to the use of cruel and powerful bad enough, he then told them, the group create something—
overseers. Ellen White says the people “This is your God, who brought you anything they want to—to
had almost forgotten the worship of out of Israel” (Ex. 32:4)! represent the tabernacle or the
the one true God (see Patriarchs and presence of God in some way.
Prophets, p. 258.) It would also be true, God had a very different plan
then, that they had forgotten the true for their use of the gifts. He had • For this exercise you can work
use of their artistic talents. No doubt given them both gifts in the sense individually, in small groups, or
many were not even using any gifts of talents and abilities and in the as one large group.
they had—may not have even known temporal sense such as the clothing
they had them. They were working and jewelry the Egyptians had
endless days in hot sun, making bricks provided at God’s command. Discuss the differences in what
and building monuments to human people perceived, what they
greed and power. learned, how they felt during the
Exercise #2 first exercise in comparison with
Once God had completed the rescue the second one.
• Materials needed: There are two
of the Israelites and the downfall of
ways to do this. The leader may • Did some feel they learned more
Pharaoh’s armies who had chased
collect as many objects as possible this way, working with their
them, one of the first things He did
prior to the class, or the class may hands, or felt closer to God?
was settle them in the plain near Mt. take a few minutes searching inside
Sinai for about a year to build the and outside the building where they • Did some feel more comfortable
tabernacle. He was going to teach are meeting to collect absolutely with just talking about art in the
them the basics—what His law was anything that might be used to
all about, what worship really was, a earlier exercise?
creatively construct something:
place in which to conduct services, Paint, paper, crayons, markers, clay, • Is there a variation in responses
and how and when to do that. building sets, popsicle sticks, pipe of different individuals?
cleaners, glue, glitter, cloth, ribbon,
After giving the Law from Sinai, rickrack and other trims, flowers, Also Discuss what reasons people
God kept Moses on the mountain grass, seeds, stones, “gems,” water, may see for the differences, if any.
with Him for several more weeks paper cups and plates, paper clips. .
while He gave detailed instructions .use all the imagination you can. If (If the leader chooses, he or she may go
on the building of the tabernacle. you use this second method, allow on with the presentation while people
While He was doing this, what were an extra five minutes for the search. work, unless what they are doing
the Israelites doing? They were once requires a lot of discussion and problem-
again using their artistic ability for • Time: 10 minutes
solving. This way they may have a
false worship! They brought some • Read Exodus 35:25-35. longer time to create something.)

49 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
Main presentation to end that the blood of animals part of these celebrations in a very
had no power to cleanse from or matter-of-fact way, as if dancing
Time: 30 minutes atone for sin (Genesis 3:15; Isaiah were a normal part of the festivals.
1:11; Hebrews 10:1-4 and many Certainly dancing has been a part
Art, Music, and Drama more). We use various words like of Jewish festivals in the centuries
“foreshadowing,” “symbol,” or “type” between then and now.
in the Old Testament (Hebrews 8:5) to mean that sacrifices
were a representation—an acting • Levites
What did God consider true out—of the one Great Sacrifice of The second office God gave, that
worship? all time: the selfless life and death of of Levites, was something like
the Unique Son of God, which alone our deacons today—Levites were
would truly atone for and cleanse all responsible for the care of the
• The Tabernacle the sin of the whole world, subject building itself. In the wilderness,
to the acceptance of each individual they took it down and set it up, and
First, He was closely involved in
repentant sinner. sometimes were also responsible for
the creation of the tabernacle itself.
lighting of lamps and so forth. When
It required the best of all materials The burnt offerings were a visible the nation settled and David made
and was so resplendent with gold, passion play, acted out every day in plans for the permanent temple that
embroidery, woodcarving, and front of the eyes of people who had Solomon would build, he pointed out
brilliantly colored cloth that it would been so used to seeing physical idols that Levites no longer had to carry
be astonishing to the eyes of many to represent supposed gods that it the building (1 Chronicles 23:25, 26),
worshipers today. was difficult for them to understand so he divided their labors into such
an invisible Being who had created divisions as gatekeepers and care of
• Priests them, rescued them, and would the treasures, as well as care of the
Second, God set aside the entire tribe make them whole through His Word. temple. They were also to bake the
of Levi and all its descendants for Showbread, incense, and olive oil showbread and “stand every morning
two main divisions of service: priests lamps all were symbols of something to thank and to praise the Lord, and
and Levites. Priests were responsible greater than themselves, which is likewise at evening” (23:30).
for the actual offerings that went on what drama is at heart.
morning and night. Their clothing, 1 Chron. 22 through 26 detail the
too, was carefully made according to The yearly festivals, too, were full offices David considered necessary for
God’s patterns and, in particular, the of excitement and drama, along this new temple his son would build.
clothing of the high priest was nearly with solemn repentance, fasting, Besides priests and Levites, there
as resplendent as the tabernacle, with and listening to readings of the appears to have been only one other
bright weaving and embroidery, gold, law. In Judges 21:19-21, when the office: musicians. Again, whole clan
and precious stones. Benjamites were told how to get lineages were set aside and dedicated
wives for themselves, a yearly “feast to the work of praising God in music,
An important point to be aware of of the Lord” is mentioned—possibly which was called “prophesying” (see
today is that the sacrificial system was the Feast of Tabernacles, one of the 25:1, 3). These were people who were
drama: nothing more, nothing less. liveliest of the feasts. The young not only skilled but “trained in singing
The Bible is clear from beginning women are described as dancing as to the Lord,” as shown in verse 7.

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• Music In fact, 2 Chronicles 20 tells the • Poetry, Words, and Songs
wonderful story of a time when God
There was a great deal of music in The books of Song of Solomon
used nothing but singing and praising
Old Testament worship, and some and Psalms, as well as some of the
as a means of delivering the people
of it might not sound very pleasant prophets, show us that poetry,
from an invasion force.
to our Western ears. In 2 Samuel 6, whether read or sung, was a
when David brought the ark from wonderful and lasting way of teaching
• Prophets
the farm of Abinadab, who had been the worship of God, both in praise
taking care of it for some years, to The prophets often used drama and and thanksgiving and also in lament,
“the city of David,” there were lyres, acting out scenes as ways of reaching questioning, and anger. The 150
harps, tambourines, castanets, and the people with the words of God— Psalms we have today have given
cymbals,” not to mention shouting especially rebellious or ignorant ones vital support to God’s children in
and trumpets, being used to praise who might not listen to or understand any and all conditions and emotions
God. David himself was “leaping and preaching in words. Both Isaiah for millennia. These songs often
dancing before the Lord” (verse 16) and Jeremiah used the imagery of a contain injunctions to raise voices,
to the point that Michal “despised potter to show God’s power over His shout joyfully, clap hands, prostrate
him in her heart.” But later in the creations (Is. 29 and Jer. 18). Isaiah oneself, and show in other creative,
chapter, it is clear God was not actually went naked and barefoot for artistic, and embodied ways how we
displeased with David, but with three years as a picture of a particular feel before God at any given time in
Michal, for her condemnation. prophecy of God (Is. 20). Jeremiah our lives. One vivid example is the
Later still, when the remnant of used such devices as a linen waistband very last Psalm, number 150, which
faithful Israel were set free from their (Jer. 13:1-11), an earthenware jar lists specifically trumpet, harp, lyre,
long captivity in Babylon, they rebuilt (19:1-13),and bonds and yokes (27:1- timbrel (tambourine), dance, stringed
and dedicated the wall of the new 11) to make object lessons. Ezekiel instruments, pipe, and cymbals as
temple. Ezra and Nehemiah oversaw made a toy city and siege machines ways of praising God.
the reinstatement of the offices and played out a war with them. Then The Psalms also use what we
of priest, Levite, and musician “as he lay on his left side 390 days (longer today would call fantasy imagery
prescribed by David the man of God, than a year!) and on his right side 40 to exemplify God’s power and
division corresponding to division” days to show God’s judgment against creativeness. They frequently describe
(Nehemiah 12:24). This appears, Israel (390 years of wickedness) the earth and its creatures either as
from the rest of the story, to have and Judah (40 years of wickedness). praising God or as teaching us about
meant what we would call antiphonal During this time he was instructed Him, as if these trees, birds, stars, and
choirs, at least at the special to make a certain kind of multigrain/ so on were actually sentient and knew
ceremony of dedication. The story legume bread to live on. He was asked anything about their Creator. A good
describes the choirs marching toward by God to cook his bread over a fire example is Psalm 148, which calls on
each other on opposite walls, singing made of human manure, but when sun, moon, stars, heavens, waters,
back and forth in response to each he objected God let him use animal “sea monsters,” deeps, fire, hail, snow,
other. They, too, had harps, lyres, and manure instead (Ezek. 4). (There is clouds, stormy wind, mountains and
cymbals, and sang and rejoiced so a recipe for this “Ezekiel Bread” on hills, fruit trees, cedars, beasts, cattle,
loudly that they could be “heard from You can bake it using gas creeping things, and winged fowl
afar” (verse 43). Music has power. or electricity though!) to praise God and His holy name

51 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
before even mentioning that human sure everything that left His hands symbolism and drama. In this case,
beings should do the same! Certainly was a thing of beauty and usefulness. it was meant first to get past the
we know the creatures and elements censors (“What difference does it
of the earth don’t praise God in the When He began His Messianic make what this crazy guy writes
sense in which we do, but it is true ministry, Jesus used parables and to his churches?!”) then to last
that there is a great deal humans drama more than any other teaching the centuries and teach lessons to
can learn from the earth—so much method. Even when He was directly various eras and ages of church
so that Paul says in Romans 1 that preaching, such as in the Sermon history and, finally, to help delineate
people have no excuse for claiming on the Mount, He used lots and and make clear the final prophecies
not to know God because they can lots of stories and illustrations. He of this planet. These stories, like all
learn about a Creator just from even used fiction, including what we of living Scripture, have meant so
studying creation. would label as fantasy. The parable many things to so many people for so
of the rich man and Lazarus, found many years that we will never know
We can also learn what it means to in Luke 16:18-20, would not explain them all until we meet and compare
live according to our natures. A dog direct truth even to those who notes in heaven.
or a rose or a fish or a snail never try believe in immortal souls. No one
to be what they are not. An apple believes the righteous living “in the
tree doesn’t try to produce figs, and bosom of Abraham” and the wicked
a lilac doesn’t complain because its burning in hell can see and speak to
Art, Music, and Drama
flowers only bloom for a week or two each other, and Jesus knew that. His in Church History
while marigolds bloom all summer. hearers knew He was trying to make
If the arts were so much a part of
Our human artists, whether painters, a more important point—in fact, the
worship in those early ages, what
writers, singers, dancers, actors, point that they’d better listen to Him
has happened to them? In the first
woodworkers, metalworkers, or any and His stories now, while they could!
centuries after Christ, the house
other kind of artist can clarify those
When He explained the parable of churches continued to use such
silent lessons for us more than any
the sower (Matt. 13, Mk. 4, Lk. 8), things as mosaics and paintings to
scientific lecture ever could.
Jesus also explained to His disciples teach about God. During the middle
that stories could reach “deaf ears” ages, when illiteracy remained almost
and “blind eyes” of people who might universal, stained glass windows and
Art, Music, and Drama resist or reject what He had to say if passion plays were designed to teach
He spoke more directly to them, as the Bible stories.
in the New Testament He could to His own disciples. This
is one reason why Christian fiction But human nature remains the
Jesus was a woodworker before He same. People still take the precious
often opens doors in lives and hearts
was a preacher, teacher, and healer. gifts of God and make idols out
that pastors at their most earnest and
We don’t know exactly what kind of of them. The medieval church in
prayerful cannot reach.
woodworking He did—likely small particular enslaved the poor just
things like cradles, yokes, perhaps John’s story of the Revelation of as the pharaohs did to build ever
furniture. We can be sure, just Jesus as King of Kings and Lord of greater edifices—meant to show the
because of what we know of Him, Lords draws perhaps most heavily of glory of God, yes, but also to enrich
that He did His very best and made all on visual and auditory imagery, the coffers of corrupt church leaders.

52 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
Cathedrals were coated with gold different from each other. No sunset • Start small.
and jewels while the people around is exactly the same. Birdsong styles It is often easiest to begin with
them spent their brief lives in misery are innumerable. And if there were music (close to the style your
and disease. any more doubt, just look at the congregation already likes). Teach
differing gifts and abilities God gave one or two new songs at a time,
The Protestant Reformation in each person in one small group or and don’t expect everyone to
the 15th-17th centuries defied this church or family. If He means us immediately welcome a whole new
human exaltation along with other to devote our whole selves to Him, kind of service. The “Praise and
false teaching. Protestants said that means all our gifts and abilities, Worship Music Industry” of the
people don’t need an intercessor which originated with Him to begin late 20th and early 21st centuries
between them and heaven—we with. We can worship God best with can actually be as misguided and
have Jesus, the Great Intercessor, those things He made us best at. human-exalting sometimes as the
already. People were not bound to an medieval church was. Listen to each
earthly authority but to a heavenly song and determine if it really has a
one. When they left the churches, message you want to send, one that
and especially when they came to will resonate with the people who
the “New World,” they were so How Can We will hear and sing it. Be sure to leave
determined to live lives of simplicity room for lament as well as praise.
and purity that they may in some Reintroduce Art, Music, Not everyone in the sanctuary is
ways have “thrown out the baby and Drama Today? feeling particularly joyful on any
with the bath water.” Some churches given Sabbath, and the church exists
would allow no paintings at all, or Our denomination began during at least as much to comfort the
no musical instruments, or even no what is known as the Second Great afflicted as to afflict the comfortable.
singing. Early hymn writers were Awakening. It was largely founded
Flat art such as painting is an easy
condemned because people said we by people in New England and
first step too. It’s difficult to say why,
should sing only words already found Midwestern states with Puritan
but we are more easily accepting
in Scripture, never write any praise strains in their backgrounds. We
of paintings of Jesus, or of nature,
of our own. [See chapters 5 and 6 of tend to be very nervous about letting or even imaginative depictions of
Sing with Understanding, which deal emotion have much place in our heaven than we are of a drama about
with hymn history; esp. p. 85.] Some own beings, let alone in worship and the same subjects. Try having an
sects such as Quakers, Mennonites, arts because, let’s face it, they are all exhibit of art created by everyone
and Amish allowed only one pattern about emotion! So how do we begin in the congregation who wants to
of clothing and only certain plain to restore the place of the God-given participate.
colors. arts in worship?
• Little children still lead.
In our day, most of us have come • Pray. A lot! People will love skits and plays done
to realize that the God who created Be sure you have leadership on by children. One Adventist church
this world obviously loves beauty, board, and be sure all actions are had some people who seriously
variety, and color. He made people, transparent, compassionate, and felt they could better express their
snowflakes, and flowers unique and have easy evaluation built in. worship to God in liturgical dance,

53 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
but the very word “dance” carries Everyone needs all of these ways entertained.” But Jesus drew large
such negative connotations that they of learning and expressing oneself. crowds. Probably some did come
couldn’t even try it. They taught a But most people have one they out of curiosity or hoping to be
simple praise dance to the children, prefer and can learn and express entertained or see a miracle. But
and when the congregation saw what most easily. The artistic skills of most came because He spoke their
it was really like and that it was true a person are affected by which language directly to their hearts.
praise, they began to accept that it category they use most easily. To fisherfolk, He told fish tales.
might be okay for some people. Painters might be visual; dancers To a rabbinical scholar, He talked
are probably kinesthetic. highbrow philosophy. Children and
Some people—that’s important. the sick, He most of all touched.
Each person is different. Not all will Which of these groups are your And hugged. Jesus, being the one
respond to the same things That’s complete, whole, perfect Man, was a
services created for? fully-rounded, fully-grounded visual,
the whole point.
auditory, kinesthetic Person. He
• Could this be one reason we
• Learning Styles paid attention to which person was
have more women than men in
which. He paid attention, period!
Here is one popular way of our churches, and many creative
categorizing people’s abilities and and artistic people simply stay For all of the ages of the earth so
interests: away, considering church an far, all of life was experiential and
irrelevant place full of “talking visible. You watched your food
Visual heads”? grow and prepared it yourself, or
A visual person (some studies, as knew who did. You understood how
well as informal surveys, indicate things like wheels and wagons and
that this includes most women) harness and tools worked because
they were simple and visible. After
learns best and expresses best Building Bridges the Industrial Revolution in the late
through something he/she can see.
A large church in Ohio has a Sacred 1700s, everything got a lot more
Auditory Arts Committee and a mission complicated. Machines had parts
Auditory people are in the statement that says something like inside parts inside parts, like Ezekiel’s
this: “We seek to rediscover and wheels within wheels. You had to
minority and are understood to be
return the arts to their proper place be an expert to know if something
about equally divided between the
in worship and exaltation of God. was wrong, let alone be able to fix it.
genders. These are the ones who Now we live in the Information Age.
learn best through hearing and who We also seek to reach out to artists
Sometimes it seems all the knowledge
express themselves best with words. and make our church a home where of all the ages, not to mention all
they feel welcome and comfortable.” the art, all the music, and all the
Kinesthetic or Tactile
corruption, is instantly available on
Kinesthetic people (this may What if all of our churches had
the smartphone in your pocket.
include a majority of men, as well something like this? We know that
as most children, including those events like a “Journey to Bethlehem” Jeremiah 6:16 says, “Thus says
who will grow up to be largely draw large crowds. Some people the Lord, ‘Stand by the ways and
visual or auditory) learn by doing. tend to dismissively say things like, see and ask for the ancient paths,
“All people want these days is to be where the good way is, and walk in

54 YMA . April – jUNE 2013
it; and you will find rest for your souls.”
Perhaps those ancient paths include
making spiritual life more experiential
and visible again. Perhaps our neighbors
will find rest for their weary souls in our
churches when we reduce the number
of words and give them spiritual life
they can see and touch. Maybe the
artists will come back to church, and
when they do, maybe others will be able

to “taste and see that the Lord is good”
(Psalm 34:8).

Discussion Questions:
1. What does your church do to
reach out to the visual? The
auditory? The kinesthetic?
2. What do you think your Formed Out Of The
church does best?
3. What do you think it needs Artist and designer Shelley Poole won the
most? new Avondale College of Higher Education
4. What changes would you, Fine Arts Prize for her painting above, Formed
personally, like to make? Out Of The Earth/Birth at the 2012 Manifest
Creative Arts Festival.
5. Share three ways you will try
Shelley, a Master of Arts (Research) student at Avondale, speaks of
to integrate the arts into those
a “rich depth of experience during the creative process.” At times,
parts of the services where
she says, it’s “shifting, stirring and almost a confronting kind of
you have influence.
bittersweet agony.” Formed Out Of The Earth/Birth is a product of
6. Don’t forget—you could this “bittersweet agony.”
make answers to these “[It] reminds me that opals, among other precious treasures, are
questions instead of talking created only under intense heat and pressure, and that there is
about them! often purpose behind the periods of life that are hard to handle.”

55 YMA . April – jUNE 2013

r ea dy- t o - u s e resources
The Pan-European Adventist Youth Congress (AYC) is a large gathering of Adventist youth through-
out Europe. It is a memory event, the purpose of which is to share and celebrate our common faith, to
strengthen our Adventist identity and to make a positive impact in the host city and surrounding area.
The theme for AYC 2013, “Power of One”, signifies that all we do and are comes from the “One” who is
Jesus Christ. We invite you to come to AYC 2013 to discover and be part of the Power of One.