Monday, October 5, 2009

It seems God is birthing a lot of Spiritual energy through His artists. My family and I have been full time missionaries for 8 years. We worked with Youth With A Mission in the past, but have just transitioned to the International House of Prayer in Kansas City (IHOP-KC) The Forerunner Arts department here is so new- new here and new for the Body of Christ. It seems everything we do is uncharted. Last night we had our first drawing 101 and acting 101 classes. About 35 came for the drawing class and about 12 for the acting. I was at the drawing class and had a lot of fun. This is just a small indication of the awareness the Lord is bringing to the visual arts. I have been praying and studying the word for over a year to grab onto some sort of language to describe what is going on. Forerunner Arts here at IHOP-KC is birthed out of the prayer room. I don't think we can go wrong there. The pieces that I work on in studio are birthed directly out of times of intercession in the prayer room. I do all my preliminary drawings and sketches for a piece while I intercede. This method is still in the developmental stages, but that is how I desire to have all forerunner art to be produced. I do not consider these pieces to be personal work, but acts of worship to be used as proclaimers of something the Lord desires to speak. I might do a commission like a portrait or landscape or mural for some one, but those things I designate as personal work. Yes, Holy Spirit dwells in me, and ANY work I do is given over to Him, but I consider forerunner art as work specifically birthed by the Lord through time spent with Him. Its purpose is to proclaim His voice and it is completely given over to Him. There are still a lot of gray areas in this. Among artists actually working for a ministry like IHOP, accountability measures must be very strong in regards to time spent in studio. Still working on the nuts and bolts of this. Any thoughts? Any suggestions?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

What Kind of Lifestyle does a Foreunner Live?

Last time I wrote about what a forerunner is. When I say "forerunner" I am coming from a Biblical perspective. Like I said last time, John the Baptist is a good example of a forerunner in the Bible, but there are many others- Paul, Moses, Elijah, David. Those are some more well known people. There were also some less known ones like Perscilla and Aquilla in the book of Acts, Barnabus, and others. What kind of lifestyle did all these guys live? Do you have to eat wild honey and locusts for breakfast and wear a camel hair shirt? Thank God that is not a requirement, but if you feel led to, knock your socks off! The common denominator in all these guys lives was there longing for God. Going ever increasingly more deeply in knowing personally and understanding God was the life goal and lifestyle of all these people. Of course they all had their bad days. They were, after all, just human. When they did have difficult seasons, their number one desire, even in the great weakness that they knew they walked in, was to please God. So this is the number one aspect of a forerunner lifestyle: To go hard after intimacy and enjoyment of our beautiful God that His will would be done through us. You cannot do that in your own strength, don't even try. The only way to know somebody really well is to talk a lot with them. You can't have a relationship with somebody if you don't talk with them. Its the same way with God. Yep, He is a person and He loves to talk with people. This is what followers of Christ call prayer. A forerunner spends LOTS of time hanging out and talking with God. As a follower of Christ, I understand I can't do that unless I receive Jesus for who He is- my redeemer, savior, restorer and rightful ruler of my life (If you want to learn more about what that means, drop me a quick comment.). If you really want to understand the life of a follwer of Christ and the lifestyle I strive for as a forerunner in Christ, you have to read and meditate and pray through what Christians call "The Sermon on the Mount" in the book of Matthew, chapters 5 through 7 (Don't get me wrong! You've got to read the rest of the Bible, too.). God calls us to a lifestyle that is in this world, but not of it. If a forerunner is some one who proclaims something, then a Biblical forerunner has to have a message that tells of something to come. My main message as a forerunner artist is to proclaim the full Good News of God's Kingdom, which isn't just salvation in Christ, but that He is coming back to bring heaven and earth back together and bring all of creation back to the way it was always intended to be. Right now in this time of history we are in, that is a very important part of the forerunner message- or what the Bible calls the "Gospel of the Kingdom". My art as a forerunner must also speak of God's justice, and His love for His chosen people Israel.
So here is the lifestyle of a forerunner artist for Jesus broken down.

Live the "Sermon on the Mount" life:

  • Prayer, fasting, giving, with humbleness, and compassion, continually building relationship with our beautiful God.
  • Proclaiming what Jesus has done and is about to do for His Church, and for the world.
  • Pray for and proclaim God's justice for those that have none on this earth.
  • Operate in the power of God through Holy Spirit through the artwork I produce.

I will break down each of these more in the postings coming up. Any questions?

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What is a "Forerunner"?

Welcome to the only blog I know of that is dedicated to proclaiming the development of the artist as a proclaimer of what Jesus is about to do on the earth in general and specifically with the Church and His people, Israel. Wow, that's a mouthful! I have been an artist for most of my life (I just turned 49) and have been doing "forerunner art" for about 2 years. I have been a follower of Christ for 14 years and a full time missionary for 8 years.
I'll try to make this as simple as possible without using a lot of "Christianese":
A forerunner, according to my little Oxford dictionary, is "a person or thing which comes before and influences something or some one else". A forerunner sets the pace, the standard, the message. They announce and proclaim. A forerunner will stick his neck out to get the vision or message heard. In the Bible there were several forerunners. The one I am going to focus on now is a guy they called John the Baptist. His forerunner message was specifically given to the Jews right before Jesus started doing His ministry. He had a tough message that a lot of people didn't really care for. It was pretty simple and direct. Basically it said: Something wonderful is about to happen! Get your lives and hearts ready because God is coming to make things right again between you and Him! John was right on the money, because that is exactly what Jesus did. So here I am using that word "forerunner" to desribe who I am as an artist. Pretty presumptuos, huh? In reality, I can't make that claim. A forerunner is only varified through their actions- and you don't know if I have any actions to back anything up with yet! It does make an interesting title for a blog, though. I will be starting a website very soon that will have many examples of my work and probably work from other artists who have that forerunner mantle on them. 18 months ago you could have Googled "art in worship" or "worship art" and got very few hits. Now there are hundreds. It seems God is stirring something in the hearts of artists who follow Jesus. It is time to start explaining things that I believe you will begin to see and hear much more of in the very near future.
I know this might raise more questions than answers. Good.
In the next few posts, I will attempt to describe the lifestyle of a follower of Jesus who is a forerunner artist. As this blog develops, I plan on writing about what it means to be an "intercessory missionary", and how missions and the prayer movement that is circling the globe will involve the traditional visual arts. Talk with you soon!