Imperfect Ministry. Powerful Life Progress.

 In Uncategorized, Writings

Saddleback Visual Arts does not have all the answers in how to do arts ministry. But we have seen the power of ministering through and to artists. This community and way of ministering makes an impact in the lives of individuals. Here’s just a few that I shared exactly two years ago at our 2018 conference, each of these individuals stood and and were cheered on by the 180 in attendance:


  1. I will start by saying that I (Jason Leith) have unexpectedly fallen in love with the Church, which is God’s chosen instrument, his family who will carry his love to the world.
  2. My wife, Katherine Leith, now sees that art can have more depth than a personal story, it can reveal how God transforms our story.
  3. Steven Homestead found an arts community whose love, trust, and support have helped him grow as a leader and artist.
  4. Mark Dickinson has the opportunity to get out of the home studio to meet people, build friendships, and get feedback from other artists
  5. Claire Allsbrook came to understand that her art life, relationships, and expression of faith, didn’t have to exist separately; but could blend in a community like this.
  6. Five years ago God called Judith Blanchard to help with this ministry, while doing so she realized her life calling to be an artist.
  7. Annie Witlen has found an honor just by being part of this community as she is surrounded by artists who are always creating to inspire others.
  8. After searching for many years, Sandhya Artique found her home at Saddleback Visual Arts who she now sees as family.
  9. Megan Sauder gained confidence in the value of her work, and was encouraged to explore the powerful impact of art locally and overseas on the mission field.
  10. Hannah Marc realized that true artistic fulfillment cannot be found in just education— we need to live and create in the presence of God.
  11. Katrin Koch discovered, how God’s multiplication is taking place, how he is working through us when we unite.
  12. SVA created a space for Margo Allsbrook to feel at home, to be, to think, and to create as an artist.
  13. Jose Lozano is now a published writer and he attributes that to the support and encouragement he’s received here.
  14. Mandy Hinkle found her ministry, her tribe, and eventually her life calling.
  15. During Melissa Bayes’ time with SVA, her community gave her the encouragement and prayer support to step into her craft and be comfortable with declaring herself an artist.
  16. Before Teri Shagoury found SVA she was working in isolation and doubted the validity of her work. Now she feels supported and is part of a community that understands her desire to make art that is an expression of her faith.
  17. Rather than just commercial art, Dan Long has realized how his fine art can be used to impact people spiritually.
  18. Michelle Lum found a community that helped her embrace her calling to be an artist and minister.
  19. God provided David Chen a family to cheer me on in my challenge.
  20. Peggy Iriarte had forgotten who she was. SVA helped her get out of a black hole. It’s helping her focus and become the artist God made her to be.

These stories are so beautiful, but none of them unfolded without a great deal of sacrifice. Working through the church in arts is a joy, but it’s not without challenge. We are creating something out of what seems nothing. People were asked to step out of their comfort zones. We faced rejection and failure as individuals and as a ministry. And navigating relationships always comes with challenges.

So I encourage you, as you continue to seek life change through you ministry, do not be discouraged when you face difficulties. We do not move from mountain top to mountain top. To reach the next peak, we must first go through the valley.

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