The Transformative Power of Art on Mission | PART 1

 In Projects, Writings
INTRO | A HISTORIC PARTNERSHIP This post is part of a series that shares how God transformed community through a group of SVA artists on mission in Europe with Saddleback Church’s PEACE Plan. This last summer, thirteen artists from Saddleback Church took a step of daring faith onto a trip that fused the worlds of art and missions for Saddleback Church. It was a pioneering partnership between Saddleback Visual Arts and the PEACE Plan. Bringing these together put the power of art and creativity into an engine of global change. Of the five global giants the PEACE Plan tackles, we saw that SVA could best target spiritual emptiness, especially while in Europe. Much of the culture in Germany and Spain has grown cold to the name of Jesus and the idea of Church. In this hardened spiritual atmosphere, we saw that the arts could be a powerful tool to break down walls and help people take a fresh look at what Jesus has to offer. You may remember a time that you experienced the beautiful and powerful changes art made in your heart, life, or community. It may have been through a powerful piece of music, a soul-stirring image that stuck with you and changed the way you saw the world. I want to do my best at painting a picture of the powerful beginning this Arts-driven PEACE trip was for our church. In recounting the work that was done through Saddleback artists on the first arts-focused PEACE trip, there are some groundbreaking stories that stand as clear-cut testimonies of how God used the arts and creativity to change people’s lives. Processed with VSCOcam with a7 preset This was a historic trip for Saddleback. It is the first time that our Lake Forest family came together with another international campus to serve in another country on PEACE. This was not just Lake Forest members going to serve the Berliners and Spaniards. Two artists from Saddleback Berlin, Marius and Hannah, flew down to Spain to train and serve alongside us. This was a true partnership between Saddleback Lake Forest and Saddleback Berlin. Our international church grew smaller by this unified mission as we prepared together to bring a brighter light back to their campus and city. This was truly a Saddleback PEACE trip because the focus was on long-term empowerment of local church members. It was not about the artists from California coming in and making arts ministry happen for a month and then leaving. It was about teaching and empowering those from our Berlin campus, so that they could continue it in the long run. We did this in three ways. We began by building relationship and skills together in Spain through Edge Project, we went on to teach an Arts Ministry class to their church, and finally we led by example in several kinds of arts outreaches throughout the trip. Visit next week to read about some specific ways we used art to live on mission while in Altea, Spain. Written by Jason Leith, SVA Director
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