(As seen on Fuller Seminary's Website)
In high school and college, my life was all about acting! But when I started following Christ, I wasn’t
sure I could be a Christian and a performing artist. How could they co-exist? I assumed theatre wasn’t the best place to be
a Christian, “those thespians” were bad influences, and Shakespeare was a
little too racy for Jesus.
I was encouraged my skills would be best used for church
skits and youth group. So, I spent my
time dancing in a Technicolor dream coat, choreographing hand motions to Steven
Curtis Chapman, and casting out demons, in mime.
And, truthfully I enjoyed it. (I was even convinced seeing any movie that
wasn’t PG-13, or under, was sinful).
After college I entered full time ministry. And the story flipped.
God reignited my artistic passions and stretched them beyond
what I thought was Biblically “legal.” Someone
in my church hooked me up with a talent agent, which I was sure was grounds for
burning at the stake.
Then, I stumbled
upon Fuller and found myself in classes
like, “Theology and Film,” and “Evangelism and Pop Culture.” Somebody
pinch me. You’re telling me in order to get my Master’s degree, my
classes require me to
watch rated R movies and go to the Sundance Film Festival? What will the
church ladies say?
God’s kingdom was a lot bigger than I had thought.
I realized my early days were preparation for my ministry
calling. Now, I’m a pastor, AND an actor
I serve in Peninsula Covenant Church to equip our
congregation. I get to create media, (and my characters aren’t always required
to sport sandals, a tunic or a beard), and offer opportunities for people to
engage meaningfully with truth through discussions and experiences on our
campus and in the community. We set up film screenings to dialog with
filmmakers (and the Church ladies bake cookies).
We’re launching arts programs
in schools and we’re discovering God’s kingdom everywhere, not just in our
building on Sundays. And I’m encouraging our church to hang out with those “crazy
artist people,” AND also to become one. For we have a lot to learn from both
the artists and the art they create.
Fuller’s emphasis on Theology and the Arts energized my creativity and
affirmed my life’s purpose. It was perfect timing and amazing training. And Fuller also connected me to the:
BayArea Windrider Film Forum: “Cinema in Conversation.”
This is a mini Sundance Film Fest, right here in Menlo
Park! This year it will be on June 27th, 28th, and 29th.
We’ll be watching films and exploring life issues with the
people who create the stories that move us. And we’ll be challenged to think
deeply and take action at Menlo Atherton Performing Arts Center (MAPAC).
Invite your friends, especially the ones who’d never go to a
Sunday service. Because they just might encounter God in a movie theater. I do
all the time.
Join the conversation.