Missio Dei: A Journal of Missional Theology and Praxis 4, no. 1 (February 2013)

color_lens Visual Art Article

A Missional Church Is . . . : Artistic Expressions of a Fuzzy Concept

by Aaron Sparks

The Chattahoochee Valley Church in Columbus, Georgia commissioned the “Missional Church” series after Mark Woodward presented a series of lessons. I had done a few smaller projects for earlier themes the ministry staff had presented to me.

Each of the posters is purposefully simplistic and relies on symbols to portray the statements in a way that expands upon each of the ideas. It’s great to have the opportunity to use artwork to inspire, encourage, and develop the church in a way that will hopefully get them thinking more missionally. I hope that these images will serve to communicate to everyone from longtime Christians to newly reborns. It’s my hope that these images are able to constantly preach, every time someone views them. For example, if they remember the image of the church building with its walls felled and pointing outward, then imagine how they are to bring Christ to the world outside those four walls, I would deem the purpose of the images a success.

I hope the message received is that the whole church body, not just its leaders, is tasked with sharing the gospel to its neighbors, coworkers, and friends. I’m struck by how quickly the early church was able to spread the gospel, even through persecution, because all had taken on the duty of spreading the good news. They were excited about it. I’m not sure what steps need to be taken to stop the pervasive cultural misconception that mission work is “not my job” among the church members. We’ve assumed the roles of spectators and performers rather than a unified cause for Christ.

Aaron Sparks is a former youth minister who moved to the UK in 2010 to attempt vocational mission work and is now starting a career in social care work for young people. He has a beautiful wife, a five-year-old Star Wars fanboy, and a three-month-old Princess Leia in training. He is most likely found in a coffee shop reading a good book.