A new era

Sam Mahlstadt —  July 21, 2014 — Leave a comment

After a seven month hiatus, I’m dusting off the site and I have a few cool things in store to add value and enrichment to your life.

Over the next few months, you can expect to see a new and improved ecourse built on what I learned during last year’s course, a collaborative ebook written by some brilliant minds on the topic of Art and Pain, and new content on how to align your life and work to the gospel even in the most trying situations and while facing conventional power structures.

I will be working on my second book, and the content will all be worked out on this site in one form or another.

You can expect deeper work, focused intensely on helping you in your life and work.

Thanks for stopping back, and I’ll see you back here soon!

Sam

When people attempt to answer the question what do I want to be when I grow up? (And yes, at any age) they are often encouraged to answer a few questions. Like…
What brings you great joy?
Why do people seek you out?
What unique skill do you possess?

Recently, I’ve been facilitating training at my job. It’s not part of my standard responsibilities, and I have no training background. But, due to a few circumstances I was asked to step in. Things went well and I was asked to step in again and again. Now, I’m in sunny Phoenix for a few weeks to help facilitate and support training. Strange (but warm) turn of events.

See… :)

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And after each session I train, I receive some form of positive feedback. Now I’m sure that’s common. But…several people (once every couple sessions) have approached me and said something like, you should be a trainer! or yesterday a gal said, you should be a motivational speaker (she didn’t know I have some preaching and teaching background) and a few people have even said, you’ve missed your calling.

These kinds of statements do funny things to a person. They make you feel good, they make you feel valued, and they make you feel doubt, and they make you feel like you may have, in fact, missed your calling.

I’ll talk a bit more about this in the new adaptation of my newsletter, Tuesday Morning Coffee (which was supposed to start this week…coming soon!). Subscribe HERE.

I had a friend recently point me to the work of Andrew Sullivan by way of The Dish. Feel free to stop now and just go read through the site; it’s really, really good.

He’s heard me speak on Creative Theology and pointed me to this article, The Voice of God in Human Form, a piece on Bach.

The article is a reflection on the book, Music in the Castle of Heaven, which is now on my reading list.

I can’t get over the closing line…

We are made in the image of God, the Bible tells us; in the same way, our music is a distant echo of Paradise.

Preach.

As I’ve been writing about issues of faith and creativity the past few years, I have seen reoccurring themes and struggles among artists, creative directors, pastors, and lay-people as they wrestle with what it means to live and create a life (and art) that honors God.

Within worship services, at day jobs, and in our communities, these themes reemerge over and over again. And especially since people who have a natural creative bent tend to isolate themselves, it is vital that we come together and work through these in community.

For this reason, I will be hosting a short digital course to give some theologically grounded, highly practical next steps to overcoming common struggles felt by those creating work within the church, and those who are faithfully navigating the daily minutiae in pursuit of honoring God with their work. I will also help facilitate networking (which makes me horribly uncomfortable) with other Christian artists and creative-minded individuals, and discussion around what it means to join God in his good work.

I will be sharing a few concepts such as how to craft your life (and art) in response to the Creator, how the burden of creation may seem inevitable but how it can be conquered, and what it means to take our place in the restorative work of God. The course will run for 6 weeks, and the content will be delivered via email. I’ll utilize long form content, videos, short calls to action, and more. Heck, who knows…maybe we’ll work in some live interaction! Yay internets.

Here’s some of the content we’ll cover within the course:

  • Creating a body of work with your life
  • Living in response to God’s work all around you
  • How working in bursts creates much needed margin
  • Cultivating creative talent
  • Curating artwork in the local church
  • Producing deep work and resisting the urge to copy
  • How to be both creative and prolific, as required with a 6-day turnaround timeframe in church work
  • Releasing artists to join in the work of the gospel

Registration secures you a spot in an exclusive online community that will receive resources and an opportunity to connect throughout the year. All attendees will receive an eBook version of Creative Theology. See what people are saying about the book here.

The course is for:
Pastors
Creative Directors
Those who are referred to as “creatives” or refer to themselves as an artist
Musicians
Worship Leaders
Writers
Those interested in exploring the intersection between faith and creativity

The course is not for:
Those with all the answers
Those who can fit faith, creativity, and work into three different compartments

If this is you, register to secure your spot here!

Communicating Mysteries

Sam Mahlstadt —  September 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

I’m always happy when I get a request to contribute to the online magazine for church leaders, @sundaymagtv.

The most recent edition was all about the theme Level Up, and I was asked to write about the need to engage in, and communicate, the mysteries of the Christian faith.

This is my favorite article I’ve written to date. And the article artwork was great as well. How about this image? Melissa Watkins did a fantastic job. So fun!

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You can read the article here.