Communicating the Gospel through the Arts featuring Todd Wagner

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In this 60 minute session from the 2008 Echo conference, Todd Wagner  talks about the importance of using media and the arts to engage people in the message of the gospel. Todd Wagner is the Senior Pastor of Watermark Community Church in Dallas, TX.

As you watch this session, take notes and write down thoughts about how this session can impact your role.

Todd said that the human mind is a picture gallery. Just think how mankind communicated in images before spoken words!  There were petroglyphs in caves to tell history. Stained glass windows conveyed the story of God before people could read. And he challenged us to use metaphors in image and words to illustrate powerful Truth so that people will imagine the reality of God's love for them. 

He was so encouraging to the arts community when he said, "You must do this! You matter, big time."

You don't have to be in "Christian media" to advance the things that matter to God. How is your gift as an artist in media, music, images, storytelling, and spoken word honoring God? How does it move people toward things that matter to God?
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Todd compared entertaining (holding someones's attention), with amusement (without thinking). How does your medium entertain? Does it ever just amuse?
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Todd gave some powerful statistics on how media affects our body image as a way to illustrate that powerful communication can be destructively transforming. How does your communication in your medium transform? Is it positive or negative?
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Todd said that most people choose church like they would choose a cruise ship. Is it comfortable? Do I like the food and music? Does it go where I want it to go? He said that Jesus doesn't call us to comfort, but to a battle. Todd communicates to his congregation that they are signing on to a battleship, not a cruise ship. Do you agree with his message? What message are you conveying?
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Todd used 2 Samuel 17: 16-23 to show the difference in simply communicating truth and powerful communicators. Absalom heard the ideas of Ahithoplel, but Absalom felt and acted on the descriptive, passionate and ideas that Hushai illustrated, which came from the same facts. You may consider re-reading that story.

Think of your last story, sermon, script, film, music, song or project. How were you being descriptive, passionate and illustrative in your communication? Where were you just conveying the facts? Can you see the difference?
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Besides encouraging us by saying, "You must do this," Todd also said "You must be this!" He reminded us that Jesus is the ultimate metaphor. He visible image of an unseen God. He challenged us to remember that we are the prime imagery that brings other to Christ.

Take some time to read Matt. 5:16, John 13:34-45 and I Peter 3:15-16.

How is your life illustrating who God is?
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Who is helping you notice and remove "the gorilla" in your life?
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We will never be all that Jesus wants us to be without each other. We cannot live in isolation. We cannot do it alone. Make sure you mix your life with others as you seek to powerfully communicate the Truth of the gospel.

For information or to purchase tickets to experience next year's Echo Conference live, go to