“It was the first time I realized that painting could capture the Word of God, speak into people’s lives and give me the opportunity to share my faith.”

Janice T. (Alliance & Short-term team member)

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Every day all around the globe, artists on mission are creating, cultivating, and contributing in their communities. As they seek to see their art used in the work the Lord is doing, we want to share their stories to encourage and inspire.
This blog is a place to read those stories, giving you a glimpse into how the Lord is using the arts around the world.
Tuesday, 04 June 2024 02:09

Thank God This Friday

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We caught up with Alliance member Juni recently to hear about a beautiful outreach project she has helped lead called Thank God This Friday. Find out more about the project below!

It all started with prayer. Juni Ng, serving with OM Hong Kong, had been praying for a long time about how the Arts Ministry could partner with like-minded church partnerships and demonstrate what partnership with the Arts Ministry could look like. 

She approached the pastors of Hong Kong Baptist Church Good Neighbour Chapel to explore the possibility of partnership with OM Hong Kong’s arts ministry, but they were unsure at first and told her they would keep it in mind. In the meantime, Juni gathered a group of artists to read and discuss the Lausanne paper Redeeming the Arts together on an online platform. It came up in those times of discussion that the artists perceived the local church didn’t understand the arts and their role in faith. Many artists expressed that they felt hurt or misunderstood by their churches.

And then one day, one of the pastors at Hong Kong Baptist Church Good Neighbour Chapel asked Juni to come pray with her. She had been praying about how to pastor the young people in her church who were artistically minded but not confident in their gifts and sensed the Holy Spirit telling her to pray with Juni. During their time of prayer together, the pastor expressed that she felt many artists had been hurt by the church and wanted the church to embrace them. She wanted to see the arts redeemed. In response, they invited a group of the younger people to come and pray with them to see what they were sensing. The young people shared that they felt church was often too structured or formal for them to invite their friends; they wondered if there was a creative way to invite people into a space that would be more relaxed. Out of this conversation was born “Thank God This Friday.”

The people were extremely excited to prepare for the event, even bringing various things from home that they might be able to use to create a beautiful and engaging space. The same pastor who had invited Juni to pray stated that it was so special to watch everyone preparing, it was almost like watching the Tabernacle being built. Each person was bringing things in order to create a space in which people could encounter God. The first time the church hosted the event, they used the stage for a worship team, had a drawing station, a photo station, and a prayer corner. The older people got involved, as well, and the shared interest between generations created new connections within the church.

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After a successful first run, Thank God This Friday became a recurring event. The second time, they focused on having fun, playing games and taking funny photos. The third time, they emphasized the value that each person has and performed a musical drama on this theme. Juni shares, “It began to break apart concepts of what church is and what is taboo,” as multi-generational believers participated in this outreach that invited in those who may not know Jesus yet. The fourth time, they prayer walked around the community and found that there were many local shopkeepers that had touching stories to share. Seeing that Jesus was already at work in their community, they wrote cards to thank the shopkeepers for their work and invited them to the event to honor them. This began to help the broader community have a different concept of church. Two shopkeepers who had never been to church before came to the event. No longer were only those within the church attending the events, but community members were beginning to come, too.

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The fifth event was a time for those serving in the church to come have dinner with Jesus – a time to honor them and remind them that Jesus sees their service. Moving forward, the pastor realized she needed more help and went about forming a core team to assist with planning and executing Thank God This Friday. Three of the younger people and one older lady from the church have formed this new core team.

The next Thank God This Friday event is in July, and it will focus on the theme of peace. Will you join us in praying for Juni, the core team, and those at Hong Kong Baptist Church Good Neighbor Chapel as they pray over and plan this July event? Pray that many who do not yet know Jesus will simply come to see what this church is all about and be drawn to Him.

Last modified on Wednesday, 05 June 2024 20:34