Painters and Poets


Painters and Poets

We want to learn from the stories of those who are looking with fresh eyes and creating new images of how we partner in the mission of God.

We are creative creatures. The Genesis stories of the Bible tell of humankind being made in the image of Creator. We become image bearers of the Great Creator and in that image we bear an essential quality of creativity. We are both that which is created, a creature, and that which by our nature creates, a creative.

The reality of being creative creatures is that we are always creating something with our lives. Good or bad, light or darkness, hope or despair, righteousness or sin, we are always creating. The question is never “will we create?” Instead it is always “what are we creating?”

At the heart of all creativity is story. Our lives tell a story. Our decisions tell that story. Our values tell that story. Sometimes we choose to tell a story with our lives, other times we do it unwittingly. But we always tell a story.

As we read the sweep of the Bible we see a story of a God who is redeeming all things. A story with the life, death and resurrection of Jesus at the centre of it. The challenge is how we join in this story. How do we participate in the story that God Himself is telling?

What role does He have for us to play in our time and place? How do we become known characters in our community, characters known to be part of Christ’s drama? It takes courage to overcome the stage-fright that comes with this territory.

Over the past centuries of Christendom people have chosen to engage with this story of God by attending church services. The primary lens through which the west has understood the world and made sense of their lives has been the story of God, revealed through Jesus. However, in our context of post-Christendom, we now face a time where people don’t know this story, don’t engage with it in ways past generations have. One of the challenges for those pioneering fresh expressions of church is how we tell the story of God in new ways and places.

At White Canvas Collective we’re interested in learning from those pioneering fresh ways of telling this story and helping people enter into this story. One of the white canvases at the heart of our Collective is the canvas set up on the artist’s easel, or a screen-writer’s storyboard. Old canvases can be whitewashed to repaint the same picture in a new way. The image of a white canvas, rather than a blank one, points to a re-creative approach to pioneering that translates the contours of an ancient portrayal in faithful but fresh ways.

We want to hear the stories of those who are taking creative steps into joining in the mission of God. We are interested in creating space where we can listen to those who are proactively create new and inspired ways of being church.