this faith in the arts blog is coming to you live from 37,074 feet in the air flying over the nevada/utah border dallas-bound. it is only appropriate that my may guest for the fita blog is a local dallas resident, jonathan malm.
a couple weeks ago, my cousin [after reading my guest interview post on facebook] contacted me and led me to jonathan’s site. i have actually never previously heard of his job description before – it is quite unique. as you read below, he describes himself as a “church creative consultant”. i couldn’t imagine what a oddly amazing challenge that could be. i am sure it is not daisys and polka dots though when dealing with church leadership, structures and congregation. because let’s face it, sin is everywhere. but what an incredible opportunity to be the vessel that God can use to change hearts of churches and the people who attend.
[this above was all my personal opinion, not direct from malm at all].
What’s your name? Jonathan Malm
What do you do for a living? I write and speak about the creative process for churches. Sort of a church creative consultant.
Are you a (title of your job) Christian? Or a Christian who happens to be a (title of your job)? At times a bit of both. It’s a constant struggle to pursue Christ instead of pursuing my work for the Church. I’d like to say I always pursue Christ foremost…but I can’t say I always do.
What has been the most difficult aspect of being a follower of Christ in the midst of your specific profession? Tell us a specific time. Refer to the previous question. It’s really difficult to confuse working for Jesus for following Jesus. I can get so obsessed with my relationship with the Church that I forget my relationship with Jesus. Although they are highly connected, it’s a constant struggle to worship God instead of His Church.
How have you seen the depths of sin in your workplace/industry? It’s amazing how the Christian world isn’t so different than the secular world. I’m currently dealing with an issue: A Christian stage designers is plagiarizing my entire stage design website. When I talk to him he’s unwilling to stop… Sometimes Christians can be as or more sleazy than their “worldly” counterparts.
How many of your coworkers, boss, employees, clients etc. know that you are follower of Christ? I really hope they all know that.
What specific Biblical principles do you put into practice in your work? One of the biggest principles lately is the idea of turning the other cheek and following Christ’s example by making myself of no reputation. It’s challenging to try to defend myself and protect my reputation. But I’m continually learning to let God be my defender against attacks. Yep, Christian bite sometimes.
Are there areas of industry that you stay away from because of your faith? Not in this field.
What have you done through your job to further the kingdom of Christ? My goal in everything I do is to help the Church be more effective at reaching the lost and affecting change in its congregations. If I can help churches more clearly communicate the Gospel, I’ve done my job.
What specific books or authors do you think could help others in your industry grow in their walk with Christ? There’s a great book by Gary Molander called, “Pursuing Christ. Creating Art.” It very clearly speaks to the things I struggle with in my walk with Christ.
How have you seen the Glory of God through your profession? I’ve seen God build His own Church. Creativity in the Church isn’t about making it grow. It’s about removing obstacles for people. The Holy Spirit draws them and works on their hearts. We need to get out of the way and remove the obstacles and distractions for the people He draws to our churches.
If you could witness to one person on history, who would it be? I’m not sure I can pick one. I think I’d love to witness to any free thinker that had the chance to be a world changer. I wouldn’t want them to “Christianize” their inventions or art. But I think that would be my ideal vehicle for witnessing – our similar passions.
This or that (chose your favorite or what you would prefer)
Mac or PC? Mac
American Idol or The Voice? neither
Homebody or Travel Bug? I used to be a homebody…but I’m loving traveling…connecting to other believers in churches
Book or TV? both (but not at the same time)
Dream job? this is it.
Jonathan Malm writes and speaks about the creative process. He created and edits ChurchStageDesignIdeas.com and Sunday| magazine – a free online magazine about the creative side of Sunday mornings at church. Jonathan and his wife live in Dallas, Texas. You can connect with him on his blog: JonathanMalm.com.