Instagram is fun! So fun. But, for the gospel-driven artist, it can be awkward. We paint in God’s Word, hand-letter His promises, color our way through our personal Bible study, and hope beyond hope that each time we upload a picture to social media, we’re pointing people to Him. But often, as we read through the comments, it’s our artwork that they’re praising.
Grow your skills with the hope of growing God’s Kingdom!
But still… it can be awkward.
Today a generation of creative, Jesus-loving women are using their artistic bent to bend others toward the gospel. Creative women of faith, many of them smack-dab in the midst of motherhood, are doing the awkward business of uploading faith inspiring pictures, with the ultimate hope of showcasing God’s Word for all to see.
One of my favorite ministry minded creatives is Shanna Noel, founder of the Illustrated Faith community. Her life is a beautiful portrait of how Gospel-power can flow out of a creative woman’s life. By example she inspires us to press into the awkwardness of platform building, with the hope of standing upon that virtual stage in order to hold up our Word-centric works of art.
(The following is an excerpt from Life Creative)
“The first time I stumbled across one of her photos, I gasped. Literally gasped. It was all right there, faith and art intersected in the most worshipful of ways. I didn’t really expect to find God on Instagram, not wrapped up in such fresh creativity, but there He was. His Words brought to life, then captured and shared for my encouragement.
Bless the Lord, O my soul! O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain. He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind. (Ps. 104:1–3)
This passage of Scripture is beautiful all on its own. God-breathed poetry.
However, the picture posted on Instagram took the verses to a new level of beauty. Utilizing colored pencils and her artist’s eye, Shanna Noel drew a masculine hand over the words of her Bible. As God’s fingers gently guided swirling waters across the page, Shanna drew us deeper into this Scripture than I had ever gone before. Right there on Instagram, in front of God and everybody, a personal faith was illustrated, uploaded, and shared with the world.
When this Renaissance mom of two young girls first began illustrating her faith, she did so as a form of private worship. Right there in the pages of her journaling Bible, the Word came alive as she offered her drawing and scrapbooking skills back to the One who made her so creative. Shortly after, at the start of 2014, Shanna heard a whisper. “This is meant to be shared.” Hesitant, she kept up her creative worship in the quiet of her own home until one day she felt a clear, strong push to snap a photo.
That one post on Instagram ignited a wild fire as creative women everywhere reached out and excitedly affirmed this beautiful new form of worship. Within months, the Illustrated Faith movement took off and Shanna found herself at the helm, encouraging and equipping women to not just read the words in their Bible but to really explore them. Using simple tools from the scrapbooking industry, the Illustrated Faith community took to Instagram and Facebook, inspiring thousands of women to pursue a deeper knowledge of God through His Word.
Years ago, Shanna’s gift would have likely been confined to her family’s enjoyment, a legacy passed down to grandchildren and great-grandchildren perhaps. Possibly she could have blessed her local church or women’s ministry with her skill set too. Today, however, it’s ignited a worldwide phenomenon, a revival so to speak, thanks to the digital age. One woman’s faith, filtered through the lens of her unique abilities, then shared authentically in the online realm of social media.
When creative talent and gospel love collide with the power of the Internet, a tidal wave of impact flows far beyond our reach. This is the effect of social media, flowing out from a creative’s heart to the ends of the earth, a visual wild fire of gospel-infused artistry.”
If you are creative mom, eager to use your talent for God’s glory – even in this intense season of motherhood, “Life Creative” was written for you! We believe that your unique gifts make you uniquely equipped to share the gospel right in your home, in your local communities, and even out into the world in this digital age! Order your copy of Life Creative today.
*Bible art featured in this post is by Renaissance Mom, Melissa Fischer.