March 13, 2017

Creative Arts

Without question, we live in a time when visual communication, storytelling, and empathetic connection are top cultural currencies. Marketplace enterprises over the last decades have used this currency to their designed ends, but the Christian mission enterprise on the whole has not. The Creative Arts track will bring together creatives and non-artistic leaders in order to primarily equip those who don’t know what to do with creatives and artist by providing an (1) understanding of creatives and the creative arts and (2) understanding of the strategic role they must play in the mission enterprise. Come and consider, perhaps for the first time, how to operate in the heart language of our culture.


CW-Allen-amplifyCW Allen is an urban evangelist and minister in Chicago, IL, developing creative strategies to reach at-risk communities for Christ, especially among those shaped by the urban hip-hop culture. Born and raised Cleveland, Ohio, he grew up listening to Hip Hop music, falling in love with its heart pounding drums and bass lines. By God’s grace, CW had already fallen deeply in love with Jesus when CW began penning his own Hip Hop lyrics. After attending Moody Bible Institute 2009-2013, CW began to experiment with the communicative power of his gift as a Hip Hop artist to share Christ and win disciples. He is one of Chicago’s up-and-coming Hip Hop evangelists and serves as a staff minister in Chicago with Artist In Christian Testimony Intl.

Workshop: “God’s Artistic Evangelism for Our Urban Cities: A Powerful Case Story”

Peter-Marshall-amplifyPeter Marshall joined The Gideons International in Canada in 2005 after many years of running a successful, Ontario, Canada-based clothing company with his wife, Keli. In August 2011, he was appointed President of the ministry. Since then, he has led the implementation of many critical organizational changes, including the launch of ShareWord Global in the United States and the introduction of contextually powerful resources in a variety of media, while maintaining the ministry’s 105-year-old mission of sharing the message of Christ with the world.

Workshop: “Artistic Expression & Imaginative Intelligence: Three Biblical Foundations Needed to Understand Creative Arts in Evangelism”

David-McNutt-amplifyRev. Dr. David McNutt (Ph.D., Cambridge) is an Associate Editor at IVP Academic, an imprint of InterVarsity Press, where he oversees the Studies in Theology and the Arts series. He is also a Guest Professor in the Biblical & Theological Studies Department and the Philosophy Department at Wheaton College. He is an ordained Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA), and he currently serves as a Parish Associate at First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn. He and his wife, the Rev. Dr. Jennifer McNutt, also serve the church through McNuttshell Ministries, their teaching, preaching, and writing ministry.

Workshop: “The Bezalel Option: Biblical and Theological Foundations for Evangelism to/through the Arts”

Megan-Myers-amplifyDr. Megan Meyers is an ethnodoxologist serving with WorldVenture Mozambique since 2009, whose work focuses on the development of disciples, church ministry, and mission through the use of contextualized worship arts. She is a lecturer of worship arts, communication, and contextualization at the Bible Institute of Sofala and the Baptist Bible Institute in Beira, Mozambique.

Workshop: “Music, Medicine & Community Engagement: A Case Story of Artistic Evangelism in Integral Missions”


Matthew-Niermann-amplifyMatthew Niermann, Ph.D., is a professor, designer, researcher, and mission strategist working at the intersection of Christian mission and design—in particular architectural design. Matthew serves as the Associate Dean of the College of Architecture, Visual Art, and Design at California Baptist University, while also serving as Strategic Operations for The Lausanne Movement. Fully considering the relationship between design and missions, Matthew’s work argues for and generates research to support the idea that aesthetics is fundamentally a mission category.

Workshop: “Design and Aesthetics: The Missions Category We Have Forgotten”

Byron-Spradlin-amplifyDr. Byron Spradlin is the Founder and President of Artists in Christian Testimony Intl, a missions & ministry sending board for artists and creatives, now with over 320 artistic and innovative staff touching 32 nations. He is an artists-in-missions-&-ministry specialist who has served the Body of Christ as a Bible teacher, church planter, worship pastor, evangelist, professor, recording artist, published songwriter, and arts-missiologist in over 50 countries. He is a leading thought-leader in the role of imagination and the arts in The Church and her missional mandates.

Workshop: “Artistic Expression & Imaginative Intelligence: Three Biblical Foundations Needed to Understand Creative Arts in Evangelism”

Mark-Snowden-amplifyMark Snowden co-chairs the Orality work group for the Mission America Coalition. He leads Snowden Ministries International and also serves as Director of Missional Leadership for the Cincinnati Area Baptist Association. He holds a Masters of Science in Communications Management from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA. The late Avery T. Willis, Jr., and Mark co-authored Truth That Sticks (NavPress), a how-to book on Orality and he wrote Canmar Passing (Amazon), a science fiction novel about an oral society.

Workshop: “The Oral Arts in Evangelism”