Just returned from Slot Art Festival in Poland, and a rich visit with friends in Prague. Nice to taste and see all that is happening spiritually in this amazing part of the world. This year, i was able to enter more deeply into a dialogue about culture, nations and individual identity. I had wonderful conversations about where people see their nation at, and how that relates to their personal spiritual journeys. I always learn so much by traveling the festival circuit in europe in the summers!
Stayed and traveled with our old friends the Jones, and this year, also with Sasa Flek from Prague. We all journeyed up together in a very long truck and listened to balkan and moroccan music, pilgrimaging in a manner which only the Jones can pull off! Got to see many old friends at Slot from poland and germany and also made some very special new friends!
I was more focused than usual on studying current cultural movements, and also dialoguing with people about national identity and how it relates to their own personal stories. Lots of good seeds for future visits and workshops, conversations in these areas.
Specifically, I noticed two spirit trends gathered this year, while traveling in Eastern Europe. One is simple: God is planting himself into culture directly. This has always been the case–look at Daniel in the babylonian culture. But more, God is redeeming culture itself. And is showing favor to those willing to go in and start not just church movements, but cultural movements. You see this with the new Czech bible 21 project, where God is allowing the cultural circuits to carry the word, and then also in Poland, where it is more arts and education where new movements are occuring. So, i was looking at how cultural movements happen in the areas of arts and education–very enlightening!
Felt this at Slot–these guys were interested not primarily in church planting, but in inhabiting their particular areas or spheres in their culture, and the many networks (friends and family) each person had. Talked a lot of how to effect your sphere of influence, and how to mobilize people towards cultural change, in the areas which are dead. Dead growth is not growth, but potential growth.
The other trend, had to do with arts and business conjoining to provide a more whole picture of how God works. I met several people gifted in business who are working with creative types to make a fuller expression which is also successful in the practical areas. This seems to be a global trend–the mutually fruitful conjoining of arts and business.
The relationship between artists and business has been a God-focus recently, but it was very nice on this trip to see even more fruit from real life collaborations between very successful business folks and great artists.
In Prague, our friend’s new “green” hotel, which has an international staff of many creative people, models this joining of a visionary business person with practical jobs for artists and international pilgrims. When we lived in prague there was nothing like this happening-so it was very cool to see a business functioning which integrated the arts, and provided people who feel called to be in Prague a practical way to be there. The building itself was also so artistic and alive, i was truly inspired! Amy and I stayed there several nights in wonder.
This hotel, called “Mosaic House”, is also where Sasa’s church meets, so i felt the integration of church and culture as we shared communion in that inspiring and very well designed space! Thanks Sasa for opening your arms to us strange strangers. It was also a privilege traveling the nations with you in the Jones global nomadic truck. Felt like old times, and new!
Thanks again for all who tuned in for us! May you find and bring His Life into your unique orbits of influence!