Hamilton Mass: Jonathan David Faulkner, the 24-year-old Proprietor of God’s Heart for Those and the former director of 10:31 Life Ministries, Pastor, Musician and Writer took a moment out of his busy study schedule to sit down and talk about his passion for the arts and the church, his current writing project and life in Seminary.
Brad: Jonathan, thank you for joining me.
Jonathan: You’re welcome
Brad: We know that you are musician, many of our readers have heard your music live, but what most people do not know about you is that you write as well. Can you tell us a little bit about that aspect of your life and any projects you might be working on?
Jonathan: Well, since I was a kid I have loved to tell stories, my mother used to say I could make something up and no one would know if it were true or not. I did not always use that power for good, especially before I became a Christian in 8th grade. I never wrote any of them down, what I did write was poem after poem, some in lyric structure, others were just poems. I would write them at school, print them off and carry them around in a huge binder or write them in this big notebook. I still have the binder and most of the songs, I should go back and look at them.
Anyway, I wanted to write a book, so I started writing this weird apocalyptic thing in this huge notebook. The idea was pretty good, or at least I thought it was, but I never finished it. My Junior year of college I wrote a book about my life and God’s work in it in about two weeks, I do not know where that book is now. Then last year I started working on a book series called “The Mozzaratt Saga.” Four books, a Trilogy and an origin story written by the main character of the book. I am almost done with book one and have made a good deal of progress in the origin story. The second and third book are still in the planning stages while I work out the plot, which by the way, you will have to buy the books when they come out. I am also working on a project dealing with Star Trek and another on Reconciliation and Social Justice, this of course while maintaining a rigorous Seminary reading schedule.
Brad: Those sound interesting, we know you have been involved in the Seminary’s Art’s Society. What do you think is the relationship between Christianity and Art?
Jonathan: I think they should be closely linked. In fact part of my mentored ministry responsibilities will be working in promoting art of all kinds at the church. For me it comes down to this; as Christians we are created by God, as part of God’s creativity, part of a natural response to that is to create, and we all do it, whether it is writing a song or coming up with your own paper filing system, we all create. I believe we are called to be sub-creators. Meaning, we create out of the overflow of our hearts of the Love of God with the desire to glorify Him by what we create. In Christianity then, art becomes a discipline for practicing the presence of God and glorifying Him, as well as a means to bless others by the gifts God has given us.
Several years ago, as part of the Good Discipline Series for GHFT I wrote an article on Art as a discipline. I still feel the same way, the closer we get to God the more our creativity will show up in the things we do. Back then I had written like 12 songs, in the 3 years since that article was written I have written over 200 more, that’s the Holy Spirit, that’s God driven creativity, I cannot take credit for that.
Brad: So should the church embrace all forms of art?
Jonathan: Absolutely, we do ourselves a disservice when we relegate art to music and music only. Painting for example is a wonderful expression of the Glory of God. Poetry is part of the Bible, and there is a lot of good poetry and good poets sitting in our congregations. I have talked to artistic church members who feel like they are being stifled, like their creative abilities have no place in the church. So we do ourselves and these an incredible disservice by not embracing their gifts and abilities so that we can all be blessed by them.
It should also be said that arts is individual praise to God expressed in the Corporate body. If you praise God by painting the body of Christ should have the chance to join you in praising and Glorifying God. That way, in your eternal enjoyment of Him, others might also get to enjoy Him through the use of your gifts.
Brad: Do you have time to create while in Seminary?
Jonathan: Not as much as I did before, that is for sure. But I try to take time out of my day to work on “non-academic work” to make sure I have time to let the creative juices flow. I spend a lot of those hours working on the book series or writing music. I call them Artist Dates, a term we used in Denver to describe getting away to do what our soul longs to do.
Brad: So art helps you cope with a busy schedule?
Jonathan: Among other things, I have a strict routine that I follow as far as prayer and scripture reading go. Sometimes I go to prayer on campus, though usually I leave early because the spirit has stirred something within me and I have to write a song or poetry or something. I need to start taking a notepad with me.
Brad: Any final thoughts on Art and life in general?
Jonathan: I think that art is as much formative as it is transformative. I will give you an example; songwriting, for me, usually comes out of times of deep reflection and contemplation on God and what He has done. That is formative for me because it helps me draw closer to Him. But say that song makes it into my life show, someone hears the message and is encouraged and drawn closer into their relationship with God who is transforming us through Sanctification. Or starts to think about God because of it. Whether that night or over time they find themselves drawn to God and become a believer and be transformed by God and the Gospel because God encouraged me, by the Spirit, to write the song. It also may be transformative for me in case I forget the lesson I was contemplating when I wrote the song. It could be the same with a poem, a story, a drawing, a painting any form of creativity, especially when coupled with the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Brad: Finally can you tell us what you are working on for the upcoming month at GHFT?
Jonathan: Sure, today I finished up an article on Interruptions and Ministry and I have been doing some research on the latest Joshua Feuerstien’s claims. So there could be another article addressing his teachings and claims. Other than that I cannot say what God is going to do, what surprising work of grace He might see fit to bring about that would make me want to praise Him.
Brad: Thank you Jonathan and have a good night.
Jonathan: You too Brad, night.
Bradly Tucker is the Content Editor & Copyright Manager for GHFT