Ministry closes the gap between the Church and Artists

By June 8, 2009

France (MNN) — Somewhere along the lines, Christians and artists became suspicious of each other. That's the foundational problem that Jim and Angela Beise are trying to
minister to in Paris, France through The Mission Society.

Their ministry, The Fonderie, is an active group of Christian artists working in a professional world of non-believers. "That's why we invest in their lives, because
in their world as artists they are the ones who will be evangelists; not necessarily or automatically through their art, but instead, through their lives," said Beise.

The Fonderie offers discipleship classes, weekend retreats, coaching and prayer. In addition, they are engaged in art shows, small concerts, coffee house events, and creative project development. Their gallery is open for all artists–believers or not.

An artist's schedule may make going to church on a regular basis difficult. The rhythms of the two lifestyles are very different; for example, a jazz musician who plays at clubs
every night until 2 AM or a painter who is on tour for six weeks at a time. It leaves them disconnected from the body of Christ.

The Beise's ministry is a pastoral response to these challenges. They encourage artists in their talents. In some cases, artists have felt like a tool in the hands of the church, so there are lots of discussions that must take place in the process of integrating them back into a community.

A fonderie, or foundry in English, is a place where metals are purified and cast into objects. So the name "has a very Biblical idea of purification and also a very artisan idea of creation and the process of taking something in its raw nature and making
something beautiful," explained Beise.

Paris is one of the largest centers of art in the world, both visitors and local artists from every imaginable discipline. Success for The Fonderie would be discipling
successful artists so that while they are working they are also living as a powerful Christian witness to others in their profession. Eventually, they hope for the ministry to be
run indigenously.  

Pray for the three teams at the Fonderie: the artist gathering team, the art space, and
the worshipping community. Pray that their vision continues to blossom and that more and more artists are incorporated in their ministry. Pray for the salvation of artists who have felt the critical eye of the church in the past. Short term mission trips are
available if you or a team would like to help this ministry.

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