Masterpiece Musings

Perspective from a New Instructor

by Sean McCallum

Masterpiece is an opportunity that God had been preparing me for, through pursuits in visual arts, youth ministry, teaching and living in purposeful community over the course of years. Perhaps what I wasn’t prepared for was the impact that Masterpiece’s students, leadership and instructors would have on me. In His wisdom having prepared this “good work”, God certainly blessed me through a time of deep refreshment by providing an opportunity for investment into the lives of young creatives.

After literally years of trying to coordinate my summer to match camp schedules and instructional needs, I jumped at the opportunity. This was, after all, the ministry established when I was the same age as the current campers, with the purpose of connecting students to creativity and to their creator, a subject I’m deeply passionate about. I’ve been fortunate to teach visual art for the last 7 years at Wheaton Academy, and this opportunity to partner with a like minded ministry was nothing short of a creative recharge; allowing me to bring back to the classroom a valuable new perspective on art making in the context of community from a cross disciplinary perspective.

Over the course of the week, I witnessed God’s great grace through the interactions of staff and students, one to another. A tangible and resonant image of Christ’s love for us. I watched as students encouraged one another in areas of strength and weakness, offering feedback with a gentle spirit and selfless love. Young artists thought deeply and worked diligently in creative disciplines they are passionate about, and other disciplines they were just adventurous enough to explore. Eager hearts raised hands in worship, sang songs, danced, wrote, recorded film, photographed and painted, while hesitant hearts were allowed space to enter in as the Holy Spirit prompted, often quietly at first and sometimes with a burst of unrestrained joy. Collaborative efforts from students in diverse creative pursuits came together to highlight the beauty of one another’s craft, making a greater whole from the individual contributions.

All this in a week, leaving me unalterably impacted, even wrecked, in the best possible way, by God’s great Masterpieces.Having perhaps received more than I bargained for, I can’t wait to bring back all the things I’ve learned to my classroom, and I can’t wait to see what God has in store for us next year.