Christians across Nigeria and the world at large have been encouraged to de-emphasize the differences in denominations that exist in Christianity, especially as God’s word, the Bible, promotes love, unity and peace.
This call was made at a colorful event tagged ‘Painting for Christ,’ organized to bring together young Christians from various denominations with the purpose of praising God through painting on canvas.
The event, which held in Victoria Island Lagos on Saturday, December 10, 2016created a platform for participants to use painting as a means to express worship through art to the Almighty God. Through their painting, the participants were expected to expressany fruits of Christianity that appeals to them or a Bible verse that strengthens their faith.
Host of Painting for Christ party, Ayobola Adedayo, explained that she got the inspiration to organize the programme through a dream she had.
She said: “In the dream it appeared as if we Christians were competing against one another. It was like a scene of a dance worship competition. And the contest was about which party was able to worship better,as one party tried to praise louder while the other party also tried to outdo them. Yet, it was all to glorify the same God.
“Then suddenly, after several dancesin the competition all Christians came together as one group to worship in unity. Unbelievers looked and were impressed by the unity in Christianity and even applauded.That was when I woke up and this made me yearn for more togetherness, to an extent some churches are really putting an effort for togetherness with large inter-denomination concerts and this is quite commendable. I was already looking for how to appreciate God and I realised I could achieve both, which is the appreciation and the togetherness which I yearn for. “
Ayobola said, this led her to conceive the Painting for Christparty, due to the fact that she practices painting as a hobby and also a curator for Cocktails’n’ Craft, which is a leisure time social painting event in her spare time.
“The ‘Painting for Christ’ party allows Christians from different denominations to come together and use painting as a medium of worship, this is simply worship with paint and canvas to express love for God artistically and the infusion of the fruits and qualities of Christianity such as faith, peace, abundance, love among others. If there is anything participants are believing God for, or a Bible verse that speaks to them, they could express it in painting. That is the purpose of this event tagged Painting for Christ,” she explained.
Ayobola said Christians can worship God with their talents. It’s a new medium to give God glory. According to her, the participants were selected randomly. “We announced the event on social media and encouraged interested persons to get a T-shirt that qualifies them to take part in the Painting for Christ party. Event is totally non-profit and the participants are from different denominations and are not professional artists.
She also noted that each painting has a message – One of the painting expressed love with a bible verse that backs it up, while another shows God having the whole world in his hand, among other paintings.
The artworks are not for sale but the participants could take it home as souvenirs. We have plans to come up with more ways to express our profound love for God, Ayobola explained.
Through this Painting for Christ initiative, she believes that other Christians can emulate, replicate and come up with other own ideas or ways to emphasize unity and at the same time praise God. She said,it doesn’t have to be painting. It could be pottery, sewing and other concepts. There is no limit to how we can worship God to give him glory.
While giving a brief background of herself, she mentioned that she studied microbiology in the university and has worked in advertising industry. Currently, she works in a telecoms company.
She also revealed how she got her creativity and love for painting: “When I was kid my mum noticed that I liked drawing, reading and writing. I recall that I always had asketch pad and I developed my own novels and magazines with complete table of content and illustrations, alsoa while backI recorded a gospel rap song in 2007 and got quite some airplay on radio. I didn’t really pursue that path, as I decided to go the corporate way due to my love for marketing, technology andadvertising that has a bit of everything I loved, which is creativity through graphics, music jingles, illustrations, strategy, digital, apps, portals, UX and UI. I still write songs although they are not written for commercial purpose.