Spheres of influence.

We each have one. Probably more than one.

And each sphere is a culture. A set of unspoken nuances, rules, and behaviors that differentiate it from other cultures.

And you’re in it. You’re in it to bring Jesus and aspects of his character into the middle. Sometimes subtly and over time. Other times abruptly and within minutes.

Calls and cultures cannot be compared. It’s a dangerous game to get involved in. Some people will influence thousands in their lifetime; others will influence one. But the measuring stick isn’t necessarily volume: it’s faithfulness.

I won’t be asked if I was diligent to affect your cultures. Just my own.

I serve at New Life with an amazing team of creatives. Designers, fabricators, and all around hard workers. Visionaries.

Part of my call to Jefferson County is to slowly, over time, help teach a community to appreciate art. Things that aren’t easily explained with simple metaphors because their impetus was to provoke unique emotions in each individual. Not to draw parallels.

In creating the “Refresh” stage set for October – drawn by Jason Clement, sewn and set by Kathy Fahey, and rigged by Zach Yelle and Daniel Gilchrist – some will see joy. Others will be inspired. Some will wonder. Find fascinating. Stir memories. Be provoked.

But regardless of meaning, memories, or metaphors, I hope people find it beautiful.

For beauty is a mark of the Kingdom.

And she doesn’t need a reason.

She simply is. Because God likes beautiful things.

Just because.

So what are you being faithful to? What are the many-faceted, multi-layered, underlying missions that burn in your heart? Who are the people you’re reaching, the themes you’re living out, the calls your answering?

When you can, be specific. Intentional. Write it down, pray over it, act on it. Ask yourself what you see your cultures looking like after your time serving within them is done.

Don’t wait for someone else to do the job God assigned you to do. ch:



Beth Walrath · 1 Oct ’11 at 9:16 am

Once again you challenged me to do more.
Your thought provoking questions made me think of new things God is calling me to do.
Love the last line. “don’t wait for someone else to do the job God assigned you to do.” He has a purpose for everyone in His kingdom, if we do our part & it frees someone else up to do another important part.

    Christopher Hopper · 1 Oct ’11 at 10:25 am

    “If we do our part & it frees someone else up to do another important part.”

    An equally compelling line.

Glade · 1 Oct ’11 at 9:49 am

Aye, we have all been called, as Christians, to preform some special task for the True King before we receive our heavenly reward. I’m still trying to find my place in His plan for me, but reading things like this excite me for what lays in store! Inspiring post, Sir Hopper, as always!!

    Christopher Hopper · 1 Oct ’11 at 10:26 am

    God is never late and rarely early. I’m confident He’s molding you into a trustworthy arrow to be released, fly true, and hit the mark you were intended for.

Kirk · 1 Oct ’11 at 10:06 am


I’m not the most “artsy” person in regards to actual artwork – but I do like to think of myself as creative or visionary. Often times, I think guys like me think of art as something for others. However, your post reminded me of the beauty of Creation – in fact, us hunters love the woods for that very reason. The Creation is truly a magnificent thing. Thanks for all of your giftings (and those that help you!) that allow us to appreciate and have a greater love for “Art”. Great post!

    Christopher Hopper · 1 Oct ’11 at 10:32 am

    You bring up a fantastic point, especially as it pertains to “the north country.” While there might not be a strong appreciation for “classic art” as we know it, there certainly is a deep appreciation for nature and creation. And this is not to be discounted. Bridging the gap between those two appreciations will only strengthen them.

    I also think there is a place for men to be more vocal about true beauty. It’s often gotten the rap of being feminine. As a result, a lot of men have either stopped being creative all together, or have felt – at least in the secular world – they have to be a homosexual to be artistic. (Hair dressers, clothing designers, painters, actors, musicians). While the most powerful and creative person we know is as masculine as they come: the Lord Himself.

Don Bonner · 1 Oct ’11 at 1:44 pm

More good thinking from your corner of the North Country, Chris. I like your response to Kirk. One thing to be realized also is the “payoff” need not be immediate. The lowly flower blooming for God’s sake on the less traveled trail of the Adirondacks is just as beautifully bringing glory to God as the bouquets some worship houses place in the santuaries. Then too, the 24-hour clock is not the sole determining factor either.

Last week my wife Karen was speaking to a family we had not seen for years. When introduced to the 13-14 year old girl we had been instrumental in her adoption into a strong believing family, She gasped and said, “You saved my life!” What a work of art by her Creator and our Lord.

    Christopher Hopper · 1 Oct ’11 at 9:54 pm

    What an incredible story! Must have made your and Karen’s decade! Awesome!

Anna E · 2 Oct ’11 at 12:22 pm

Such a gorgeous set! amazing post, bubba 🙂

    Christopher Hopper · 2 Oct ’11 at 2:30 pm

    Thanks Anna! Your momma had a lot to do with it. 🙂

    How’s William Wallace-ville?

      Anna E · 2 Oct ’11 at 4:12 pm

      It grrrreat! Loving everything!

Christian Fahey · 2 Oct ’11 at 5:52 pm

“For beauty is a mark of the Kingdom.” That one statement says so much. God’s ultimate goal, among other things, is the wedding and elevation of beauty and truth. They are neither antithetical nor mutually exclusive, but complementary. And the goal to bring Jeff Co. up rungs on the ladder of appreciation of art, of culture, of beauty, of literature, etc. is more important than any of us can possibly imagine. Outstanding Christopher. (God, this is inspiring….!) BTW, this set (spheres and masts), like those that have preceded it, are REALLY cool! 🙂

Imhof Lionel · 3 Oct ’11 at 9:39 am

Difficult to write in english, so…

“Qui je suis, là où je suis, ici et maintenant”. Voilà en soi, ce que je crois juste d’être et de faire. Je crois que nous avons tous la capacité d’être influent, quelque soi la sphère dans laquelle nous nous trouvons. En être conscient ne peut que nous aider à réaliser que nous sommes témoins d’une manière ou d’une autre. Un vrai problème aujourd’hui, c’est que nous portons beaucoup plus d’importance sur ce que nous faisons que sur qui nous sommes….

    Christopher Hopper · 3 Oct ’11 at 12:52 pm

    “C’est que nous portons beaucoup plus d’importance sur ce que nous faisons que sur qui nous sommes.”

    Cela est si vrai. Vraiment le plus puissant de notre, de notre influence sur les plus authentiques cultire vient d’être nous-mêmes. Bien dit!

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