Wednesday, April 17 2024 - 6:56 PM

Sharing Christ Through the Arts

Painting by Jim Berglund

The Painting Preacher

We recently interviewed Pastor Jim Berglund from Sonora, California about his passion for serving as a pastor, sharing God’s story, and art (among other things).

Editor—Jim, you are a pastor (in Sonora, California) and a spiritual leader who also happens to be an artist. We want to learn more about your art, but before we do that, please tell us about yourself and your background. Where did you grow up, and what were your interests?

Berglund—I grew up in Yakima, Washington. I managed a Dairy Queen and was studying to be a chef. At the age of 16, I became a Christian, a Seventh-day Adventist, and felt a call to ministry simultaneously. I fell in love with Jesus Christ and found the joy of my life in helping people know my awesome God. I desire to encourage people to take their next step toward Jesus. I am a Christian life coach and hospital chaplain and have a Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University. I have almost finished my Doctoral of Ministry degree.

I am married to Shelly Berglund, who is not only the wife of my youth, but remains the joy of my life. We have three wonderful children and their spouses, Pastor Shelina & David Bonjour, Pastor Joshua & Mayra Hester, and JaLynn Berglund.

I love life and enjoy a vast array of interests. Creativity is the gift I enjoy using in multiple areas of the arts, including acting, graphic design, floral arranging, cooking, singing, and playing multiple instruments, including piano, guitar, and Cajon. I am a Christian author with multiple articles in Christian magazines and several books: The God Beyond Your Wildest Dreams, The God Who Walked Among Us, Such Were Some Of YouComfort and Lessons on Life.

My Dad instilled in us that as much as possible, we should seek to do work instead of hiring it out, so, with the support of my wife, I have remodeled and made additions to houses, doing the stucco, tiling, plumbing, electrical, carpentry, and painting. Growing up in a wrecking yard, I have done a great deal of my own car repair. Though time and injuries have not allowed me to participate recently, I love snorkeling, rollerblading, snowboarding, and racquetball.

Editor—Wow! You’ve had your hand in a number of things, many of which require creativity and innovation. When did you realize that your interest in art was more than passing, and how did you initially pursue it?

Berglund—Through Elementary school, I did art projects. I took some art classes in high school and painted my first picture, a rose, using oils. I actually painted it for my mom, but my dad took it, framed it, and put it over his chair. He went on and on about how much he liked it. At that point, I thought I might bless others with art. I did a few minor things at that time, including being paid to create a logo for a Camper Company. Ever since that time, I have painted pictures as gifts for friends and family and have enjoyed the process of art. I moved from oils to acrylics as my main medium because of the fast drying process, which allowed me to finish a picture more quickly, and for the flexibility of using acrylic in a watercolor style.

Editor—Since you are a pastor, how do the arts affect you spiritually? With the arts, I’m including painting, music, drama, photography, and more. Does your involvement with the arts help you spiritually?

Berglund—My Spiritual conviction comes from the truth; deep study of Biblical truths has brought me to Jesus, as expressed in the Seventh-day Adventist faith. But the arts impact much of the passion and feeling of my relationship with Jesus and my ability to share that with others. I am deeply moved by music. Christian music, including hymns as well as contemporary music, seems to penetrate the heart and create an instant sense of love toward God. I often sing, even when alone, to buoy my spirit and express gratitude toward God. I have written multiple songs to testify of God’s moving in my life.

I use PowerPoint art (many of my photoshopped compositions) in my sermons to take the truth and, with the combination of art, bring truth to hearts. I perform a dramatic monologue about once a quarter dressed in costume for my congregation to do more than hear the words of scripture but to be connected with a Bible character’s feelings and passion and to be able for them to relate. With painting—especially nature scenes—I am again in touch with the beauty my Creator made for me to enjoy. In my writing, I am able to make old truths new and help the reader apply the principles to their own lives and connect with Jesus.

Editor—It’s cool that you make time in your busy schedule to enjoy the beauty of nature and to try and replicate it with your paintings. As any artist knows, painting is very therapeutic. Thank you for sharing your heart and art with us. I am sure your church and community are blessed by what you create and bring to life. Blessings to you and your family.

Check out some of Jim Beglund’s artwork here.

Jim Berglund is the Lead Pastor of the Discover Life Seventh-day Adventist Church in Sonora, California. Jim was interviewed by the ASA Editor, Rich DuBose.

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inSpire Editor

Writes from Northern California

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