August 9, 2022

‘It Is My Dream that Our Church May Come to Value Art’

A Spanish artist shares her experience at Europe’s 2022 Adventist Youth Congress.

Andreas Mazza and Pedro Torres, Inter-European Division, and Adventist Review
[Image: courtesy of Sayei Mendez]

Sayei Mendez comes from Spain. She is 23 years old and passionate about Jesus and the Seventh-day Adventist Church. She runs a ministry called Bible Journaling.

Mendez was one of the workshop presenters at Europe’s 2022 Adventist Youth Congress in Lahti, Finland, August 3.

Through Bible journaling, Mendez said, you can get creative with your Bible time; you can learn different Bible study methods and also use creative techniques, such as hand lettering, scrapbooking, Bible tabs, or basic illustrations. You can do all of this with guides and printable sheets, but also while learning to create your own pieces with methods from sketching to inking. You don’t need to have any art skills, she said.

“The point is to enrich your quiet time with God, documenting what you are learning and how He is working in your life,” Mendez said. “In my workshop, I gave tips and suggestions on how to make posts and devotionals about Christian values and about the gospel. It is about offering the Christian message in an artistic and visual way.”

For Mendez, “Bible journaling is an artistic response to God’s message. You can paint your Bible pages and create beautiful things with your Bible and in your Bible. Colors and images will inspire you and help you to also memorize Bible verses. That will make you feel more connected to God.”

Asked about the feedback she received after her presentation, she said that “it was great,” and explained, “Many people came to ask me for more details about this project. They said they found it inspiring and useful.”

Mendez said that Bible journaling “can help you live your Christian life in a creative and interesting way.” She added, “Living our Christian faith in an artistic way is a cool, trendy, and original way to live our spirituality. It is also a testimony for others if you share your faith with creativity — especially on social media.”

Discussing the relationship between the arts and faith, Mendez explained that many think that art is not so important in spiritual life. “ ‘It’s beautiful but doesn’t fit with a life of faith,’ people say. But God is a God of creation; He inspires thoughts and ideas,” Mendez said.

Against that backdrop, Mendez said that she dreams of a church that assigns more value to arts. “It is my dream that our church may come to value art,” she said. “Arts can be of big help for mission. You can share God’s message even without words, through visual images. I dream of a colorful and joyful church! Trying to see beyond what is written, trying to apprehend the character of God!”

The original version of this story was posted on the Inter-European Division news site.