Minister paints to show God's greatness

Joshua Fletcher, director of adult and men's ministry at Crossroads Church in Concord, will present his first art exhibition Friday in the church's Crossroads Café.

The show will run from 6 to 9 p.m. Admission is free. Free refreshments will be served, and originals and prints of his art will be available for sale.

At 7 p.m. Fletcher will take the stage to share his story.

After giving up his art scholarship more than a decade ago to pursue ministry, he rediscovered his talent as a form of worship during a men's retreat in spring 2007.

Art has given him a chance to rediscover himself, he said. Each piece uses an impressionistic style to communicate a spiritual truth about God.

"One of my lions shows God not as weak, but as living and active and powerful," he said. "It's a reminder of how great God is."

Fletcher uses a variety of media, including watercolor, oils and acrylics. Other than the traditional brush, he creates his art using his fingers, sponges and rags, he said. He painted many of his pieces live in front of the church congregation during worship services and sold them to support local charities. One of his early paintings of a tree still hangs in the International House of Prayer.

The message is the most important aspect of the art, Fletcher said, and he hopes it will provide a special gift for people to pass on to their kids.

"You should have things in your home that have meaning to you," he said, "that have truth beyond yourself and points to God and to your purpose."

Fletcher hopes the art exhibition will broaden his scope and get his work out there, he said. But he encourages people to come enjoy the art without feeling pressure to purchase it.

"It's not just a business venture," he said. "It's a calling and a ministry."