Ministry With Spotlight: Multicultural Fine Arts Program

Pilot Point arts program

Pilot Point UMC uses grant to explore children’s artistic and musical gifts

Pilot Point is a small but diverse community, growing quickly with the expansion of the Dallas North Tollway. In their Ministry With Grant application, Pilot Point UMC shared that their local school district does not offer a choral music program to explore children’s artistic and musical gifts. They requested $2,700 to jump-start their plan to reach children in the third through sixth grades and provide multicultural education through song.

The church hoped to build relationships through weekly rehearsals and semiannual concerts for the community. The effort would serve as a beacon for multicultural interaction by offering performances at local community festivals and events on the town square. The Ministry With grants team saw immense value in the rural church’s experiment with multicultural leadership, and so it added $1,000 to their initial request to help with additional costs we thought they should expect.

In November 2021, the program leaders completed a first incarnation of what became known as the Multicultural Fine Arts Program; however, leaders found it took longer than expected to build strong enough relationships with children and their families to gain critical mass. They used the holidays to thoughtfully discern next steps, even considering shifting toward a senior adult-focused arts ministry.

Instead, the group chose to keep working on relationships with children and families in Pilot Point ISD, meeting the initial need they had identified. Their redoubled efforts resulted in a spring offering with 12 children in choir and another nine in hand chimes and dance. The program boasts diversity in its students, teachers and planning team, and is planning its first showcase for May 1. 

One of the values of the Ministry With Grant Program is giving churches the coaching and encouragement to experiment with new modes of ministry with their neighbors. While the team from Pilot Point UMC felt discouraged that their initial ideas and efforts did not net the relationships they had in mind, the leaders paused, discerned a path forward and persevered.

The program’s leaders learned that their instincts were spot-on in identifying the needs of the community, but that finding the right communications channels and building strong partnerships are also key to success.

For others who want to build new relationships in their communities, Pilot Point UMC offers the following: Be willing to try something that you are unfamiliar with, continue to ask questions, listen and be flexible.

If you would like to discuss your own Ministry With effort or Ministry With Grants, please email Rev. Andrew Fiser.

Published: Friday, April 22, 2022