How to Use Your Camera to Share the Gospel

by | May 27, 2022 | Stories & Expeditions | 2 comments

With the current assignment wrapping up this weekend, it means a new assignment will be launching next week! Want to know what it is? Well, you’ll have to wait. But what I can tell you is that we’ll be shooting for Creation Today again!

I appreciate the ministry of Creation Today because of their emphasis on witnessing and actively spreading the Gospel. When it comes to witnessing, our actions speak first. It doesn’t do any good to witness to someone verbally if our actions suggest we don’t care about having a personal love relationship with our Savior. In fact, we run the danger of being rightfully accused of hypocrisy. But, as we intentionally walk in His commandments (I John 2:4), verbal outreach becomes a natural part of a Christian’s life. And as a photographer, we can witness quite creatively! For example….

On a trip to California in 2013, some friends and I wanted to go on a photography excursion to Lake Tahoe. Of course, the best times for landscape photography are sunset and sunrise, so we found a campsite to spend the night.

And it turned out Emerald Bay State Park had a good spot.

When we arrived, it wasn’t sunset yet, so we walked around to see what we could find to take pictures of.

Chipmunks work!

130927_James Staddon_7045 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 105 mm, 1-200 sec at f - 5.0, ISO 400

130927_James Staddon_7047 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 105 mm, 1-50 sec at f - 16, ISO 400

But the lake looked more promising.

130927_James Staddon_7058 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 105 mm, 1-400 sec at f - 8.0, ISO 400

As we walked down to the lake, we noticed a group of people enjoying the lake too.

130927_James Staddon_7052 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 105 mm, 1-50 sec at f - 16, ISO 400

Toting around big cameras automatically puts you into the “professional photographer” category. As we passed, someone in the group asked if we could use their camera to take a group photo for them. (Maybe this was in the days before selfies.)

“Of course!”

And I took their picture.

But before I handed them back their camera, a thought popped into my head.

“Hey, while I have your camera here, mind if I ask you a question?”

I don’t know exactly what I said. But something like that.

“Uh. Sure!”

I found the battery compartment and popped the battery out. The group seemed to be curious about what this “professional photographer” was doing.

Everyone could here the battery compartment snap shut with an audible click.

“You know, cameras are designed to do incredible things. They’re a pretty great piece of technology! But without a battery…can you do anything with it?”

If I remember correctly, everyone just started back at me blankly. Thankfully, it was intended to be a rhetorical question.

I held up the battery.

“You could say this battery is an illustration of what Jesus is like. Without a relationship with Him, without Him living in you, without Him running your life…you can’t really do what you’ve been designed to do.”

I’ll never forget the next second or two of absolute silence. It was so great! Their wheels were turning. God, religion, and Jesus stuff was probably the furthest thing from their mind…until that moment.

And then someone blinked and sputtered and everyone kinda started laughing and shaking their heads. “Yeah! That’s really neat! Never thought of that! Thanks! That was fun!” Or, you know, things like that.

I don’t remember much else from the exchange. Of course I probably reinserted the battery and handed the camera back. They went on their merry way, now that they had their group photo. And who knows if they ever thought twice about what I said. But I hope so. Who knows! Maybe every time they see that group shot, or every time they pop a battery into a camera, they’ll think of what the “eccentric evangelical professional photographer Christian guy” said down on the shore of Emerald Bay.

130927_James Staddon_7053 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24 mm, 1-40 sec at f - 16, ISO 400130927_James Staddon_7153 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24 mm, 0.5 sec at f - 16, ISO 50130927_James Staddon_7155 Canon EOS 5D Mark II, 24 mm, 1-10 sec at f - 4.0, ISO 50


  1. Best Gospel Songs

    Thank you for sharing this profound article! God bless your ministry work for His cause!


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