A couple weeks ago, we included 567 Ministries as the “Find of the Week” in our weekly newsletter. We wanted to share some more information with you about how they are resourcing parents and families and providing them with tools to talk about faith around the dinner table.
567 Ministries creates these absolutely gorgeous placemats that come in a series from the Old Testament and the New Testament. If you’ve read the Jesus Storybook Bible, you might be familiar with the artist who also did these placemats: Jago Silver. The illustrations are beautiful, and would first of all just make very cool placemats. Each of the placemats comes with certain scripture references and a guide for parents to help foster conversation around the story. We haven’t received ours yet, but we’re looking forward to talking about the stories with Caleb, and seeing which stories he begins to get to know better and be drawn to.*
We recently had a chance to chat with one of the founders, David Ludwig, about 567 Ministries, art and faith formation. Here is a bit of our conversation:
Illustrated Ministry (ICM): Tell us how 567 Ministries came to be? What were you and your wife doing before this?
David: Jess and I are both family pastors at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Newport Beach (CA). There is a pretty good article on Fuller’s website, which gives a lot of our story and background, which you can find here. Below is a quote from that article:
Why not, thought David, create colorful placemats depicting biblical stories and themes—to inspire curiosity and mealtime conversation about those stories?
And so was born 567ministries, its name inspired by Deuteronomy 6:7, in which Moses exhorts the Israelites to “impress [God’s commandments] on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” In other words, says David, “faith conversations with our kids should happen all the time. They shouldn’t be forced, they shouldn’t be uncomfortable; they should just happen in the normal rhythms of our lives.” Like at the dinner table. Read more here.
There is also this video on our Kickstarter page which might be helpful in learning more about us.
ICM: What is your hope for 567 Ministries?
David: Simply to help parents (the most significant faith influence on kids) to have the most significant conversations (about faith) at the most opportune times (when they are already together)! Also, we want to improve on the unfortunate statistic that only 10% of parents talk to their kids about faith. Faith conversations shape identity, values, beliefs, how a kid treats others, etc.
ICM: Do you and your wife both have backgrounds in art? What led you to want to create something visual like this?
David: Jess is a lot more creative than I am. We really wanted to create this because it’s something we’re both very passionate about. We wanted to use placemats because they have proven successful for leading to conversations.
ICM: You have placemats now – do you think you want to expand, or have other types of products in the future?
David: Yes, we’re gonna do a couple sets of placemats, and then we’ll branch out into other Scripture-based artwork that will act like a catalyst for family faith conversation.
ICM: What’s the best way for people to follow you online?
David: They can check out our website or find us on Facebook.
*Full disclosure: 567 Ministries is providing us with a review copy of these placemats.