Jackson Pollock Painting Number 16

On November 12, 2013 a small painting, roughly 30″ by 22″, sold for $32,645,000.00. With a surface area of 684.1875 square inches, that works out to $47,713.52 per square inch. At that price, the average American household could have spent their entire year’s income to buy about one square inch.[1]

How did a piece of paper glued to Masonite, covered with random splotches of paint, fetch that fabulous sum? Because Painting Number 16 was the creation of Jackson Pollock, one of the 20th century’s most influential Abstract Expressionists. It is not the image per se that makes it valuable. It is practically priceless because of whose hand brought it into existence.

Our worth is not based upon our achievements, our abilities or even upon God’s call on our lives.

Our worth is intrinsic. It is essential by virtue of the fact that we are human beings. We are the product of the Artist’s creativity, skill and craftsmanship. We are the King of King’s image, placed on this earth to represent him.[2] We have been redeemed with the most priceless commodity of all – the precious blood of Christ.

This is just as true for pastors as it is for every other believer. Their worth rests on the fact that they are made in and are being conformed to the image of Christ, that they are objects  of the Father’s redeeming love, and that they are Christ’s gift to his Church. Pastors who grasp these truths firmly are better able to give firm but loving leadership in the midst of the doubt and conflict that will arise when they lead into the turbulent waters of change.

Leading change will test your core, pastor. Are you anchored on the Rock?


[1] John Seed, “What Makes A Jackson Pollock Painting Worth Millions?” The Huffington Post, February 2, 2014.
[2] Ancient emperors often commanded that statues of themselves be placed in remote parts of their realm to declare that who was the sovereign. These images represented the sovereign to such a degree that ruler and image were considered virtually interchangeable. In Imperial Rome it was a crime of high treason to disrespect the emperor by committing unseemly acts, real or imagined in the presence or proximity of an imperial image. So also were defacing, melting or otherwise desecrating an image of the prince that had been consecrated. Floyd Lear, Treason in Roman and Germanic Law: Collected Papers. University of Texas Press, 1965, 29.