The Artist

1. What do you envision (10, 20, 30 years down the road) as you think of the arts and the imagination related to the topic of the day?

• Creative space/artists in residence in churches
• Safe spaces for artists
• Fathers and mothers (natural or spiritual) who encourage children in their artistic development
• Strategic conceptual leaders for artistic communities
• No more intellectual persecution for artists
• Foundations that would invest in scholarships, resident programs, etc for Christian art students
• Authentic loving caring community for artists
• Better definition of “artist” and excellence in art
• Life spaces for artist (community, nurturing, mentoring, support both financial and prayer)
• Identify and encourage sponsorship from the marketplace
• Commissioning agencies encourage and support “Daniels” in arts communities and academies
• Awakening among “non-artists” to the arts, needs and vision of the arts community
• National artistic think tanks to contextualize vision with local culture
• Artist and non-artist linking together in unity
• Create art with Muslims (or other religious groups)
• As we move forward into Age of the Artist-have responsibility to keep it on track
• Restore dialogue between Christian and Muslim artists
• Christian artists having pride in “Christian” art and having the liberty to perform “non-Christian” art as well.
• Change the nomenclature of “Christian art”
• Re-naissance: Valley of dry bones coming to life
• Christian artists and public will have a different view of success
• Artists will be given space to disengage
• Artists would not worry about money
• Church would rediscover its place as patron of the arts
• Artists would continue to connect with other artists (avoid isolation)
• Communities of artists
• A place where artists can dwell
• Generate artistic energy
• Artists will be understood by all the communities that support them
• Leaders would encourage the church to recognize the value in art
• Well educated artists would work in the church and be paid
• There would be less competition and intimidation among artists
• Artists would learn to serve
• Guilds
• The artists would lift others up
• Artists would know their calling, have discipline, have a servant heart
• Able to teach/coach others
• Pride
• Insecurity
• Self centeredness with our gift
• Desire to be recognized
• Lack of money
• Mediocrity in the artist
• Undisciplined
• No talent
• Mistaken calling
• Role models
• Misunderstanding of what success is
• Fear
• Mistrust of community/ies
• Perfectionism – loss of ability to enjoy work
• Art as a bridge to the mysteries and eternity of God
• Artists as prophets /questioners
• Authenticity, wholeness
• True partnerships between Christian and pre/non-Christian artists
• More honesty
• Brokenness, death as means of resurrection
• Removal of self, servanthood, honesty leads to eternal (arts)
• Constant birth and constant death
• Vision of giving up
• Open to the mystery of God
• Art is language of crossing boundary to eternal mystery
• Failure brings us to the smallest thing which leads us to the greatest thing
• To neglect art is to neglect bridge which normal language cannot cross
• Subjectivity and objectivity together in art
• Eternity in heart is awakened
• Other people hear through art the voices around us
• Ecclesiastes 3:11 – people cannot see the whole scope of God
• Authenticity
• Role of art is to raise questions, not promote propaganda (religious or otherwise)
• Prophet is “forth telling” the truth, not “foretelling” the truth
• Prophet comes from outside, is always a troubler
• Prophet does not tell the way, but dares to ask the questions
• Sensitivity of artists cannot be changed or exchanged
• Artists’ faith seen through work, not outcome of it (Lord of Rings versus Chronicles of Narnia)
• Whole people
• Love, know, celebrate all of life
• All truth is God’s truth
• Theology of questions, mystery and limitation of our knowledge
• Art that speaks to people
• Partnerships between Christian and secular worlds
• Passionate expectant artists
• More artists practicing in a professional arena
• More active ministry artists in the churches
• New creative expressions that reach the spiritual seekers
• Artists will be new bridge builders to experiencing God
• Artists will have a strong prophetic role
• Multiplication of artist communities who pray together and share their testimonies together will explode
• Artists will take ownership of culture development
• Networks and places will nurture artists and facilitators

What are the issues (Stones) that have prevented this from currently happening?

• Fear of other cultures, racism, prejudices,
• Individualism
• Devotion to our own personal art and vision
• Not listening to the voice and spirit of God to speak through our art
• Not being honest about our struggles (always trying to present a solution)
• Lack of authenticity, vulnerability or openness
• Incoherence and use of Christian jargon
• Too focused on ourselves and what we are trying to express from within ourselves
• Lack of acceptance of art that is different from our own
• Lack of dialogue with “non-Christian” artist
• Separation of the sacred and secular
• Lack of education and training to communicate successfully in the artistic world
• Don’t listen (true communication) to God and to the world around us
• Don’t point people to Jesus and God through our art
• Unwilling to be shaped and broken by God
• Overload of (amateur) art (excess of Christmas prayer letters/newsletters, Facebook)
• Work ethic of artists
• How to live/work with moods, depression, etc.
• Price you pay for who you are and what you do
• Burden enables vision, but it is still a burden
• Pressure (from church) to produce art to fit agenda
• Art is a stony way
• Art is not here to give answers
• Is artist really interested in real human life (not a soap opera)?
• Art used as propaganda
• Church or people who will not hear questions (esp. without answers)
• Ignorance of mystery
• Fatal relationship between church and artist
• Symbolism does not speak to mass or secular audience
• Separation of theology (ethics, righteousness v life Christ lived)
• Church’s obsession of ethics
• Weight of message idea in mind of Christian artist
• Burden to produce ideological art
• Personal, cultural, religious, ethnic background of artist
• Separation of Christian and secular art worlds
• The church can be a stumbling block
• Territorial boundaries and competition between artists and companies
• Crazy schedules
• Lack of spiritual accountability
• Individualism
• Isolation and rejection releases cynicism and rejection…rebellion
• Drive to prostitute their art or morality of business in order to survive
• A lack of resources and time

How do we remove these stones and work with God to build His kingdom purposes in and through the arts?

• Vulnerability
• Openness to other denominations, religions and even non-Christians
• Allow yourself to be attacked, misunderstood
• Do not hold on to offence
• Understand spiritual warfare
• Prayer
• Seek spiritual community and relationships
• Indwelling of the Holy Spirit
• Allowing the Holy Spirit to remove confusion and aid communication
• Ask God to help us to align our emotions with Godly thinking
• Choose the truth.
• Set a watch over our thought life and choose Godly thinking
• Realize that emotions are changeable and can distort the truth
• Realize who we are in Christ
• Don’t take ourselves (or our art) too seriously
• Replace bitterness, fear, sorrow with what is good, perfect, true
• Willingness to have a walk-on part
• Exploring the depth of human pain and suffering
• Respect for every individual
• True humility
• Listen to prophetic voices among us
• Beauty comes from suffering
• Embrace our mood and work from it
• Minister from pain, failure, disappointment/fulfill whole body of Christ
• Forgiveness and reconciliation
• Get on with it! Be free to be the artists God called us to be
• Job of church to look after artist, not vice versa
• Artist’s work represents inclusion, compassion
• Acknowledge past and pain and move through it to ministry
• Blow up separations between Christian and secular worlds
• Create neutral spaces to meet and be encouraged
• Build quality relationships on a premises of equality
• Have forums for dialogue
• Keep artists in community
• There needs to be consistent role models and mentors who walk with artists and speak into their lives
• There needs to be resources time and space to free up quality networking
• We have social capital and we need to release it strategically

What are some strategic partnerships and resources that would be necessary in making this a reality?

• Strategic pastoral alliances (shepherd relationships)
• Finding ‘unleashers’ (releasers)
• Intentional cross-cultural relationships
• Willingness to innovate and try new strategies
• Partner with church leaders who are willing to break out of the box
• Partnerships with merchants for artistic or other events
• Partnerships between Christian organizations (big impact/harder to ignore)
• Partnerships with Christian educators and educational institutions
• Alliances with non Christian art organization
• Partnerships within artist and business communities, for example
• Prophetic schools which integrate the arts
• Castles in Scotland as an example
• Prayer meetings at art schools
• Space and organizations which are careful to not create isolation for the artist’s community development
• Networkers and mentors and encouragers need to be empowered to do their work-Development of training for these people

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