3 of 10 people have a unique artistic gift.

I read this stat in “Exponential,” by the Ferguson brothers, and if this is true we should have the talent in our churches and organizations to never be without need when it comes to needing more artists.

The question then becomes, “How do we strategically identify artists and involve them in our communities to bring impact?”

This is not a post giving our steps for doing this. I think Westside has an opportunity here. I’m posting this looking for input and answers.

Speak up if you have any ideas by commenting below.


8 thoughts on “How Do We ID & Involve Artists?

  1. Wow… only 3 out of 10??? I guess the definition is pretty small then for artistic gift. How did they define it? Artistic gift can have such a large definition… I mean there are artist in terms of music – voice, instrument, etc. , of words – poetry, blogging, sermons, etc., of painting or sculpture, of photography, graphic design, of…of…of…. from there how to engage this group.

    The challenge in my mind is the true artist, in many cases, hates to be told what to do. For example, imagine being told to be creative, but leave out x y and z. Artistic design is so hard to define, and even harder to engage. What some feel is artistic, others will hate. I may take a picture of someone in pain, living on the street, while someone walks by. Some may say this has no place in the church – but my response is it does. It shows in a very graphic way how we all struggle – whether I am the guy on the street, or the guy walking by, or even the guy taking the picture and being a bystander. We all need help. Not everyone will see that. So the question will be where is the middle ground that doesn’t push the edge to much? I mean aren’t there people who wish Troy wouldn’t sing certain songs, while others wish he would sing more?

    So you asked, “How do we strategically identify artists and involve them in our communities to bring impact?”

    The answer is more of a question. What part of the community do you have a need? If you don’t have the answer, you cannot move to the question you asked above. The worse thing you can do is engage a group of people who ultimately lose interest because they feel the direction is lacking or ultra confined.

    1. They didn't define "artist" as much as they talked about it. I do agree with you, that there are more "artists" than who we typically identify by labeling them as musicians, painters, etc.

      Going on your thought of giving freedom to originate and finding the middle ground… should it be a question of who can this reach as opposed to who does this offend?

      Then would the question need to be: What art do we need to reach so & so? What speaks to this community? Or are there other questions to address before these?

      1. Fun conversation… "should it be a question of who can this reach as opposed to who does this offend?" – Bold question! I wonder what would happen if that was asked of Jesus – how do you think He would answer that question? Follow up point – how do you think the "administration" of a church would answer that same question? I am no theologian. With that said, and being just an ordinary guy that loves Jesus, I think I can guess how Jesus might answer that question. I am not so sure about administration though.

        In my very humble opinion, Jesus would say if it saves one life then do it. Sometimes I would imagine the fear of making someone mad might cause administration to say, “but we might lose a few.”

        So what is the next question? In my mind it still comes back to what do you want to accomplish by engaging this group? If you were asking me, I might say something like – why me? What do you need me for? Where is this going? Why have you identified “artist” as a particular group of people to approach? Are there answers to these questions? Is it just because you are an artist and you care for other liked minded people? If so, make it know! What better way to talk to a group of people than to be connected to them in some small way anyway.

        So, in conclusion I say it is always better to work from the knowledge of what you expect to achieve and then back away from it until you find the start. If you don’t know where you want to end up, you will never know where to start.

        For example, it is like going to a movie theatre with a bunch of friends, and not knowing what you want to see. Then, after discussing it for a little while, buying your tickets in different ways (cash, credit cards, online, etc.). Then you head to the concession stand and trying to figure out if it makes sense to buy the combo pack, or just get a small popcorn and soda – should I share with so and so, or just get something for myself. Then you head off to the theater and realizing that each of you wants to sit somewhere different, but you want to be together.

        I am not saying you will know everything along the way. That is not possible, but at least you will know what movie you want to see and that you want to sit together. Everything in between is the fun part. Then, once you know why you want to engage them, then you can talk about the next questions you listed above. “What art do we need to reach so & so? What speaks to this community?”

        Again, just an ordinary guy, throwing out one humble opinion in a sea of opinions. I am sooo far from being an expert it is silly.

  2. When I said, "In my very humble opinion, Jesus would say if it saves one life then do it. Sometimes I would imagine the fear of making someone mad might cause administration to say, ‘but we might lose a few.” That was not an attempt to jab at the church. It is just merely a question that I do not know the answer to.

    I am constantly looking for answers to all aspects of church life that come to mind. Sometimes those questions, when read (or reread by me), can be misunderstood.

    Definitely not attempting to criticize, just asking questions.

    1. Ha… I reread things a lot and hope people don't take it wrong.

      And I didn't take it wrong. I see what your saying and I'm loving the idea it provokes.

      One thing we've been discussing here at WFC – kind of spawned by this – is how do we involve artists missionally?

      Can we do a Blues and BBQ for the homeless of Downtown KC and use our volunteer musicians?

      Or we take some of our artists and ask the city if we can have them paint murals over the graffitied walls.

      This has been a healthy discussion that has taken us to think beyond the walls of the church.

      Instead of engaging the artist to attract, engage the artist to impact an area. If this becomes part of the DNA, would other artists be attracted to it and want to get involved?

    1. We've put it on the back burner with Easter on the horizon, but that doesn't mean we've forgot about it. Our music director and Speedway campus worship leaders have been intentional about engaging musicians in their element since then and have been building relationships with this community in the metro area.

      They have had some great stories of being able to play with some great artists and have some healthy spiritual conversations. Jimmy, at Speedway, told me this week that one of the guys he's been helping with some studio work has been asking more and more about Christ.

      This hasn't gone to the level of incorporating artists in our element, but we are beginning to identify and be involved with artists in their culture right now.

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