I have a dear friend and true brother who has started an art ministry. It warms my heart to see another jumping into the fray of trying to use his gifts to serve the Lord and help others to do the same. But there’s a problem, and it’s a problem many of us will run into. The problem is a different vision. Some folks in his circle want to take the ministry in a different direction. They desire a more cultured high art approach. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that and it is also a wonderful mission field but it sort of goes in the opposite direction.
My friend’s vision is more like mine. I’m not really about judging and jurying and all that other stuff. I’m not really about the excellent artist, I’m about the person who wants to do art and needs a place to fit and a way to let out what’s going on inside them. It’s very similar to evangelism for me in that I want to meet people right where they are, artistically and spiritually. I can’t ask someone to be the best artist in the world after all, Rembrandt is dead. I want to help them connect with their creator as they create. If God wants to make them great artists, He will, I just want to connect them with the source of their gift.
Does that mean I’m not about excellence? Yes and no. I want everyone to give their best and so does God. It’s entirely possible and hopefully probable that your best today will not be as good as your best tomorrow. I want to see people grow and mature. The other thing is with art more than possibly anything else we learn from our failures. If we only do those things at which we excel we’ll be very limited. It’s two different philosophies, both are good but in my vision,to quote my friends Dean Estes and Jessie Nilo from VineArts Boise, everybody gets to play.
Check out this video. Simon Cowell almost didn’t let this kid play.
The arts are a great equalizer. It allows those of us who have a hard time fitting to find where we belong, but that will only happen if everybody who wants to gets to play.
The arts are so subjective, one man’s great is another man’s garbage. They allow us to show what’s in our souls. Everyone has art inside them. Everyone can create. Everyone has a gift from God. We only really find them when we are allowed to release them. There has got to be a place where the gatekeepers are restrained to maintaining the social order, leaving quality control in the hands of the creator and the Creator. What I put on the canvas is secondary. I want to paint on people’s hearts. There has to be a place where we can give our best with what we have today and grow into what we can be tomorrow.
That’s my vision. Everyone can play.