Submission for Creatives

Posted: February 13, 2014 in Thoughts on art ministry and life
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submissionMy pastor is doing a year long series based on Richard Foster’s A Celebration of Discipline. Each month we look at a different discipline and this week it is Submission. This morning I was considering what it means for a creative person to submit.

First and foremost we must submit to God. In our every day lives to be sure, but especially with our gifts and talents. Submitting our gifts to God is a lot more than tithing off the income we may receive. It means we use the gifts we have received from God to the glory of God. It means we work through the filter of “will this project honor God?” It doesn’t mean that we only do pictures of Jesus or Bible things but it does mean we walk away from projects that will bring Him dishonor no matter how lucrative they may be. It also means when using our gifts to serve in the church, we never say something is good “enough for church” but instead we give God our very best every time.

Submitting to God in many ways, at least for creatives is the easy part. The hardest thing is submission to human authority, but this is also essential. It means we take direction and revision. It means we understand that some things fit and others don’t. It means we alter our tastes and preferences to do what needs to be done and we work to fit the venue. The reason for this is simple. The authority over us was established by God. Ultimately we can’t really say we submit to God if we can’t submit to the authority God has established.

For example, if my pastor asks me to do a project for the service or some other element of our church’s mission. I may have a very clear cut vision of what I see for the project. He may look at it and realize it’s not what he sees or is trying to communicate. His responsibility is to communicate the message and put forth the mission God has given Him. It’s my job to support that message and that mission. If what I have done doesn’t fit I need to go back to the drawing board until it does. It does me no good to get my artistic sensibilities upset. His responsibility is to God which is ultimate, so I must come under his authority. (By the way we haven’t had an issue here, so far we are pretty in sync, but as I begin a new ministry to creatives in the local church, this is something that needs to be established.) We need to give our best work and we must do what is asked of us. We need to submit.

It’s this simple, when it’s your mission, create whatever God honoring thing you want. When your work is in support of someone else’s mission, meet their needs.

How are you doing with submission? Hebrews 13:17 says, “Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

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