Archive for January 14, 2018

Back in the day, when I was trying to be a full time freelance, there was someone I saw as the bane of my existence. His name was Bob Ross. Don’t get me wrong, I love his show, and I learned a lot from him, but clients and potential clients would see him whip out these masterpieces in a half hour and wonder why I would charge for many more hours. The truth was simple. What they wanted took more time than what Bob Ross was creating. Fast forward, I now earn part of my living s a speed painter, knocking out painting in far less time then Bob Ross did. I can’t imagine what I would have thought of what I do now, back in the day.

But here’s the thing, yes I can do a painting in six minutes and there are certain ones I can do in even less time, but if you were to ask me how long it takes me to paint a painting like the ones I do in my ministry, I’m liable to say six minutes and fifty years, because that’s the truth of the matter. I can do a painting in six minutes because I’ve been making art for fifty years. I’ve learned how to break it down, I set the parameters of time and figured out how to create something in the time allotted. It’s similar with Ross. He learned the techniques and figured out a way to break it down into a piece he could do in a half hour TV program while demonstrating the techniques so the home audience could do it as well. Those were the parameters, and it worked.

Now here’s the mistake we make. You’re not working by the hour and never allow yourself to fall into that trap. Just because I can do a painting in six minutes does not mean I should do that painting for a tenth of an hour’s wage. Your skill and experience allows you to do whatever it is that you do and that skill and work and experience has value. Don’t let someone shame you by acting as if you’re in it for the money. I’m not talking about being in it for the money, I’m talking about sustainable ministry. We may decide to do certain things for free, but please understand, everything has a cost. Materials are the most obvious, but there are other things that cost money and the less thought of, but equally important, time. It all has value and it all has a cost and if you want to be able to continue doing what you do, if you want your work, and yes, even ministry, to be sustainable for the long haul, it has to at least come close to covering the costs.

For the record, this is no reflection on anyone for whom I have ministered. This is for my readers who are trying to balance wanting to create great art and do great ministry with the struggle of finance and ministry.