A lot of us complain about Dallas, but if we don't love our city how are we going to love our neighbor? Are you going to invest or are you going to complain? If you're here, you're either going to leave or you're going to stay and do work where he's put you. [Acts 17:26]
Mike Rawlings, Mayor of Dallas, has a huge interest in bringing the arts community back, because he knows that creative communities bring life to the city.
First it was God and us in the garden, together. Then it was God for us. Jesus came down and it was God with us. Jesus died, the spirit came into us as believers and we became the presence of God. Now, it is God in us. That is why we are here to represent an incredible God.
68% of non-believers believe that church and Christians are boring. Jesus, the one that rose from the grave, is in us and using us. Our God walked on water, turned water into wine, defeated death, is any of that boring? BORING PEOPLE DON'T CHANGE THE WORLD. So, why are we boring when our savior is not?
Isaac Wimberley | Worship Pastor with The Village Church / Spoken Word Artist / Creator
I am imagining God, before time began, perfectly completely. The trinity enjoying each other and alive. They are complete and in need of nothing. The triune God in their completeness begin to CREATE. In Genesis it tells us that God was in the beginning and he created something from nothing. From there, he began to paint day and night, earth and sky, water and land, and all of creation.
Then God created man and woman. (Gen 1:27)
Creation is an expression in response to God's completeness. They create as an expression in a response of their own completeness. In the IMAGE of God create as an expression in response to God's completeness. Be in response of the movement of God in your life, no matter what season. We are, as creatives, to express in response to the completeness of God.
Genesis 2:23- When Adam awakes, he finds that God has created woman from his side. In Adam's response to the creation of Woman, he sings of God's ways. SINGS!
Exodus 15- Moses is being chased out by and is leading his people away from pharaoh. Then the Lord splits the water of the sea for his people to allow them passage to safety. Then the people sing in rejoicing to his goodness.
1 Samuel 2- Hannah talking on the birth of samuel, she commits him to the Lord. Hannah is in worship and creativity in response to the Lord's goodness and movement. She expresses in poetry form.
Psalm 51- The song of David, when Nathan the prophet comes to him about Bathsheba, is in response to God’s mercy and kindness on David. David completely open and exposed in his sin, and the movement of God has sought him out. So, David shouts out and responds in his conviction in poetry form.
Luke 1- Mary finds out she is pregnant with no husband by her side, but exalts the Lord for his good works. She shouts out and magnifies the Lord in complete rejoicing.
Acts 16.25- Paul and Silas are in jail. They were praying and singing in jail. There was an earthquake that broke the bonds and chains. It shook the jail and opened the gates.
Since the beginning of time, we have seen those who have expressed in response to the Lord and his completeness and majesty. So as creatives, we are to pour into the talent, the gift, because God deserves that worship. Book the shows. Take the photos. Sing the songs. It is on you to pour into that to give right back to Him. He is worth the time it takes to perfect and release into it. Tell him the TRUTH.
DALLAS NEEDS JESUS. Jesus doesn't need to be watered down. Jesus stands on his own and so you tell them, but you tell them the truth. If your life has been changed and you tell how, why, when, that story is powerful. Whatever stage you end up on or whatever mantle the Lord has given you. Just kill that mantle and worship in freedom; don't be jealous of other people's mantles. Handle your mantle, and let others worry about their own while you handle the one right in front of you. We do not need to worry about how loud our voice is or isn't let God take care of that and how far it carries. Let the Lord take care of it and trust him fully. When the Lord saves, he changes everything about you. He gives you the ability to see things differently. So, tell them. I want to see your photos, hear your story. So tell them, but tell them the truth.
Questions With Our Panel:
Isaac Wimberly, Jordan Laessig, Paul Tellefsenn, Kevin Walker, Shy Speaks
Q: How can you glorify God through social media?
A: Let your life speak in the way you represent yourself. Like Francis of Assisi says, "Preach the gospel at all times, and if necessary uses words."
Q: How do I tell when it's time to pursue other creative endeavors?
A: The best time is when you're comfortable where you are. It is time to move forward and challenge yourself to find something new. Sometimes, the best projects are the ones you feel unequipped for, because then you get to grow and experience new things.
Q: How do church leaders cultivate an environment that is diverse?
A: There is a certain amount of openness that our church leaders have. As young people, you have to push gently to get your leadership to be open to creativity.
Q: How do you keep your creativity as an act of worship when it serves as your job?
A: Keep your creativity as an act of worship? Look at it as an opportunity and not a job. Present your body as a living sacrifice. It is a reasonable service! It is the least that we can do!
Q: How does one creatively speak the truth in love to a culture that is so antagonistic towards God's word?
A: You LOVE them. No matter who they are what they have done, you love them; whatever that means. It isn't about proving ourselves to be right. It will break the divide if you just love them well with no expectations.
Q: How do you battle depression as a creative?
A: You put up a good fight in knowing that sometimes you get knocked down. Even when sometimes getting out of bed feels like the most daunting fight. I see acting on creativity as a source of putting up a good fight against darkness.
Q: I feel like being creative brings a certain type of stigma with it. How do you break that barrier?
A: “Let your freak flag fly”- Jimi Hendrix
Whatever that gift is? Let it fly and do not worry about stigma. The best creatives are the ones that are willing to go with those instincts no matter what and that's God given.
Q: How were you able to distinguish your talent? Is it because others affirm you or did you always know?
A: What I am called to do and what I am good at are different. God will equip you for what your calling is. It is sometimes affirmed by others in encouragement, and that is a huge part, but another huge part is knowing what God has given you and what he as for you to carry out.
Q: What are some ways to foster creativity?
A: Be around people who are similar to you, but just creatives. Allow others to spark ideas in you through different perspectives.
Q: How do creatives stay humble in opportunities and not be jealous of other creatives?
A: Truly, in your heart, enjoy other people's art. Even if they are further along than you or wishing you were on their mantle. Sit back and mentally tell yourself, "I enjoy this" Face the jealousy head on.
Q: How have you been able to be creative when you're placed in an environment where creativity is not made to flow?
A: There are places where I don't feel inspired and new things were not being created and it was difficult. I was inspired by going out and driving through different places. Be inspired by God's creation, because his beauty is everywhere.
Q: What is the biggest need for creators in Dallas?
A: I view our mission is to make the city a better city, because the arts makes the city vibrant and diverse. We need more harmony with our people, as well. We bring unity and make our city come alive. Bring creativity, open mindedness and ideas of how to make this city better.
Q: What is the one thing you would tell creatives in Dallas?
A: CREATE. Go into the city and work on your craft and express them for the glory of God.
Organizations at the Event:
Mercy Street | www.mercystreetdallas.org
Forge America | www.forgeamerica.com
Art House Dallas | www.arthousedallas.com
Union Coffee | www.uniondallas.net
Socality | www.socality.org