The church and artists…
I’ve wrestled with writing this post for about a year, because I would seemingly be one of the lucky recipients, should people take me seriously. But the more I’m steeped in a community of artists, the more I’ve wanted to put this thought out to churches. So take it for that, and nothing more.
When I was nearing college graduation, with stars in my eyes of becoming a field reporter for CNN international, my dad began to raise some questions with how some churches handle “Graduation Sunday.” For those of you who may not know about this, Graduation Sunday is a time where some churches may have high school and college graduates stand up and say what their plans are next. It’s a nice way for the community as a whole to see what the young folk are up to. But an interesting thing happens in many churches…the young folk who are going into ministry driven fields will also receive financial support from the congregation.
So, my dad struck up a conversation with a missionary he’s supported financially for decades, Bob Osburn. He and Bob both expressed a concern that often times, it’s the young people who are going into fields that shape culture that need the most financial support. Journalists are paid ridiculously low wages, as are entry level positions in the political world. And artists? The singers, songwriters, dancers, actors, writers, sculptors and the like? They don’t make ANYTHING. Instead, they try to find the balance between working a job that will pay bills and finding a way to carve out time for what they genuinely feel called to. And, as I’ve seen over and over, many have had to put the dream aside because there’s no way they can support themselves in the cities they’re in. So, would the world change if the church also took the time to financially support those folks?
I’m asking those of you who find yourselves a part of a church community to locate the culture shapers who may not be working in a prototypical ministry occupation. Find out their needs…and if you’re led…think about lending them your support, too. They will be so, so, so thankful. As will their landlords…and their bellies.