"I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing… By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples." (John 15:5,8)
As Christian creatives, we have the opportunity to bring glory to God by bearing much fruit in our craft. This means using our skills to inspire and encourage others in their faith, reflecting His character & values in our work, and growing in our walk with God through the process of creation.
However, there are times when our creative work can feel empty and unproductive, like dead branches on a tree. We may pour our heart and soul into a piece of artwork, only to receive little to no response or feedback. We may slap all our favorite Bible verses into our designs, but they still feel uninspired and lack the impact we had hoped for. And sometimes, we may not feel any closer to the Creator despite our striving efforts to create.
In these moments, we are reminded of our dependence on God. The truth is, it is impossible for us to bear fruit. At least, not on our own; we need to abide in the Vine, as Jesus reminds us in John 15:5.
Abiding is not always an easy thing to do. Often we find ourselves defaulting back to our old ways of relying on our own strength. To overcome this, we need to train our hearts to lean on Him every day and depend on His creativity every time we create.
This requires a conscious effort to surrender ourselves to God and trust in His plans for our work. We must resist the temptation to pursue success or recognition for ourselves, and instead seek to be used by Him despite our incapacity to bear fruit.
When we humbly recognize and accept our limitations regarding fruitfulness, we open ourselves up to the transformative power of the Holy Spirit, who can use us to create work with lasting impact and value.
In doing so, we let go of the recognition and bring all glory to God—the ultimate Vine who makes bearing fruit possible.
So let's shift our focus from making "bearing fruit" our goal to making it our desire, allowing it to be a natural byproduct of our faith and dependence on God.
By making room in our hearts to collaborate with the Spirit, and by teaching ourselves to abide completely in God, we can turn our limitation into an act of worship and bring glory to Him. ☝️
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the gift of creativity that you have bestowed upon me. As I use my talents to create, I pray that you guide me & help me to lean on you in all that I do. I acknowledge that I am dependent on your grace and strength, and I pray that you help me to resist the temptation to rely on my own abilities. Instead, let me trust in your plans for my work, and surrender myself to your divine will. Help me to see my limitation as an opportunity to collaborate with the Holy Spirit, that through me, you may produce fruit-bearing work that has lasting impact and value. I offer up myself & my skills to your power, that they may be transformed into acts of worship and bring glory to your name. Amen.
😌 APPLICATION ACTIVITY:
🚷 Acknowledge your limitation
Take intentional time to reflect on areas of your creative work where you may feel unfruitful, and write them down. Spend time in prayer, asking God to show you how He can use even these areas for His glory, and trust in His wisdom to unburden you from the pressure of producing fruit. Allow God to shift your focus to growing your relationship with the Him, and let the fruit come naturally as a byproduct. For further encouragement, read 2 Corinthians 12:9-10.
💡 PRACTICAL TIPS:
✨ Clear the stage: When you begin your next creative project, intentionally focus on acknowledging your incapacity to create fruit-bearing work on your own. Deliberately create a platform and make room for the Holy Spirit to work in and through you as you create.
🎁Feedback is a gift:
Remember that the Spirit can also use other people to speak life into our work. Seek out feedback and constructive criticism from others, and use it as an opportunity to learn and grow in your craft. Consider finding an accountability partner, mentor, or trusted friend who can provide regular feedback on your work and help you stay on track with your creative goals. Be open to constructive criticism and willing to make adjustments to your work based on their feedback, but also remember to stay true to your own creative vision and style.
📚 Read, read, read! Reading the Bible is a great way to gain wisdom and insight about learning how to fully depend on God as we create, but there are also other excellent resources available to help broaden your perspective on the topic. To get you started, below is a BONUS reading list of inspiring books to check out!
1️⃣ "The Creative Call" by Janice Elsheimer
This book explores the intersection of faith and creativity and encourages readers to lean on God as they pursue their creative callings.
2️⃣ "The Artisan Soul" by Erwin McManus
In this book, McManus explores the idea that we are all created to be creative and encourages readers to depend on God as they pursue their passions and gifts.
3️⃣ "Unlocking the Heart of the Artist" by Matt Tommey
This book is specifically geared toward Christian artists and explores how we can connect with God as we create.
4️⃣ "The Heart of the Artist" by Rory Noland
This book is a practical guide that explores how Christian artists can grow in their personal worship and use their creative gifts to serve and glorify God.
5️⃣ "The Worshiping Artist" by Rory Noland
This book is geared toward worship leaders and explores how we can use our creativity to lead others in worship, while depending on God for our inspiration and direction.
💡 FULL DISCLOSURE: Clicking the titles above will lead you to an Amazon affiliate link.
💪 CREATIVE CHALLENGE: "SURRENDER"
Create a visual artwork* following this guideline:
🏳️ Use the word “SURRENDER” as a creative prompt for your work.
⏲️ TIMED CHALLENGE: As a bonus challenge, try to finish your artwork in 1 hour or less! #SurrenderToTheClock
*This can be anything from a photograph, to a graphic design poster, to a GIF animation, to a typography work. Basically, if you can share it on Instagram, you’re on the right track!
🤩 WE’D LOVE TO SEE YOUR CREATIONS! Share your finished work on social media with the hashtag: #IndieBeginningBoost and get a chance to be featured on the next issue!
📅 Deadline: Feb 25, 2023.
⭐ ART FEATURE:
Here are our top picks from last week’s creative challenge: 🍇 STEWARDSHIP:
Want to see your work get featured? Use the hashtag: #IndieBeginningBoost on your Instagram uploads to get a chance to be part of our weekly newsletter! 😎
Hey, creatives! 👋
We're so glad to be back with our 4th issue of the newsletter! We hope you've been enjoying the past releases and that they've been a source of inspiration and encouragement to you in your creative endeavors.
At Indie Beginning, we're in constant pursuit of ways to improve our content and make it even more valuable for our readers. We believe that listening to your feedback is an important part of that process, which is why we want to ask you: how are we doing so far? What have been your favorite parts of the newsletter? What could we improve upon? We'd love to hear from you! 👂💕
As Christian creatives, we all face unique challenges on our journey to glorify God in our craft. Our hope is that this newsletter can be a place where we can come together, share our experiences, and grow in our walk with God together.
So, whether you're a graphic artist, musician, writer, or any other kind of creative, we're here to support you and cheer you on. We hope this issue will inspire you to depend on God more deeply and use your craft to bring glory to Him!
Thanks for being a part of our community, and we can't wait to hear your feedback.
Founder, Indie Beginning
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Brian & team, BOOST has become one of my top favorite resources for creatives. I am honestly surprised (and pleased) that it is free. The encouragement, prayers, suggestions, prompts and more are like water in a desert. What I am struggling with and would love additional conversation around is the element of making money through ministry / gospel oriented art or content. I'd love to know how you, in a godly way, create business & financial growth with ministry-style content (without it becoming sleazy or using the name of God for profit). Also, how do you bring up matters of faith in your content naturally, without it seeming like an afterthought or an "oh, I should add a verse here or talk about theology." Would love your insights. And please know I am so grateful for what you do and thank God for you!