Take A Risk

One of my roles on our team is to lead the Creative Life program, which is a weekly after school art club that we host. The point of this program is to provide a space of connection, to encourage creativity and to foster conversation about life through the use of the arts.

  Getting some of these youth to participate in the creative component can be challenging.  Many people have a hard time accepting themselves as artists because they compare to what others can do or get frustrated that the vision in their head is not what comes out on paper.  However, part of my job is to model a healthy approach to challenge.  And so I dive into art projects that stretch me, not only to try it, but to complete it. Some of these things are hard and it would be easier to give up.

  When we get past our frustrations and complete something, even if it is not perfect, we can build self-confidence.  We need self-confidence to not only make it as artists, but also to function in life.  At that point we can begin to enjoy the progress, learning through our trials, mistakes and failures that we would not have learned otherwise. Think of how many inspirational things were never made due to a lack of confidence.  The way I see it, our world is desperate for inspiration and creativity.

  I wanted to remove the stigma of comparing our artwork with others yet allow a chance for creative expression.  I pointed the young people to a common but unusual place - the simple signs held by panhandlers which communicate simple messages; some sad, some funny and some profound. I challenged them to create a sign that represents themselves in some way.  We then took these signs and stood on street corners.  For a generation that really only shares about themselves over social media, this was an amazing step out of their comfort zone.  As we went on the street, they held their signs and had a glimpse of what the world must be like for those that hold signs like that every day.  It gave them a chance to interact with the outside world and share their world view.  By the time we got back, these youth had exciting new stories to share generated through something they had created because I had stretched them to complete something hard

I challenge you to consider finishing something today, even if it isn’t perfect.  Through your simple act you could be inspiring someone else to do the same.  That is how we grow. By sharing inspiration and honesty, Jesus’ kingdom is spread. Not by those that are perfect, but by those willing to take a risk and finish well.

- Danny Ferguson


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