Our Core Values can be summarized in four words: Live, Love, Learn, and Labor.
Live out a Christian life that is real. Being “real” or authentic isn’t as difficult at it may seem. We all know when we feel near to God’s heart and when we do not. The scripture tells us that we will be known by the fruit and love demonstrated in our lives. (Matt 7:16-20, 1 John 3:9-10, 1 John 4:13-21)
Live out a sound theology. We all differ slightly in our doctrine, and yet we would all affirm that Christianity isn’t defined by its boundaries, but by its center. It is important for us as artists of faith to confirm what lies at the core of our faith (i.e., The Nicene Creed) and become informed about those truths that we come to understand through study of the scripture. It is important for us to be wary of allowing persuasions to become perversions, of truth. (Eph 4:1-13)
Live, on mission. It would be difficult indeed to miss as we read the scriptures the fact that Christ has commissioned us as his followers. He intended his followers to be on mission for him. Christ’s Great Commission gives us our “job description” which is to disciple all nations. (Matt 28:18-20)
Live in a Christian community among the worldly community. If we are not a member of a community of believers, on mission to a community in need of the gospel, then we are likely to be missing out on God’s greater blessing for our lives. (Heb 10:23-25)
Love God. Jesus sites it as the first and greatest commandment. (Matt 22:37-39) This is a commandment and an immense privilege – hopefully, as followers of Christ; we understand the implications of this command.
Love others. This connects to loving God – Jesus sites it as being one of two integral parts that “all the Law and the Prophets hangs on…” (Matt 22:39-40) Conversely we should be aware of our actions that do not exhibit our love for God and others, as stated in much of the New Testament letters, we become stumbling blocks or hindrances to the others reception of the gospel. (Matt 16:23, Romans 14:13, 1 Cor 8:9)
Love beauty. If we regard beauty as an attribute of God that has been reflected in His creation for His glory, then it is essential to respect its proper place—pointed toward God. In short, to promote, protect, and give prominence to what is good. (Phil 4:8)
Love the truth. The parallel to “Love beauty.” We should love the things , which are good, true and come from God. This is where the Christ follower focuses their attention. Without this focus it is difficult to discern the truth from what is not in line with God’s will. (1 Tim 6:3-5, Eph 4:20-25)
Love the lost. This is a parallel to “Love others”. It is important for us to emphasize the act of loving intentionally and outwardly (centrifugal vs. centripetal). Christ lived a centrifugal life. He demonstrated this for us by saving us by His grace even when were still sinners. Following Him instills a compassion for those who do not yet know Him responding to a world in need by reciprocating His actions in earnest. (Matt 25:31-46, Rom 5:6-8)\r\n
Seeking counsel, wisdom, and revelation. Do you have a mentor? (Phil 3:17) Is there someone who is committed to helping you seek truth in the scripture for the good of your faith and your service? Are you mentoring someone? This is a vital way to steward what has been freely given to us. We also receive blessings from sowing into the lives of others. Ask for wisdom and revelation from the Spirit so that you may find these life-giving relationships. (James 1:5)
Learn about your gift and embrace it. It is essential to know that what we are doing is in line with the gifts of the Spirit. We want to encourage you to find the source of your art making and embrace it. (1 Cor 12:1-11)
Seek truth in the language of art. God, the Creator of all, (Gen 2:9) has created things that are a reflection of His own aesthetic goodness. For instance He created composition, design, color as well as culture, history and context. Through his common grace all artist can create aesthetically good things. However, the follower of Christ is empowered by the Holy Spirit of God, to create good things. It is important to recognize the goodness that is found in our world due to God’s amazing common grace. (1 Cor 12:3)
Hone your gift. To hone means to focus or make sharper. This is an active part of possessing a gift. Possessing a gift requires stewardship of that gift. To be worthy of your call it is important to seek excellence in your art making. (Col 1:9-10)
Practice your art. Whether you consider art making your vocation or see it as a personal expression it is important to see it through the lens the standards set out by the scripture—to work as if we are working for God (Col 3:23). As artists we are working in an area, which occupies a unique place by demonstrating beauty and sharing concepts that seek to define aesthetic qualities, invite reflection, and shape our culture.
Practice in earnest. It is fundamental to understand what your particular gift is, why you have it, and how to share it.
(Rom 12:1-8, 1Cor 12:1-11, 1Pet 4:10-11)
Practice with intention. It is possible that God doesn’t want your sacrifice if it is without the right intentions. (Amos 5:23-24) If your work glorifies something outside of God, you may need to reexamine your understanding. We should be about the business of reconciliation and the expansion of God’s glory to all creation in beauty and in truth. (1Cor 10:23-24)
Practice with excellence. Not only should we steward our time and efforts in accordance with our work habits and responsibilities (Col 3:23), but we should also dare to increase our excellence in the sight of all men. (Tit 3:8, Eph 4:1-6)
Practice with others. It is important for us to take what we have learned and share it. If we are not making disciples, teaching others the things we have been freely given, we miss out on a great blessing of God’s design.