Yes, we asked Science Mike (McHargue) to come on the show. He said yes. Then he messed with our heads for 30 minutes. What you hear in the first 15 seconds of this episode is how giddy we were after we hung up with him, and Mike Kim and I called each other back. We discuss the origins of Christian fundamentalism, the science of art, and how diverse constructs of the universe’s genesis can bring glory to God. Ear buds in, turn it up, let’s get creative.
In honor of our seventh episode (the statistical milestone for podcasts that have any longevity), we’re taking a break from reality to be, well, fiction-filled. But trust us, there’s a method to our madness. From our favorite gadgets and favorite Bonds to our favorite supporting characters, we’re talking all-things Bond and the ways in which the Queen’s hired gun is both creative and vulnerable as a leader. Locked and loaded, turn it up!
This week, Mike and I are joined by special guest Sidney Mohede of Jakarta Praise Community Church in Jakarta, Indonesia. This pastor, producer, song writer, worship leader and graphic artist is one of my inspirations in life and ministry. The perspectives he has to share on healthy church structures, the need for redefining creative outlets, and how to build big people (not big ministries) is a welcomed addition to our archives. Ears buds in, volume up, press play.
Most creative people are usually polymaths in some way—that is, they are creative in many ways, not just one. So our enemy isn’t only what we should spend time doing, it’s an equal decision to what we shouldn’t spend time doing. One of the best ways to finding links between vocation and calling, aptitudes and desire, is to find the places where our abilities and loves overlap. These intersections prove to be synergetic moments that fuel one another and provided the need energy to continue in our craft even when things get stressful. This week, I talk about finding synergy in the midst of creativity. Ears buds in, volume up, press play.
As mentioned in the show, please check out:
Brother McClurg’s new albums on iTunes™: HOME / AROUND THE MIC
Meg Sutherland’s new album on iTunes™: COURAGE DEAR, HEART
Sprig Music: Official website
#BASICcon: Tweets / Facebook / Instagram
#EXJ2015: Tweets / Facebook / Instagram
I have the privilege of interviewing my good friend, award winning author, Wayne Thomas Batson. We talk friendship, collaboration, stealing away to intentionally create art, and flatulent barrister gnomes. For real.
Find Wayne’s blog here.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .””
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
The pub the CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien frequented, The Eagle and Child, which inspired us.
TWEETABLE: Intense focus, punctuated by moments of sheer hilarity, keeps you form going insane. [Tweet this!]
TWEETABLE: Collaboration allows you to bounce ideas off one another. [Tweet this!]
TWEETABLE: Collaboration provides intellectual and emotional security. [Tweet this!]
TWEETABLE: Community is essential to building good stories. [Tweet this!]
Guard your time. Protect your creative outlet. Don’t structure too much around the weekend you set aside. Clear out distractions. Plan ahead.
FIND A GOOD HAUNT:
Jack’s Draft House, Scranton, PA – Ask for Dimitri
Cooper’s Seafood Restaurant, Scranton, PA
TIP: PRIMING THE PUMP – Write a few sentences for each chapter that you want to start in on before getting away on a writing weekend.
DREAMS THAT BECAME REALITY:
- Co-writing a book together, turned into The Berinfell Prophecies (trilogy)
– Fantasy Fiction Tours, 2007 (East Coast) and 2008 (West Coast)
– Flatulent Barrister Gnomes (more on this at the end of the podcast)
DISCUSSING OUR FAITH:
TWEETABLE: What you believe is impossible to separate from what you write. [Tweet this!]
TWEETABLE: All good writers bleed into their stories. [Tweet this!]
TWEETABLE: Unity is not uniformity. [Tweet this!]
*Wayne is accountable to the public for writing a non-fiction work on unity in the Body of Christ.
Our stories, as well as our spiritual lives find strength in collaboration.
A few days of constant input builds needed momentum.
Q: If you’re a writer, and you’ve crossed between fiction and non-fiction, what hurdles have you faced in doing so?
TWEETABLE: Writing non-fiction is kind of like streaking. [Tweet this!]
Having someone lovingly (or even un-lovingly) challenge your values and beliefs can cause you to reaffirm your cause.
Be intentional. Look ahead. Plan for your creativity.
TWEETABLE: Devoted time for creativity is sacred. [Tweet this!]
If you’re a successful published or self-published author or other creative, look to partner with services industries to help offset expenses in exchange for cross promotion.
Find a setting that works. For us, getting away at a mutually neutral, distraction-free environment.
…and yes, Migmar of The Berinfell Prophecies fame, got his start from a Bootcamp Weekend from the flatulent barrister gnome joke.
Today we talk about how transparent creative leaders should be in their art and public discourse. From the damaging effects of not sharing enough and risking the dreaded “elitist” title, to the dangers of over-sharing, knowing what to say, to whom, and how much is an art in and of itself. Mike Kim and I discuss this and more in this week’s episode of Creativecast.
This one’s a doozie, people! Today, we’re talking about transparency.
How vulnerable should church leaders be on social media, especially concerning doubt, art and responding to recent events in the media?
Here’s the hilarious video that Mike mentions during his Valentine’s Days monologue.
We humans are strange creatures. We want our leaders to be perfect, but then we hate to love watching our heroes fall. If they don’t share enough, they’re elitist, and if they share too much, they’re a disappointment.
TWEETABLE: Pursuing God is a whole lot less like math and a whole lot more like art. [Tweet this!]
TWEETABLE: Silence can’t be misquoted. [Tweet this!]
TWEETABLE: Don’t go to war when there aren’t any spoils for you. [Tweet this!]
Recent examples: President Obama not visiting France in January; the greater evangelical world not speaking up about Ferguson, Missouri.
AUDIENCE, OBJECTIVE, MOTIVE
Our level of transparency is dictated by our audience (who), our objectives (what), and our motives (why).
Lie: “We’re all supposed to be totally transparent. If we’re not, we’re just fakes.”
What a load of crap! If this is anyone’s attitude, they’re never lead anyone, nor do they legitimately care for anyone. And if this is your attitude, and you do care for people, then you’re not living by love.
Filters: We all use filters; no one’s 100% transparent. We’re constantly making judgement calls about what to share and what not to share, and who we’re sharing with.
Sharing too much / too little: Some leaders don’t share enough and risk creating cultures that are unrealistic, alienating people who don’t understand why they’re encountering things that their leaders aren’t.
Helpful Message: TD Jakes’s “The Weight of Glory” – pastors, equipping them, bc he wants them to better handle the unexplained pressures that they’re facing. [WATCH]
Leaders must present things in such a way that we honor who our audience is, what our objectives are, and being true to the motives of why we want to share what we’re sharing.
Christopher’s “Letter to Ferguson.” [READ]
Tip: Assess your digital trail by looking back at your last 30 posts on social media. What are people going to say about you when they read your digital trail? Be intentional with what you share.
Seth Godin’s article, You Are What You Share. [READ]
PETA ALERT: *Evangeline loves cats today.*
TWEETABLE: All of us are leading somebody. [Tweet this!]
Christopher’s Pastor, Kirk Gilchrist: Very honest with the pressures he faces publicly, yet doesn’t betray the trust of those people he’s carrying the weight of, nor the trust of his audience to shows he’d betray their secrets if he knew them. This cultivates a healthy transparency (talk about how to achieve shortly).
TWEETABLE: Transparency doesn’t equal the right to complain. [Tweet this!]
Jesus’ Example: Jesus, as a leader, professed his darkest day, and then waited for resurrection as a response.
In the end, we’re all leaders, and we all abide by what I call the Familiarity/Transparency Curve. The deeper the familiarity, the more transparent we can be. Creating healthy transparency means you’re properly managing your level of transparency with the death of familiarity.
Relationships: Wife, children, best friend, close friends, acquaintances, strangers, invisible public.
TWEETABLE: Every good relationship is based on trust. [Tweet this!]
Breaking the familiarity/transparency curve: When we share more transparently than our level of familiarity allows, we can cause damage in the relationship. We become overly familiar with our audience. We have not earned the right to present that kind of information yet. And they have not earned our trust enough to prove that they can steward it.
TWEETABLE: The key is to share enough that the journey is recognizable, but not so much that my personal journey becomes a distraction. [Tweet this!]
There’s a reason we don’t know all the details of what Jesus personally endured, but we do know he endured enough that we can identify with his sufferings.
TWEETABLE: Did Jesus pick his nose? [Tweet this!]
Art has a valuable role of unspoken expression that leaders must utilize to speak to the culture of their day. They don’t necessarily need to create art themselves, but they can serve those they’re leading by referencing it.
Prima Ballerina Isadora Duncan was once asked by an audience member, “Can you explain what your dance meant?”
“No, I can’t explain the dance to you. If I could say it, I wouldn’t have to dance it.”
“All good art has a way of emoting powerfully while guarding discretely.”
TWEETABLE: Good art never truly betrays the people it’s portraying. [Tweet this!]
TWEETABLE: Good art is never so much about the subject as it is about the viewer. [Tweet this!]
“There are always two people in every picture: the photographer and the viewer.”
TWEETABLE: Art is better when it communicates emotionally and not analytically. [Tweet this!]
Paintings, music, dance, poetry, staging, film, clothing, photography, novels: Good leaders need to be well versed in or at least cognizant of art and culture, as these artistic expressions can serve the purpose of bringing people forward through their own hardships.
Q: Where have you made mistakes at either being overly transparent or not transparent enough?
Christopher shares how he got started in writing novels, and his three sources of writing inspiration. Mike talks about his love-hate relationship with his two dogs. And we talk about a ghastly secret that Christopher has largely kept hidden from his teachers since 1986. All this and more on this week’s episode of Creativecast!
Yes, here are Mike Kim’s dogs:
In this episode of Creativecast, we climb inside Christopher’s head, thanks to this three-part question form Marie:
1. When did you first realize that you wanted to be a writer and why?
2. Do you still write with the same reason(s) or goal(s) in mind? Or do you find that your reason(s) or goal(s) for writing, have changed over the years as you go on to write different stories?
3. Does your inspiration for writing and music come solely through prayer or devotions with God, or just through the ordinary everyday things that seem to stand out a bit to a person?
Yes, Christopher only read ______ books during his school years.
If you’ve enjoyed any of Christopher’s books, please help thank the people that inspired him. Tweet a thank you to Jordan Sandquist [Tweet him!].
TWEETABLE: If our art is not grounded in the human experience, it cannot inform the human condition. [Tweet this!]
Christopher’s three sources of writing creativity:
1.) Divine - God-originated gifts
2.) Imagination - The innate empowerment of our God-designed imaginative self, based on our experiences and dreams.
3.) Natural - The day-to-day happenings of life, specialized by your own interests or pursuits.
The Sky Riders came to Christopher while driving (divine), and then looking out airplane windows (imagination), and then the character conflicts form years of counseling (natural).
TWEETABLE: Good stories are divine inspiration, fleshed out by imagination, and informed by real life. [Tweet this!]
TWEETABLE: Stories have power to influence life. [Tweet this!]
Good ideas are like butterflies: they may land, but they soon take off again. Write them down!
—Brian Luke Seaward, Managing Stress
TWEETABLE: Writing a novel is like playing chess with yourself for five months. [Tweet this!]
Q: As a creative, what’s a specific project where you saw (or are seeing) the divine, your imagination, and the natural inform your art?
Let’s face it, unless we’re living on another planet all alone, like in Interstellar, we’re around people. Which means there’s bound to be conflict. In this inaugural episode of Creativecast, Mike Kim and I discuss how to foster personal and corporate environments that are safe for creatives to express themselves in without fear of being bashed (or bashing others).
What can a leader do to create a culture of candor and shared accountability within their church to address and overcome the interpersonal divisiveness among members about church direction, authority and decision making?
In response, we must devote ourselves to two different pursuits:
1.) Personal Commitment:
a) Matthew 18:15-17 – Jesus’ outline for disagreements.
b) Clear Air Policy: We say what’s in our hearts, following Matthew 18.
TWEETABLE: Everything can be said with kindness. [Tweet this!]
2.) Corporate Commitment:
A healthy organization must make the vision and the structure of the organization clear. Not everyone is going to like the vision and structure of your church or organization, and that’s OK. But you do no one any favors by appearing to widen your vision to include people you want at the expense of betraying your core values; this only leads to future disappointment.
Congretionally Lead Church Model vs Pastorally Lead Board Model
CLCM Work priorly for smaller churches, but does not permit growth as you’re principly catering to people’s wants and not their needs. What people need is almost always contrary to what they want. The appearance of CLCM is that they foster security and minimize risk; but I’ve seen more church splits in CLCM than other models, because there’s a lack of clear leadership, and when someone has a concise vision that resonates with people, they’re usually voted out. Church is not a democracy.
PLBM Promotes growth at the hands of a concise group of dedicated leaders who are seeking God for what’s best for a company of people, emphasizing their needs above their wants. Sure, there’s risk, but if you’re willing to seek counsel from them for your family, how can you also not trust them for vision for the church you’re attending? Go find another church.
Q: What interpersonal or creative struggles are you having in your work environment?
Social media assets, acquired. Domain, purchased. Website, hosted.
Awesomeness, well—let’s not get ahead of ourselves. But it should be starting soon.
Launching this website, and more importantly, this podcast, has been a dream for over a year. I just wasn’t sure I should do it. Could do it. Or had anything worth saying. But fortunately I have amazing friends who’ve said, “Duh, of course you should.”
The most notable encourager has been Mike Kim, a living genius and connoisseur of fruity hand soaps. He’s put his time where his mouth is too, by volunteering to help co-host my first episodes. Now that’s a friend.
What Can Listeners Expect?
Fun. That’s a must. Because I like having fun.
You can also expect a whirlwind of creative confluence that let’s me be myself. A few parts chaos mixed with a whole lot of imaginary and seasoned with a pinch of “what did he just say?” And if I’m being myself, that means (hopefully) that you’re going to become a better you. An inspired you. A you that illuminates your world, bringing fresh solutions to stagnant problems, and making life beautiful around you.
What Are You Going To Talk About?
Because this is a podcast after all, right?
Creativecast is an epicenter of creative ideas and creative people who’re taking on spiritual and social issues to change the world. From interviews of inspirational visionaries who’re setting the pace in everything from church leadership, business development and social justice, to new ideas on creating powerful art that speaks to culture in positive ways, Creativecast—at least by prediction—is going to slap your grandma and tie your shoes.
I Don’t See You On iTunes Yet
Mike and I are tracking the debut episodes of Creativecast this week. Once those are finalized, we’ll be uploading to iTunes, getting approval (fingers crossed), and then publishing to a device near you.
What Can I Do In The Mean Time?
Ask me questions. I love them, and they’re fuel for the fire, with some great ones coming in to kick the show off. In fact, if you’d like to be a part of Creativecast—like, with your voice actually being heard by millions of people (or just your mom)—then record your questions and Tweet it to me, Facebook it to me, or email it to me. You can also leave comments below, which we’ll incorporate into our show prep if they’re worthy. Or not worthy. Either way, we’ll probably use them.
Thanks for being excited with me; I so appreciate your enthusiasm.
Your fellow Luminary,