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Follow Your God-given Dreams

I guess you could say I’ve come a long way since I wrote my first article for Christian Video Magazine (now Christian Media Magazine). It was entitled something like “How to Make Great Work on Not-So-Great Equipment.” I remember the equipment I had at the time was a Sony Digital 8 handicam, flood lights, a shower curtain, and my work was not really “great.” But through writing and learning, and learning so I’d have something to write about, I got to the point where I am now a professional video editor at an international organization (www.gnpi.org). In my personal filmmaking, I have gone from making videos for churches to use on Sermonspice and WorhsipHouseMedia to having a one-hour documentary that will air on PBS stations in Kansas City, Warrensburg, Wichita, Topeka, and the Ozarks on May 22nd, the fifth anniversary of the devastating tornado in Joplin – (see www.vimeo.com/ondemand/steadfast).

I say this not to brag. In fact, I can hardly believe it. I still have so much to learn and improve on! I say this only to motivate some of you who might have a dream and think you will never achieve it. I never went to school to study filmmaking. I learned by trial and error (and certainly more on the error side). I practiced and just kept creating.

I love this flowchart graphic because it’s so applies to my experience:

make-more-art
I made lots of stuff I’d be embarrassed to show today. And that’s what everyone says! You’ve got to start somewhere. If God has given you a dream, you’ve got to follow it, or you’ll live forever saying “What if?” To get to a level where you are proud of your work may time some time, but it’s worth the courage it takes to push through. I still have dreams, and I’ll continue to pursue them. In the meantime, I’m going to keep practicing and creating.
Don’t be content just to dream. Work to achieve it. The world is waiting. Get out what God put in you.
neverforget

A New Season

March 12, 2012 9 comments

For the last decade of my young life, I have been employed in some way by a church. That season of our lives is coming to an end. This morning, I had the unpleasant task of telling our church (in all 3 services) that I was resigning and we would be moving in two months time. For some this was shocking. Many others have mentioned to me that they sensed this coming. We leave on good terms, in fact, saying goodbye in two months will be very hard. We’ve spent the last 6 1/2 years in Brownsville. Two of our four kids were born here. Everyone has been understanding of our decision and happy for us, so for that I am very grateful.

The question is as to what we will be doing? We’ll be doing a lot of different things. I’m certainly not the first to leave full-time located church ministry to pursue other areas of ministry. That is what I am doing. I’m focusing my time and energy on my passion, which is video and Christian media.

There are several pieces of the pie that together will be the equivalent of a full-time job. This has been a long time coming. My response was always, “I’m not ready to jump yet. Not ready yet.” Or put another way it was “ready, aim, aim, aim, aim…” As long as that is my attitude, I would never step out in faith.  So we have prayed long and hard about it, and feel that God is leading us to shift our direction and ministry focus in this way.

I have read Jon Acuff’s book “Quitter- closing the gap between you day job & your dream job”. Chapter one is called “Don’t quit your day job”. For a while, now, I’ve been wanting to throw myself into the world of Christian media and focus long hours (not just spare time or days off) on the craft and learn a ton of new things to help me get better in this area. That would be a dream. Well, the time to do it is now.

I will leave a full-time ministry, and in essence take on 3 part-time ministries:

I have accepted the role of Editor-in-Chief of Christian Video Magazine- a free online publication that currently serves 70,000 subscribers. I will work from home on the magazine, of which I have been a columnist since it started a couple of years ago, and take my passion and run with it.

We will also be working more intensely with Motive Matters (www.motivematters.com). I guess you could say I’ll be the Director of Marketing. What’s that have to do with video or design? We’ll be responsible for all commercials, brochures, exhibits, etc. It is our passion to get this training into as many churches as would have us, and we will work to that end, creating promotional materials and spreading the word online and at conventions and ministerial alliance meetings, arranging pastors retreats, etc. Emily and I are also both certified motive trainers, so we’ll be doing some training as well, which we love to do. Motive Matters and the Color Code has truly helped us a lot in our own lives, in marriage and parenting, and life in general.

Finally, I will continue to develop my own platform- FishXpressions, which I began shortly after our move to Brownsville. I have spent my own time on this endeavor (days off, early mornings, late nights, etc.). It has been very part-time, and has not been on church time. Any more time that I can focus on this ministry will be a great benefit. There are a lot of ideas that I have. What I haven’t had is the time to execute them. I also may do some freelance video work with other churches or ministries as time allows. I’m confident that this change of pace will spur on a fresh wave of creativity. I’m looking forward to setting a day of Sabbath (once a week), in which I create nothing except for memories with family. For a while now, the only time I’ve had to work on this area of developing skills in video has been those times when I should have been resting or playing.

Are there still some unanswered questions? Well, yeah. However, I believe this is what God wants me to do.

I’ve always been a big fan of “The Choir”. A while back I invited Steve Hindalong and Derri Daughtery to play a concert in Brownsville. They are coming out with a new album, and since I pre-ordered it, I got a sneak peak in the form of an advanced rough cut of the song “The Forest”. That day was the day I was going to tell the staff about our decision. The song really spoke to me. And I told Steve that. He replied something to the effect of the fact that at times it’s good to take risks and that this would be a great adventure for our family. Coming to Brownsville was a great adventure. Going back to Missouri and focusing energy on a dream will be one too. So here are the lyrics to that song that ministered to be soul:

The sun will shine, the sun will shine on you

I believe the sun will shine on you and me my friend

I have learned to trust the turning of the seasons

Even now, the sun is breaking through clouds again

But I still don’t know the causes or the reasons

And I still can’t see the forest for the trees

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