Sometimes we have to go with an idea, run as hard and as fast as we can, spend whatever resources we have in order to find out we’re wasting our time that much sooner. We have to experiment … and fail. Learn and start again, and not be afraid to fail. Realize that something is not working and not be afraid to shut it down, even if a remnant is still benefitting from it. Or that could be me rationalizing why I shut down Creative Space for the summer.

Officially, it was on hiatus, I simply had no intentions of starting it back up. I figured if God wanted it, He’d provide the people for it. Actually, it isn’t what I figured. I was a little bitter that my vision hadn’t taken off and was off pouting in silence. One of the things that I realized was that Creative Space, the first go around, was my vision. It went exactly as I envisioned and planned it … and flopped on its face. Thus, any pride of being able to say “I did it” or even “We (the Dwelling Place) did this” was gone. That was one of the lessons I learned in its down time.

However, some folks started whispering in my ear that we ought to start the ministry back up. Which was fine, I just wasn’t going to be the person leading it. You quickly find out who was serious about it by putting the burden of starting it on their shoulders. Once I started hearing “how can I help?” I was ready to start seeing about putting together the structure – one that could run without me. That was lesson number two, allowing the right people room to come in and do what they are passionate about.

My next step was to talk to people. People inside the Dwelling Place and outside (as a couple of the voices prodding me didn’t even go to my church, but wanted to see a ministry like it take off). Lesson number three, if you want to be able to best use your people, find out what they do and what they want to do. I only pursued as step as I found people interested in helping with it.

With that in mind, here’s what the overall plan currently is:
-Creative Space will start back up in January of 2007 (January 9, 2007 to be precise)
-it will meet Tuesday nights at the Dwelling Place starting at 6:30 pm
-we will be working with some of the teens from Outreach Incorporated. What we’ve seen is that art speaks right to where they are and cuts through the crap of life. We will be acting as mentors for them to help them express themselves (however that may be) as well as collaborating with them on a few projects.
-in addition to the loose format of an open gym night for projects, there will be six areas of interest:

1) Film. We will be working on creating a movie for our Christmas 2007 service. We like the idea of using people’s artistic gifts to do a production, however, to be honest, I hate cantatass. The movie will be written, directed, and filmed by the folks at Creative Space. We may even do the next Outreach documentary.

2) Writing. One of our projects will be a book/photography project with the working title “The Face of Homeless Teens.” We will be helping the teens tell their stories alongside photo essays of them.

3) Art. Artists from creative space will be doing a series of paintings, poems, and photographs so that the story of the bible will be told around the main room of the Dwelling Place.

4) Music. Some of our people will be helping the kids lay down tracks and helping them fulfill their music vision. We’ve even made contacts who would be willing to sell the CDs. Others under this area of the ministry will be helping score the movie or documentary projects.

5) Dance/Drama. We have people who want to be able to express themselves through dance. Also, these will be the people who will act in the film.

6) Individual projects. This was our sole area of interest the first time around and this will still be a place for artists to come and encourage each other. We have free wireless at the Dwelling Place, so bloggers can blog and other writers can research. In addition to the other artful expressions, folks can scrap-book (okay, that’s actually a concession for my wife).

Our goal is to eventually be able to do a once a month a gallery showing/open mic night, complete with a coffee bar. We’re partnering with other churches, too. Helping them where we can in doing what they do within the arts community; why reinvent the wheel? It’s not about who gets the credit, but getting the work done. That’s where we are – we’ll see how it goes.

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