The Art Retreat
Sarasota 26/8 2017
We exist to serve and equip a new wave of young people who are being sent into world missions with the desire to bring change and freedom in and through the areas of arts, communications, and fitness.
That's YWAM Sarasota's missions statement. Fitness, entertainment, communication and.. art. There's never really been an arts ministry here. Art has been used, by staff and students, to further God's kingdom. But there has never been an actual, official arts ministry that operates outside of our MOTA DTSs.
Well, now there is.
And how do you start something? Well, if you want to use art for God's glory, you go out there and you use your art for God's glory. But it's also good to do things together. It's good to cooperate, learn from each other, hold each other accountable, think in long term vision and not re-invent the wheel everytime you need to use it.
So we gathered the artists at the base and went on an art retreat last weekend. Just piled into a couple of cars and drove to a house we got to borrow in Bradenton, Fl. And here are some of the things that happened.
"I really liked the friday evening. As the paper was rolled out that we would be writing on over the weekend - writing our different fears, dreams, and words from God - I felt an excitement in me. But that also gave me trepidation because I didn't know what pieces would be reveiled. For me that was the scariest thing, as stupid as it sounds, that the pieces wouldn't match up.
But as we started to talk about different things and just different passions with art, I started to see that we think more the same than i realised. Our friends had the impression that night that God wanted us to peel back many layers for us to be able to step into the minsitry, because there were a lot of things holding us back. I could sense that god was highlighting some of those things and i got excited. Together we started confessing the different fears we had and what we held onto to, and for me it made me realise that I'm not the only one afraid stepping into this. Together we could lay things down at the feet of Jesus and it made it possible for us to fully step into this.
It makes it even better when you can not only cry and be vulnerable together, but you can also play games at midnight and laugh so hard you cry at one in the morning. These are the reasons i know I found my right tribe." - Katie Floyd, YWAM Sarasota staff
"To me it was just really important spiritually. I felt like someone pushed the on button. Creativity is one of the gifts God gave me, that I can use for his purpose. And I've gone too long without doing something like this!" - Cristiane Costa, YWAM Sarasota staff
"For me Saturday afternoon was very interesting. We asked God what our vision should be and we had words that were not really what we expected. God spoke in weird pictures, strange impressions, things we didn't know what to do with, but in the end it made sense. In the beginning there was doubt, but God was speaking through these things. Even if it's not always what you want to hear, we trust what God says. And in the end there were a lot of things about taking it step by step instead of just running of with our own things." -Nati Wurster, YWAM Sarasota staff
"As I processed and prayed God revealed a lot of things to me, and I also saw that other people had similar visions. For example about going to the unsafe places, and I saw that other people wanted that as well. Maybe different exact places, but still, the puzzles pieces go together. God also spoke to me about hearing the cry of the artist, which meant a lot. Some things like that I'm not sure if it's for all of us or more me individually, but it meant a lot because God spoke to me in a way he hadn't before, and in a very powerful way." -Arianna Nünlist, YWAM Sarasota staff
The art retreat ended with us formally forming our arts ministry, and we now know that we are supposed to be a creative tribe bringing hope to people. We're still working on a more specific vision, a sentence we can go back to if we ever lose track of who we are supposed to be. And we also want to step into action. So, you know, stay updated.
There is -and we say this with excitement - a long way left to go.