In my last post, I shared some initial takeaways on this year’s Your Imagination Redeemed conference. For this post, I’ll share . . . MORE takeaways from the conference! Here they are:
4. Know Your Goal as an Artist
I was the moderator for a panel on the Christian music and the Christian radio industry. The panelists were musicians whose work doesn’t fit the Christian radio formula. But none of them seemed frustrated by that for one simple reason: their goals weren’t to be on Christian radio.
Instead, they focused on creating music that would actually have an effect on people. As one of the panelists (Hi, Teressa!) explained, she realized her goal at an Andrew Peterson concert. She realized how many of the folks in the audience were welling up at his songs. Her goal was to have a career like that–create music that connected to people on that deep level. Getting on the big radio stations was an afterthought.
5. Know the “Other Side” as People
One of the best things I did to prepare for the panel was talk to a buddy who works at a Christian radio station. It put a face to the “other side” of the Christian radio issue. For lots of us at the Anselm Conference, Christian radio is a convenient punching bag. It easily becomes a faceless villain we can mock with impunity.
We should instead view the people in the Christian radio industry as just that–people. Many of whom are talented artists and devoted Christians trying to find their way through a complicated and frustrating industry. Do many of us (including me) disagree with their approach? Yep. But we should gracefully disagree with them as well-meaning fellow-Christians rather than as a faceless “industry.”
6. Talk to People about What They Love
This one’s self-explanatory, but it struck me during the conference. For the podcast, I spoke with Dr. Esolen about a subject he mentioned during his opening talk: Shakespeare as a Christian writer. It was soon obvious that he was passionate about the subject. This is not just because the words flowed out of him enthusiastically and eloquently (he’d obviously given the subject a lot of thought). It was also because the people around us shared the same enthusiasm. By the end of the interview, Dr. Esolen had attracted a crowd to hear his thoughts on a topic that (I’m guessing) none had given much thought to before.
In short: when you talk to someone about a subject they love, interesting things can happen.
Photo by Karen Pilling