Growing Your Gift from the Inside Out

26 Jan 2016

I remember talking last year to a fairly successful artist. Though our conversation covered a wide range of topics, the thing that stuck out to me wasn’t how good their work was, but how dedicated they were to getting the best out of themselves and, creatively speaking, pushing themselves forward.

It was a conversation that’s had me thinking a lot heading into this year. It’s challenged my approach to contribution, and can also be an encouragement to creatives everywhere.

One thing we care about on our creative team is our level of excellence. We take great joy in bringing our absolute best when we serve. Not for the sake of excellence itself, but because we believe what we’re doing is worth us playing, singing, and creating to the best of our ability. Our purpose, our mission, implores us to be diligent with our gifts.

Accordingly, we urge all our team to practice and prepare with the utmost care. And in large part, they do. They arrive knowing their parts, their role, and ready to contribute. It makes a massive difference when people come honouring the sacrifice of others, and understand our creative team is part of something far bigger than we can see.

See, execution is rarely our issue. For the most part, our people know what’s expected, are on time, and are ready to go. Generally speaking, our Sundays operate at a high level.

Which is good.

But this year, I care about something that runs deeper than how well you may sing, play, or mix. What you design, draw, and dream is great, but I care more about what the rest of us don’t get to see.

Yes, execution matters, but application matters so much more.

For most of our team, we are beyond the point of singing without being pitchy, or dropping a note while playing guitar. We are respectful of the time others have sown, and come ready when asked. But more than being ready to capably execute, it is an important step in our faith to lift our application.

Don’t just sing the song, worship. Don’t just play the right parts, lead people into the presence of God.

Yes, your execution matters, but to grow, give attention to your application.

Application matters. It’s where your devotion meets your passion. It’s where your potential meets its proving ground.

It’s hard to measure – but is also best indicated by your mindset. How do you feel now about what you bring to the team? Is your approach the same as it was 6 months ago? Is some complacency creeping in?

The key here – let your application to your creativity be fuelled by a growing private devotion.

For me, that looks like spending time thinking about what we get to be a part of. Whenever I consider the size and scope of our cause and mission, I can’t help but be encouraged to bring more of myself to the table.

Ultimately, don’t just engage your head when you serve – that will eventually grow stale.

Service is a matter of the heart. Be encouraged to focus no just on your execution – but your application.