When I consider what it looks like to fulfill the great commission I can get overwhelmed. Jesus commands us to make disciples, bring them into fellowship in the Church, and provide places for them to grow to maturity. In my life context, I have been considering how to be part of Jesus’ plan by investing in people who share a love for creativity and art. This whole Atlanta Arts Network idea is at the root a movement of artistic believers who understand the need to grow in their faith and to live out the vision of Christ. But getting my mind around how this works in just my own local church is daunting at best. This is why my focus at first has been on a few leaders both in my church and also in Atlanta.
While this blog isn’t about our methods of building a ministry or the overall philosophy, it is important to remind myself at times that Atlanta Arts Network is a Network, made up of individual churches who are capturing a vision to build arts communities. For this to happen I am praying for a grass roots movement of individuals who love creative people and love to invest in them.
I am convinced that one of the tools that must be embraced for this to work is Life Coaching. For a pastor or lay person to begin to see artists join the community of Christ, they must first know how to determine where a person is in their spiritual journey. They must also know where they need to go next. I serve in a larger ministry, Worldwide Discipleship Association, that has been building mature disciples for 40 years. One of the tools we use is called Life Coaching.
For Arts Communities to grow in our churches we will need creatives who have a heart to pour their lives into others. Life Coaching teaches how to make this happen. But what do you have to know to be a life coach? I think there are four points that are helpful to remember: Relationship, Promise, Faith, and Plan.
Life Coaching is Relational.
WDA* believes that it all starts with Relationships! Relationships take time. Time is the critical component for discipleship and Life Coaching. Jesus called the disciples at first to come and see. He went into their world. (John 1:38-40)
Life Coaches know God’s promises.
Jesus understood that they needed to know the promises of God. They would have heard his pronouncement that the kingdom of God was in their midst. (Luke 4:16-18)
A Life Coach has to have faith in God.
Jesus begins the great commission by stating that He is the one with authority. It is not faith in myself, but trust in Him. He, the King, is building people to Christlikeness. He is the one who also will be with me! (Matthew 28:18-20)
A Life Coach has to have a plan.
Jesus modeled for all of us how to help people grow to maturity. He spent 3 years taking time in relationship, teaching content, helping them apply truth and holding the disciples accountable, praying for and with them, as well as creating situations where they could put into practice what He was teaching them.
WDA Life Coaching is a great tool for anyone who has a heart to help someone grow but might not know how to go about it. It takes time to invest in someone else. It will cost us. In the process, I learn to remember God’s promises, live by faith and follow His plan.
Sure, not everyone feels like they are gifted as a disciple maker. There are those who might be called to pursue making disciples as their primary calling. For the artist, Life Coaching is an art too! For us to be part of God’s work in our churches, we will need creativity in how to make disciples. It might not be a formal program but it might be one person who God has brought into our lives. It might be a musician who plays in worship. It might be someone who shares a similar love for our form of art. It might also grow to a community of artists who are living in community together, creating, serving, loving and contributing to the flourishing of our world.
What do you think? How could life coaching be part of the life of the artist? What ways do you see that you could invest in the lives of others? What benefits to your church could there be if you and other creatives began to share this kind of life together?
Buddy Eades is the Coordinator of Atlanta Arts Network which is part of the church ministry of WDA.
The Atlanta Arts Network exists to connect artists and worship artists, to encourage people who create and share art and cultivate a love for the arts as well as to aspire artists in the context of Christian community.
This blog first posted on Atlanta Arts Network