1. To provide input, encouragement and perspective for people professionally involved in the media, arts and entertainment industries. This edition grapples with the issue of Ambition.
2. To create a sense of linking and relationship between the three most important arts, media and entertainment cities in the world – New York, London and L.A.
3. To communicate a sense of organisational unity and relationship by promoting the main support organisations operating in the three cities.
4. To develop a network of people committed to praying for media, arts and entertainment every day.
Six years ago God gave me a vision to create a support network for people involved in these industries. We created a free quarterly publication called Backstage that featured twelve articles and information about people involved in the industries so that we could pray for them. Initially this went out to around one hundred people.
Through word of mouth the network developed and before long the publication was going to 500 people. Personally, I was still dissatisfied. Compared to the influence, power and magnitude of the industry I knew that simply producing a regular publication was the equivalent of a spec of dust on a spec of dust! I remember going through a phase of being so desperate for God to provide some direction, some instruction. After a time of intense study and praying; grappling with the issue and pacing up and down as I do, I knew God had given me three words which provided the direction and instruction I was seeking. To this day these are still the words that provide the challenge for us both individually and corporately: UNITY – HUMILTY – PRAYER It sounds good, but what does it mean in reality?
Unity – We need one another. Life and our relationship with God was never designed to be a solo journey. Humility – As individuals we all have our part to play, but we are not the key. Only God can transform these industries. Prayer – As in all of life, prayer must be central. It is so often key to seeing God breaking into nations; people; industries.
I wrote to the Backstage network and communicated what I felt God was challenging us with. I took a step of faith and booked a central London venue and invited the network together with this agenda of unity, humility and prayer. To my amazement a few hundred people representing many parts of the industry came together to passionately worship God, pray for one another and pray for the industries. That was nearly six years ago and we have since been meeting in London every other month – recently increased to every month.
The last Backstage publication released in January 2004 went out to 1400 people. God is placing more and more people into the heart of these most important industries and this is what excites me so much.
Question: If L.A, New York and London are the most influential cities when it comes to the media, arts and entertainment industries, how much are we, as Christians who are involved in those industries, aware of what is going on? How do we relate, share resources, and pray for one another? It is a question we should explore together.
Whilst we are still very early on in our relationships corporately, it has been such a privilege to build relationships with the leaders of similar organisations in New York and L.A. I am grateful for their help and contribution to make this first publication happen. As we enter into this new phase please bear with us as we find our feet together. This is a publication that we will hone and refine as we go along with the hope of providing you with the information and input that is most helpful to you.
The Artisan web site is also being launched in April and will link all the support organisations together, hopefully providing another great resource for you. As Paul prayed for the church in Colosse (Colossians 1:9–13) I pray for you – thousands of you who are living for Christ, grappling and working out your faith within media, arts and entertainment.
My prayer is that God will fill you with the knowledge of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please Him in every way, bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God. I pray that you would be strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Finally, a prayer that we can all pray in agreement with one another… “God we want to see a revolution across this world of media, arts and entertainment. A time of change in the people that make up the most influential industries in our planet. God we want to see directors, writers, producers, editors, CEO’s, dancers, painters, actors, musicians, fashion designers, graphic designers, presenters, camera operators, photographers, journalists, researchers, sculptors, advertising execs, promoters, fixers, animators, managers, vocal trainers, stylists, models… operating from a place of knowing this truth: that they are made by God, known by God and loved by God – a people group who have their identity and security in Jesus who has accomplished everything so that we all might know forgiveness and life in all its fullness; a people group who recognise and celebrate the source of their creativity: the Great Designer and Creator. Lord as thousands of people who you have placed in these industries this is our desire.
Love to you all,