Berenice Rarig, Visual and Performance Artist (Fiji Islands)
Several years ago I gave a talk entitled "Art as Cross-Cultural Apologetic" at a large conference. After my presentation a substantial queue of artists, youth pastors, pastors, parents of creative teens and curious others, wound its way from the platform, where I had barely stepped down, to the exit door. Many conversations ensued but one in particular still moves me. A youngish woman, eyes already red from crying, held onto to me and sobbed into my ear, "I'm an artist at heart, but I was raised to believe I could not be a Christian and practice contemporary art!" I wish I could say this was an isolated incident but in the subsequent years I have heard the same story over and over. As a result, my longing and my prayer has been for that isolationist attitude and posture toward contemporary art specifically and culture generally to be extinguished in the hearts and minds of future generations of believers. My hope is that it is replaced with a gracious movement toward culture. The MAKE Collective is a fruit of that hope!
The MAKE Collective is a network of artists who, like Bezalel, have been called by name, by God, and have been filled with the Spirit of God in wisdom, understanding, knowledge, and all kinds of craftsmanship (Exodus 31:2-3). They have embraced their gifts and accepted their unique opportunity and responsibility that the holistic, prophetic, and pastoral expression of those gifts affords in their participation in the evangelical/cultural mandate—God’s reconciliation of all things to Himself, in the context of global church planting movements.
MAKE declares with Abraham Kuyper, "Oh, no single piece of our mental world is to be hermetically sealed off from the rest, and there is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry: 'Mine!'" And consequently relishes the statement, variously attributed, "Beware of artists, they mix with all classes of society, and are therefore the most dangerous."
MAKE recognizes that church planting is a part of culture making and as such is a creative process. Further, the posture of 'making' a church and 'making' an art work are the same—a faithful, prayerful, intentional response, motivated by love, actioned by grace, and accomplished by the Holy Spirit for the glory of God and the benefit of our neighbor.
MAKE is immersed in the center of culture. From a position of humility and transparency, it reflects grace and builds intentional relationships through the making and exposition of marks of beauty, truth, and transcendence towards the creation and facilitation of a worshiping community. MAKE values the journey of making and its sanctifying, unifying outcomes.
MAKE has been formed:
Some of MAKE’s core processes/values are: listening, questioning, responding, experimenting, reflexive, challenging, failing, forgiving, generosity, transparency, slowness, unfolding, sustainability, inclusion, embrace, journey, and excellence.