It happens at least once a week. Some experience makes me stop and look around. I take a quick inventory of my life, and I always come to the same conclusion: this can’t be real. I mean, I’m a missionary.
I grew up with a number of misconceptions about what a missionary is, so it was certainly never my plan to become one. I graduated with a degree in journalism and worked a series of jobs that afforded me experience in web design, fundraising, donor communications, and social media. My husband, Brandon, had a successful career as a freelance videographer and graphic designer. Life had become what we always wanted.
But we were restless. And one day Brandon confessed that he had prayed a prayer that would likely change our lives. He asked God to do whatever he wanted with us. Our lives were a blank check to be used as God wanted.
I was nervous.
It wasn’t long after that when a friend told us about the International Mission Board. It was easy to laugh off the idea at first. We were in no way suited to plant churches or live in a hut in the middle of nowhere. But when we learned about a creative team on the field that uses their media training to tell the US church about what God is doing around the world and helps develop resources for missionaries, our interest was piqued.
“When we learned about a creative team on the field that uses their media training . . . our interest was piqued.”
The more we learned about the Media Network, the more we realized God had been preparing us our entire lives for this opportunity. He had perfectly tailored our skills and passions for this time and this avenue of service. Our choice was clear. It became the only thing that made sense.
Creatives Have a Crucial Role in God’s Global Mission
God didn’t reserve the Great Commission only for seminary students and church planters. He commissioned each one of us, and he promised he would prepare and be with us as we carry the gospel to the ends of the earth.
I have never written a sermon in a foreign language, but I write social media posts that I pray will inspire others to make missions part of their everyday lives. Brandon has never located unreached peoples, but he’s created graphics and prayer cards to garner prayer for people who have never heard of Jesus.
Our God is Creator, and we are creative in his image. It is he who inspires us toward art, music, and poetry. And it makes perfect sense that he would use the artists he has made to accomplish his mission—photographers, videographers, writers, editors, marketers, graphic designers, and others.
A move toward limitless sending will include people from all backgrounds with myriad talents and skill sets finding their way to the field through various pathways. Consider for yourself how God might use your creativity and talents to further his mission. Perhaps you should join us.
What’s on a Creative’s Desk?
Creatives in the Media Network use a variety of skills to help further global mission. Some excel in writing and dabble in photography. Others prefer flying drones to capture stunning video footage and grow their illustration prowess in their free time. We come with different strengths and creative passions, but our common goal is best reflected by what occupies our physical space. Here’s a look at a few tools our team uses to live, work, and serve.
Samantha Connors is a writer and creative for IMB. She lives in Europe with her family.
Video by Liam Mark and Miles Parry. Liam is a creative living abroad with his family who always loves coffee and an adventure with others. Miles is a creative, filmmaker, and photographer from Louisiana, currently serving in Southeast Asia with his family.
Elle Graham is a photographer, designer, and creative raised on the California coast. She now lives in Southeast Asia.