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Creatives: Your Pastor Does Not Hate You or Your Art

It might be time to stop being so sensitive.

We have all been there before. We spend hours, days and energy on a design or a song, or a new idea, and we are hyped about it! We show up to the meeting with our new “thing” ready to pitch, and the response we get is less than warm.

We get up and walk out … defeated.

Then the spiral begins. We feel undervalued, we feel marginalized, the voices of doubt start screaming in our head, and we feel like our work is “hated” and, worse, that no one gets us. The same people who were our biggest champions two weeks ago, when they liked the last thing we created, in our minds are now out to destroy not just our ideas but our souls.

It has to stop.

We are creative, artistic people. Our job is to come up with new things and pioneer into new territory.

Very often, that new ground we are chasing is going to be scary and uncomfortable for others, especially at first blush!

Our job is to not be liked but to be agents of change. Being liked is a secondary benefit. (This does not permission you to be a jerk, so don’t.)

When our pastors or bosses or managers tell us they are not feeling our work, we have to remember there are other factors at work. They have a different lens than you have. They know about other information that we are not privy to at this time.

Further, they are looking at the bigger picture as it pertains to the organization and have a different lens than we do.

Another thing to remember is, maybe we didn’t do a good job in the sharing.

Did we take the time to explain the story behind the piece? Did we include how this helps move vision and mission forward? Did we remove the potential questions we have learned come with every new pitch … or did we become so intoxicated with our “new thing” we forgot that others have not lived with this art budding and birthing inside them for the past ‘X’ weeks?

Don’t take it personally.

Now, sometimes it is personal, and when it is you may need to explore if it is time to move on, but most of the time it’s not about you. Take your art, go back to the drawing board and start reworking it. Or put it on a shelf and save it for a time when the rest of the organization is ripe enough to move on that idea.

Our pastor/boss/manager likely doesn’t hate us or our art.

In fact, they likely count on us to be what we have always been: passionate, forward-thinking, creative, nonconforming dreamers that inspire them … even if they don’t like that one thing we did.