15 Feb, 2020 Empowering Kids With Opportunities to be Creative
by Gina McAndrew
Can empowering kids glorify God through creativity? Or is creativity just an enrichment exercise for those who have too much time on their hands?
Sadly, our children and teens are being bombarded with imagery that is damaging to their wellbeing and their very souls. Art itself has been perverted by the media and social networks to lure them into pornography, drugs, and alcohol. It is no wonder then, that the arts have taken a backseat in many families, and its validity questioned.
But what if art was used to glorify God instead? What if we viewed art from the correct perspective, recognizing God as the Master Creator?
Our choices would be very different, reflecting the template God set aside for us in the Beginning, right in Genesis 1:1, when the first act we see recorded is Creation. According to Jordan Raynor, entrepreneur and author of Called to Create: A Biblical Mandate to Create, Innovate, and Risk,
“After working for six days, God left the Earth largely undeveloped and uncultivated. He created a canvas and then invited us to join Him in filling it.”
Empowering kids through art
The Mark Project is one way to provide the tools necessary to be creative while overcoming barriers that prevent the spread of the Gospel message. Founded in 2015, The Mark Project distributes art kits that transcend language barriers to missionaries around the world. Combining color, imagery, and a variety of mediums, these kits engage people in the arts and foundational truths.
Music Journalist, Steve Turner describes the importance of art in his book, Imagine: A Vision for Christians in the Arts by stating,
“Many people are involved in working with art because they want to expand the quality of people’s lives. Children whose lives have been blighted by war, famine or abuse are quite often reawakened by music, dance, poetry, painting, and drama. Their senses are engaged. Their experiences are enlarged. Their damaged “Godlikeness” is allowed to reemerge, and often for the first time, they feel the wonder of being human.”
Art can either reflect a distorted worldview, or it can be used to glorify God. Satanic symbolism permeates so much of what children and teens are seeing. The outer package promises
sensory delights that entice them to worlds of sadistic and inhuman temptations. How can parents replace these twisted perceptions with what God intends for us?
Art + Service
The Mark Project provides an opportunity for kids to subscribe to quarterly art boxes that take them through the culture and art of places around the world, while simultaneously supplying art kits to missionaries who can distribute them globally. Combining art with service is a great way to get children away from media-induced, distorted fantasy by allowing them practical ways to
help out humanity.
As children learn about others and to how to pray for global missions, they are establishing lifelong skills in creativity and humanitarian outreach, ensuring their ability to reflect God’s
character in their lives.
Gina McAndrew is the Founder and CEO of The Mark Project, an organization that equips believers with the tools they need to fulfill the Great Commission through art.
She is also the Founder and Director of Potter’s Clay Applied Arts, a program that equips students to glorify God through the arts.
Gina has a BFA in Studio Art, an MS in Industrial Communications, and an MBA, all from Lindenwood University. She has been teaching art and written communications to students of all ages for 15 years, focusing on the practical applications of these subjects.
As a former upper-level manager and homeschool mom of four children, Gina continuously seeks to implement new and innovative ideas at both companies.
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