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Creativity Unleashed - Media Academy

While we were all watching intently as animator Kevin Jackson was explaining his essential creative thought process for working on the movie Spiderman into the Spiderverse, it all felt like a perfect ending to this year’s Media Academy as I got to see creatives’ faces from across Central and Eastern Europe light up at those inspiring moments. Since a part of my missionary focus is spending a decent amount of time on analytics and strategic thinking, it was exciting for me to see a seasoned artist talking to 25 other creatives about how to bring excellence to various projects.

This year’s Media Academy was a bit different from years past. Instead of gathering at our training center in Malenovice, everyone joined online from their homes in Bulgaria, Czech, Latvia, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Estonia. For those three days, it was exciting to see how everyone got to discover new ways of using video, photography, design, social media, and web presence to help accelerate the movement of God among the youth in each of their countries.

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And as you might imagine, when you gather a significant number of creatives together, there is a lot of brainstorming and ideas for new projects taking place. This all crystallized in one of the morning sessions that was dedicated to a ‘dream project’ designed to reach young people for Christ. It was thrilling to see the initial ideas of these projects such as ministry focusing on mental health in Latvia, a missional presentation kit for churches in Slovenia, dance fitness conference in Bulgaria, and a Communications team studio in Slovakia.

But don’t you worry, we didn’t spend time just dreaming; eventually we planted our feet firmly on the ground and also tackled existing creative missional projects through individualized coaching sessions.

These were time blocks where a specific challenge was tackled by a missionary on an International Communications team and a missionary staff person from national organizations across Europe. What came about because of these time blocks was truly exciting! Baška from Slovakia is currently working on an online resource designed to help youth leaders in her country with anything from icebreakers to the importance of discipleship. In one of the coaching sessions, she saw how the online library of resources can be used to connect youth leaders with mentors who are able to coach them in a more focused and empowering way. Similarly, Urh from Slovenia started to narrow down steps of establishing a web presence designed to help ministry leaders in Slovenia with identifying needs in their youth ministry. They also connect them with Drustvo Vec, Josiah Venture’s national organization in Slovenia. And even though you probably would not believe me, I got somebody excited about digital analytics.

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All in all, If you asked me over a cup of preferably cinnamon tea about my experience at this academy, I would most likely say that it was inspiring for me to see so many talented and creative people reflecting the Creator in their creative processes. I think Jacob Adent captured this type of energizing emotion by saying, “We’ve been created and we get to create. What a privilege.”

Would you join us in prayer as we ask God to use our creative efforts to see His movement thrive across Central and Eastern Europe?



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