Last Updated on Saturday, 16 June 2012 12:07 Posted by Clash Saturday, 16 June 2012 11:22
This year The Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival has expanded to include a Youth Ministries Track. If you feel called to use your creative gifts to reach young people for the Lord, this is the place to be August 11 - 16, 2012.
Whether your passion is children's picture books, YA novels, puppet shows/ministry, comics and graphic novels, acting, film, and more, the professional faculty at the Gideon would love to help you develop your gifts. We will even have a session on identifying age groups and how to reach them most effectively.
The workshop descriptions have been posted on the Gideon website here: The Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival
Below is a testimonial from past years' Gideon to help you get the feel and flavor of the conference. Please pray about attending. Perhaps the Lord has something for you at the Gideon 2012!
The Gideon Media Arts Conference and Film Festival for 2011 was, once again, an amazing experience! My wife, Deb, and I have been fortunate enough to attend all four Gideon conferences, and every year the Lord has used the Gideon to encourage us as we attempt to use the gifts and talents the Lord has given us, for Him and His Kingdom.
Admittedly, those are high sounding words. But what does that really mean?
We went to the first Gideon at a time when I had given up on ever using the talents I believed God had given me. I was working in the corporate world, making a pretty good living. Our youngest daughter was a junior in high school and we were facing an empty nest within a year. Deb had received an invitation to attend a new conference that was being formed in order to get established authors in front of Christian filmmakers to pitch their stories to be made into movies. Deb wanted to go, but we needed to pay $300 nearly a year in advance. After we prayed about it, I said, "I think you should go, and I want to go, too!"
Months later, as we were getting ready to go to the conference, I told Deb that this was probably the end of my efforts to be an illustrator producing art and stories I hoped would lead young adults to the Lord. "Unless something happens at this conference to change my mind, I give up!"
Well, the Lord broke through to me at the Gideon! Did I get a contract for my book? No. Did I make a connection with publishers that encouraged me with my book? Nope. The only thing that happened is that I met and talked to dozens of people who felt the same way I did. God had given them a gift. They had a passion to reach the world with the message of Jesus Christ through entertainment media. Some were being successful; some were, like me, frustrated and despairing, but all of us shared this common calling.
I left the Gideon with the distinct belief that I had heard the Lord say to me that He had something He wanted me to do. What a refreshing revelation! I was not only encouraged, I was emboldened.
Our second Gideon was just as spiritually refreshing as the first. We heard keynotes and devotions from professionals in media, telling how the Lord had guided them to do what they do. Their struggles. Their triumphs. And again, we were greatly encouraged by the presence of the Holy Spirit ministering among us.
Three times a day, we would all trek down to the cafeteria, have our meal ticket punched by a smiling volunteer at Ridgecrest Conference Center in Black Mountain, NC, and stand in line next to a musician, a make-up artist, a director, an actor or actress, and we would talk and learn about each other and our testimonies. I truly believe one of the best things about the Gideon is being able to have lunch with fellow Christian creatives and learn from and about them. Many a friendship and partnership has been forged over breakfast grits and biscuits and gravy.
You can’t fully understand the Gideon without knowing Torry Martin. Torry is this “planet around which others orbit” as one friend described him. Torry spends the first 30 minutes of every day encouraging and promoting others and their work. Torry has taken Clash under his wing and promoted it like crazy. Many of Clash's Career Interviews are from people Torry steered our way.
At the most recent Gideon conference, I was introducing some people at my lunch table to others, and each time they said, “Torry already introduced us!” So I finally gave up trying to be “Torry lite.”
The Gideon has had a large number of stories where attendees have achieved success, and in many cases as a direct result of connections made at the Gideon. We marvel at watching the careers of Saylors Brothers Productions, Erica Lane’s music, Erwin Brothers Productions (October Baby), Ben Avery writing for Kingstone Comics, Eric Wilson, Ray Blackston, and Doug Peterson writing for Kingstone’s Bay Forest Books imprint, and some others whose names can’t be released quite yet.
Big names? Yes, the Gideon has had its share of big name media folks: Ted Baehr, Brian Bird, Mitchell Galin, Dallas Jenkins, Michael Joiner, Michael Katt, Paul McCusker, David Nixon, Linda Seger, Nancy Stafford, Phil Vischer, Ken Wales, Muse Watson and many, many others.
This year, as in every year, we got to watch Christian films, and many times the Gideon hosted the world premiere of movies. Producers, directors, and actors answer questions after the film, then we break for some great brownies or cookies, and go back to watch another movie. Many attendees sit around and talk late into the night and then complain about how tired they are the next day.
In the four years Deb and I have attended the Gideon, there has been a noticeable improvement in the quality of the films in terms of production values, cinematography, and acting. More and more, Christian movies are on a par with excellent secular films––every bit as well-done, well-written, and well-acted.
If you are a Christian creative or want to be one, pray about attending the 5th edition of the Gideon, August 11-16, 2012. Even seasoned professionals can be inspired and learn new things as they rub shoulders with others in entertainment media. You can sit down to lunch with a singer who has dozens of CDs, and wants to make a movie of an incident in his life in which the Lord saved him from dying in a plane crash, or you can meet a retired General who was involved in the Black Hawk Down incident, or hear the inspiring testimony of the National Champion Waterski Jumper, or learn about making movies, writing novels, creating graphic novels, all from people whose heart’s desire is to be used by God to reach a lost world for Jesus Christ.
We hope to see you at the Gideon next year.