Posted on : Wednesday July 1, 2009

Photos from the How to Share Your Talent Workshop

By Shannon Baker, BCM/D National Correspondent

LAUREL, Md.—Del Morgan once knew Britney Spears as a young talented girl with a promising future. He was the minister of worship at the pop star’s childhood church, where he was very acquainted with her family.

Later, his heart ached as he—and the rest of the world—watched the young star’s traumatic breakdown after many years in the cultural spotlight.

He resolved that he would help as many young artists as he could to be a light in an increasingly dark world.

To that end, Morgan began Lamplight Artists, whose mission is to bring Light, Truth, and Hope into culture through the arts. Along with the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware, Lamplight Artists sponsored a free “How to Share your Talent” student event at First, Laurel, on May 16.

“We are living in a visually oriented culture. What are we doing about it?” Morgan asked the teenagers who spent the day in a variety of dance, film, praise band, and vocal workshops. “Do we take everything we see as truth? Are there no limits in art?  Remember, art is an expression of our thoughts and our imagination, and so art is also subject to the fall.”

He noted that people should never accept the premise that popular art (TV, movies, music, etc.) is just entertainment. “It is an expression of philosophy, a set of messages,” he said. “We are not saying don’t go into the arts, because there is a darkness in the arts that needs to be penetrated.”

He continued, “What we want to do is walk alongside you to encourage you in the arts field. Otherwise, you too may get beaten up and battered, just like Britney [Spears]. Instead, we want you to be strongly grounded, and to have a network of believers around you who are able and ready to cry out to God [on your behalf].”

He offered that by putting Christ first in their lives, others will come to Him on the strength of their witness. “You will not be able to contain it. Some of the strongest witnesses are those who are so into God that they don’t even realize that others see it.”

Sam Dula, husband of a producer at North Point Community Church in Atlanta, Ga., urged the students to think through their ultimate goal in being involved in the arts.

“We have the stroke of God’s heart in each and every one of our hearts,” he said, noting that so many get caught up in feeling that their skill set has to “be the bomb.”

“If I play the guitar, I have to play like Slash. If I am a designer, I have to design like Steve Jobs. If I sing, I have to have vocals like Mariah Carey,” he suggested.

“But the issue is not how big you become but how much God is being seen in what you are conveying.”

Instead of being self-centered, Dula urged the teenagers to pray for God to use the skill set that He has given them to change lives.

“Let’s tap into the full expressions He wants to get out of you…Individually, we need him. He knows us. He knows what we need to do to accomplish life change in us and through us.”