1. They have a genuine appreciation for and understanding of art; they do not just “use” art as a “tool” for outreach.
2. They accept, respect, value, honor, and empower creative people (artists). This is critical, as artists will not stick around if they sense that they are not valued. Budgets reflect values; money to support artists is an essential aspect of honoring them.
3. They understand that one of the most powerful aspects of the creative process is the formation of relationships. People are hungry for positive working relationships that result in genuine community and belonging.
4. They do not divide the world into artificial “sacred” and “secular” realms. This enables them to listen carefully to both God’s Word and to the voices of mainstream society around them, what John Stott calls “double listening.” For an outstanding explanation of why this is so important, see Steve Turner’s book “imagine.”
5. They plan strategically, with an integrated approach to outreach that is holistic, comprehensive, and sensitive to the needs and preferences of their target group (there is far more to effective outreach than art).