Life in Community
It can be inspiring to talk about community. It is quite another thing to live it! But there is no substitute for community when it comes to pursuing personal growth and reaching out in God's love. So,we intentionally pursue healthy living in a Christ-centred community every single day for 4 months.
Through healthy rhythms of work and play, you will discover biblical principles and interpersonal skills for healthy relationship in community. But we as staff are not the only ones doing the teaching here—we actively encourage each artist in the community—staff included—to speak into one another’s lives and receive from one another. This too is a learned skill, best practiced in safe community. Our goal is to provide just that: a safe environment in which to practice Living Together Beautifully, so you can bring those skills to any community to which God sends you.
At the core of the programme are three courses:
God’s Story: laying a biblical foundation for the arts, this course explores God’s core messages, character, creativity, and purposes.
Your Story: picks up the intersection of God’s Story with our stories, and how Christ is formed in us (Gal. 4:19). This course is framed using the literary device known as The Hero’s Journey; it includes the practice of spiritual disciplines and accountability.
10,000 Stories: presented by artist practitioners, sharing experience and practical tools, this course explores how our stories engage with one another in multi-cultural community. Classes will present material on culture, worldviews, issues relevant to cross-cultural ministry, and practical steps for collaborative ministry in cross-cultural contexts.
Topics are taught in a variety of teaching styles: lecture, discussion, collaborative activities and masterclasses. Classroom locations vary. We usually meet in a lecture hall, but don’t be surprised when we venture outside, into a cave, or a local museum.
Homework assignments are varied, thoughtful, and creative. Expect also to see spiritual formation seep into your daily devotional time, conversations, and Sabbath times. The assignments may require somewhat extensive internal processing, reading and writing. Therefore, English levels need to be adequate to complete the required tasks. This will be assessed during the application process.
Intentional, culturally sensitive outreach is part of the Incarnate program. Come prepared to do outreach together and in collaboration with OM and local churches.
During the residential portion, we like to bring artists out of the ‘Incarnate bubble’ and into the everyday lives of the local people. Some of this will happen on campus, as we live in community with the staff of our hosting facility. Other times it will be with neighbors, in local cafes, at the supermarket or laundromat.
During the placement portion, artists are sent out to different international locations for the second half of the programme to put into practice what they are learning and experiencing.
Exploration is encouraged through creative assignments, excursions, and research with local people—guiding you to engage deeply with your host community. Through prayer, guided research, and mentoring, you will respond personally and creatively to real people with real hopes and real needs. Learning local art forms and collaborating with local artists, Incarnate artist teams will design and implement creative community projects among the least-reached in partnership with local OM staff.
Since worship is the "fuel and the goal in missions,” we take time to make this connection, continually. How do we worship? Incarnate staff and artists come from a variety of backgrounds and styles, so we develop our own style as a community. You can expect variety in our weekly routine: corporate singing and praise, creative worship with visual arts and dancing, reflective worship with lectio, cinema and visio divina, thanksgiving and celebration, intercession, study and prayer, in communion and Sabbath rest. In creative worship, we grow in the habit of infusing our craft into worship. As one of our former artists wrote, “God delights in our art as we do it with a spirit of excellence and a heart of worship. Our art can be worship, not just a tool.”
Incarnate does not focus on teaching artistic technique. But excellence is key to us, and invariably, artists leave Incarnate stronger artistically than when they came. Why? Several hours are set aside each day for studio time; artists can hone artistic skills, learn from one another, and expand their creativity, in an environment of honest, constructive critique. Under the supervision of creative mentors, artists will be challenged to stretch into new techniques and arenas, and to develop their unique voices, incorporating new insights. Creative assignments are sometimes individual, sometimes collaborative, and will always seek to expand your horizons.
Artists in Residence
In addition to the experienced staff, we invite practicing artists with years of ministry experience to live and create alongside you, hold masterclasses on their craft, and mentor you as you explore new ideas and processes.
It is hard not to have fun when surrounded by artists from all over the world who love Jesus, life, and creating. From welcoming neighbours, local markets, and delicious cuisine, there is a world to explore right at our doorstep and further afield. We also like to find excuses to celebrate – from birthdays to the arrival of the weekend or warmer weather. Local celebrations and holidays offer unique opportunities to mix with the local culture, learn, and be a witness for Jesus. We encourage any artist who has the gift of fun to help us! For example, in past Incarnates, we have had an Irish ceili dance, American folk dancing, a Chinese New Year celebration, and Saturday morning hip hop classes!
How to Apply