Rebecca Thompson, a nationally recognized Tucson-based artist, is a participant in the 4Tucson Philanthropy Domain. She attended the Journey of Generosity and started a grant program for Christian artists through the Media and Arts Domain. She shared some of her story with us.
Rebecca, what are your thoughts on generosity?
"I went through the Journey of Generosity recently. It was a great experience. Often, we think that only people with a lot of wealth can make a difference and sometimes think, 'I don't have that much to give.' But we need to realize that no matter what we have, we need to start thinking ‘kingdom.’ The message of the Journey of Generosity program helps you begin thinking how God can take a little bit and make it work in powerful ways. It is a real inspiration. It's needed. Our communities need it. Our families need it. Don't hold back by thinking ‘you have to have more’ before you can give."
What about 4Tucson?
"I am so appreciative of 4Tucson. When we moved back to Tucson this year, I was linked with this amazing group that was trying to reach out to every part of the community. 4Tucson made this grant come to life. They made the dream of being able to offer grants to Christian artists possible and exciting. It’s a novel idea, and one that we should be doing in every city. I am so appreciative of 4Tucson and the opportunity to give in this way."
Tell us more about your grant program…
"I started a grant program based upon need; thinking that in my own life as an artist, I never found grant opportunities for Christian artists. Nobody was coming alongside Christian artists to say, ‘we could really use your talents in the church or we could really use your talents to share the gospel message.’ My whole career has been in the secular world. That's okay because God can use us wherever we are, but I wanted to make a difference for other creative people who love the Lord, to help them focus on how to use their talents for Christ."
Why is this so important?
"Unless we give and start to provide opportunities and ways to put our finances and other resources toward Christian visual language/visual arts, it's just not going to happen. We are going to lose all that creative energy and ideas to the secular world. The bible says we aren't here for ourselves. We aren't even here to be happy, we are here to do the work that Jesus commanded us to do. There is a spiritual battle going on, as the Bible says. And we want to win that war and tip the scales for the kingdom. To do that, we have to fight it creatively. We have to get images, dance, anything that is a creative process, into a kingdom mindset. Believe me, you know as well as I—the enemy knows how to use our creative talents for projects that aren't Christ-minded. I don't think Jesus would want us to be okay with that.
I simply want to encourage other people. I hope that whoever considers themselves a follower of Christ will utilize their talents for kingdom projects. All it takes is for believers to see the value of every creative venue and begin to expect those talents to be used for His glory.”
Thank you, Rebecca, for your generosity and willingness to share your story. Share your story with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visit the Philanthropy and the Media and Arts Domain pages on our website for more information about how to get involved in these areas. More information will be available soon regarding this grant program.
Interested in donating to a specific 4Tucson domain? Give online and indicate where you would like the funds to be used.