We have a 3 part mission: we're called to cultivate creativity, follow Jesus, and grow community. We're called to bring these three things together, to live out that mission in real life and encourage/release others who are also called to those three things. We do this through gatherings and projects: weekend gatherings, phone calls, conferences, collaborative projects, training weeks, internships, emergent/missional microchurch plants, etc, etc.
We are not a replacement for church (except when, like with the Charlottesville Project, where we are clearly planting a local church). And in those situations, we are replacing other churches, but bringing another expression of church to the table.
We're not an alternative to college (although we do some training and are interested in alternative learning models).
We're not bingo night, small group or the local bar (although people do find community at the gatherings).
Dandelion Seed people need to be connected to other institutions that will challenge them and take them farther/deeper in each of these areas (creativity, Jesus, community). Some people and institutions need the Dandelion Seed Co to expand their perspective and resource them in ways that they are not equipped to.
It's been a journey to embrace this 3 part mission -- at various times we've talked about dropping one or two parts of it so we could go deeper and be more effective at one thing. Over time, however, we've begun to see the value in establishing a group that embodies this tri-call (creativity, Jesus, community), even if it means the group can't go as deep into any one area. Here's some reasons:
- For some people who are committed to Christ/mission/church but who feel the lack of understanding/prioritization of the arts, it has been very helpful to interact with a community committed to Jesus and creativity. In some cases people connected with the DSC have started to fruitfully use their creative gifts and relationship-building skills in their churches and/or communities. Interaction with the DSC helped them recognize the call: somehow their art got connected with Jesus in a deeper way, and the community provided encouragement to move ahead which then later bore fruit in other contexts -- churches, galleries, bars, classrooms, businesses, etc.
- It could be helpful to people in the arts world who need to connect with a community who values what they value, but also emphasizes community and is focused on Jesus.
- It could be good for people who have friends but wish for more of a sense of purpose/direction to connect with a group that finds that following Jesus, cultivating creative gifts and building deep relationships.