The Tension is in Community

chrisfenner // @kylereed

Today is another treat for you as my friend Chris Fenner from Atlanta shares his thoughts with you on creativity and community. Chris is a very very very talented filmaker and an incredible resource for great art. And the best part is you do not have to take my word for it because he is going to be sharing some resourceful sites in future post and I will share some of his great films like this one and this one.

We call our local Church a Community.
We call our small groups a Community.
We even call our group of friends a Community.
All these things are a Community, but what about people with our same skill set?
People who have the same passions as we do? Both the people who are better than us and not as talented as us.
Are we building community with them?

As creatives, it seems the people whom we might learn the most from, and teach the most too, are more often the people we don’t build a community with. These are the people we stay away from, unless they are from across the country (hello twitter! haha). Why is this?

I think it’s time to band together. Time to embrace the creative tension. So I propose another challenge for you creative types. Get to know someone in your field, just one person. Make sure this person is local, and don’t tell me there isn’t anyone! Look hard! You will find ONE person. Just get to know them. Build a relationship with them, have coffee, share a dinner. Learn and live together. Sure it will be awkward, and imitating for a while. But then a beautiful thing will happen….. You will make each other better. You will start creating and creating community, centered around a passion, and nothing beats passion. Start with ONE person. You will never regret this.

Do you see people shy away from creatives that are like themselves? Why?

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Chris Fenner is a film maker, video editor, and a storyteller. He loves beautiful images and a clear message. He creates lasting films and videos. Currently a Tech Director and Media creator for Heritage Church.
  • Jay

    Good post Chris. Something a friend of mine and I are doing is organizing something similar to what CS Lewis and Tolkien did with the Inklings. We’re looking to gather a small group of creatives and meet once a month to share ideas, our latest projects and to just encourage each other.

    • chrisfenner

      that’s awesome man. Been trying to do that where I am unsuccessfully. Would love to have some updates on how that’s going!

  • Chris

    This is great, Kyle. The past year has been all about this for me and I’ve made a few discoveries. They might not be universal, but they apply to me.

    1. People are craving community – even church people who are in home groups and have good marriages. We are just wired towards developing community.

    2. “Create community” is a goal we’ll never achieve. It’s pretty difficult to set out, flick some imaginary switch and say “alright guys, let’s do this. We’re going to create community!”

    3. Get people on mission together, you’ll create community every time. This is the beauty of church but you see this with fans of a certain team, PTA groups or charities – get people working together on a common mission and community will be a natural by-product.

    One book that sparked some thinking for me in this area is “Brains On Fire” and their stories of Fiskateers, etc. Might be worth checking out.

    • Chris

      Whoops, sorry Chris. I did read that you were guest posting on Kyle’s blog but missed that by the time I got to the comments!

      • chrisfenner

        haha. its all good! Great points. Agree whole heartily that if you give people a mission it will create community.

    • Kyle Reed

      that book sounds cool. I am checking that out

  • Chad Ray

    Great post. This is something that I have looked for urgently over, honestly my whole life, but more focused since the past 5 years. I thrive on being around creative people. My brain thinks the way they do, constantly running creating something from something else, and the thrill of build ideas and structures off of each other.

    You would think this would be easy, especially living in a town like Nashville were you can throw a rock and hit 4 “creative” people. The creative class tend to be loners trying to do everything on there own and get ahead. Instead of learning from others or learning together, we seem to be pushing ourselves more into the isolation of creating our own worlds for our own pleasure and losing our passions in the midst of it.

    These are all topics I’ve been very passionate about. And the worse is the rise it technology pushes us farther away; we seem more connected by having conversations over blogs and twitter, but we lose the energy that comes from sitting at a table with other creative people and watching ideas explode to life! Wow, I didn’t realize how much i NEED what you’re talking about so much every day til I started writing.

    • Kyle Reed

      where do you live chad?

      • Chad Ray

        cool springs/brentwood but am all over the nashville area