Published on January 28, 2016 by Eric Mathis  

Ground and grow. Ground and grow. That’s the mantra the anima staff has been repeating since we went off the grid last Fall to examine who we are and where we are going.

Last week, we introduced the new, revised, anima mission with you. This week, we’re taking a moment to share the three pillars of anima. These pillars are keeping us focused and rooted in our mission of empowering teenagers to connect their imagination, creativity, and enthusiasm to the power and possibilities inherent in worship and the arts. Here they are.

Worship. anima is committed to worship practices that advance the story of God, share the love of Christ, and prompt the church to extend hospitality to the neighbor. [Luke 10:25-28]

Teenagers. anima is committed to upholding teenagers as fully active and conscious worshipers in the body of Christ, mentoring young artists in worship leadership, and advocating for intergenerational worship practices that provide spiritual nourishment for all stages of life. [1 Timothy 4:6-16]

Arts. anima is committed to bring praise and glory to God the Creator through visual arts, music, dance, and theatre, all catalysts that can shape and inform the perceptions worshipers share about God, God’s people, and the world. [Exodus 35:30-35]

How are we using these three pillars to ground our work?

First, everything anima does centers around public Christian worship. Not just any kind of worship, either; the kind of worship that calls all of us out of our comfort zones and into the grand mission of God in this world.

Second, we are advocates for congregations to engage teenagers in worship leadership on a regular basis. When it comes to worship, we think teens have been overlooked. Whether we’re right or wrong, we believe that young people looking for their place in the church have creative gifts and talents to offer that just might help the whole church connect to God in new ways. “Every Sunday is Youth Sunday” might be another way to phrase it.

Finally, anima remains committed to providing resources for teenagers who are interested in using their creative gifts for worship leadership. The best examples of these are Animate, our summer academy in worship, theology, and the arts, as well as the forum on the web, which offers free resources for planning and leading worship.

Interested in our work? Partner with us to ground our mission and grow our constituency.