Friday, September 18, 2015
A few years ago I had the honor of being interviewed as one of many Christian artists for this fabulous book. Here is my interview from that book (pg 58, if you're interested):
ARTIST PROFILE: Dan McGowan
1. Describe your artistic interests
I primarily work as a comedian with content that is clean. This makes me a suitable entertainer for church and Christian events, corporate events, and more community events. I also offer professional business presentations on various topics, and I work freelance as an on-camera actor, voice-over talent, writer and musician.
2. What struggles have you had as a Christian engaged in the arts?
I've actually had struggles in both the secular and sacred worlds, which initially surprised me. On the secular side my initial struggles were simply learning how to engage and nurture relationships with "non-believers" whose values, morals, and other areas simply were not what I agree with. But over time I've come to value these relationships because, at their heart, they are honest - and I appreciate that.
In Christian circles I have struggled with a lack of vision for "the arts" as a viable means of communicating the gospel and offering clean entertainment options to those who continue to complain about the lack of clean entertainment coming out of Hollywood, for example. There also tends to be an "it's your ministry" mind-set among many churches who are simply not willing to financially support the entertainment abilities of those gifted in this area. As someone who served in churches for over twenty-five years, I know very well that budgets are tight. However, I also believe that a "worker is worthy of his wage" and wish churches could expand their vision in this area.
3. Describe the ministry you've been able to have through the arts.
One thing I never expected was to have opportunities to share in deep, spiritual conversations with people after corporate (non-church) events. This has happened many times, usually after everyone else has left. I value such opportunities. Also, I have had amazing opportunities to get to know other comedians who are not believers - and simply form great friendships! Out of those friendships I've experienced conversations that I know have impacted me and the other person in potentially life-transforming ways. Very exciting!
4. Concerning other artists you know, what is the single biggest barrier stopping them from coming to Christ?
Well, this sounds like a loaded question, but I'll do my best! HA! I think far too many Christians feel the need to live life in a legalistic manner. In other words, if we step over any line that is "inappropriate," then it impacts our salvation. Such legalism can become a barrier that prevents unbelievers from coming to Jesus. I see many people who first need to be loved and accepted before we challenge them with deeper kingdom issues. I have found that the more I show love and acceptance, the wider the door opens for further discussion on spiritual levels. Not to sound cliche, but - what would Jesus do?
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You can find the book, "Outreach and the Artist" at amazon.com.