Not bland. Not “corporate.”
About the time I (Jason) planted a church in the St. Louis area, I met Antwain Jackson. He was launching a cutting-edge congregation in another part of our town called The Equation Church. They’re still going strong, and he’s still the lead pastor.
Antwain is a creative dude—an out-of-the-box thinker who feels just as comfortable on stage as in a boardroom. I’ve had the pleasure of hearing Antwain speak, and he’s amazing.
He also spent many years as the Senior Recruiter for an international ministry. So, he knows how to get stuff done.
Before all this COVID craziness, I asked Antwain to sit down with me at ArtSpeak Headquarters to share some nuggets from his new book. It’s called The Creative Leader: Who Said Creatives Couldn’t Be Bosses!?
The Tension Between Creativity and Leadership
Antwain said that, too often, we picture leadership in one of two ways. On the one hand, we may imagine a bland, “just-the-facts” leader in a suit, speaking in a monotone voice.
But many of us have experienced the “creative” boss with no control over their day-to-day task list. We may think of that undisciplined person that leaves chaos everywhere.
He wants to help creative people break that mold.
Antwain said, “Just because I’m a creative doesn’t mean that I can’t be a leader, and I can’t be administrative. And who says that, because you’re a leader, that you can’t dream again and be creative? I try to bring balance to the conversation, so that creatives feel like, Yo! I can have legs to stand on with my ideas.”
Leadership Isn’t a Task
Antwain said, “I found that many people are trying to do leadership like it's a position, like CEO or Pastor.
“But when you self-invest and really pull out from the depths of what's inside you—your passion and your purpose—you truly understand where you're heading in life. You're not just doing leadership—you are being a leader.”
Reconnecting to Creativity through Discipline
Antwain found fresh inspiration in his role as a leader when he learned how to invest in himself.
He said, “I found God again in the gym. I started going to the gym, not for my body, but for what I was feeding my mind.” Working out (and I can relate to this), Antwain found he could think more deeply and hear more clearly from God.
But it’s not just exercise. It’s anything a leader can do to improve their quality of life (Antwain gets a lot from the discipline of journaling, too). Physical disciplines actually lead to spiritual disciplines.
Inspiration for Your Creative Leadership
One of our missions here at ArtSpeak is to help Christian leaders do their best work for the Kingdom. Here are some free resources we’ve created for people like you:
- Here’s Jason’s to-do list for the last days of quarantine
- Check out Kirk’s practical tips for regaining focus in times of chaos
- Here’s the ArtSpeak guide to getting past creative block
And don’t forget to pick up Antwain’s book (and learn more about him) at antwainjackson.org.