Give It Up Podcast

Give It Up For AI & The Future Of The Creative Industry, With Wendell McKinney (Divine Persuasion Studio Founder)

August 17, 2023 Vance Roush & The Overflow Team Season 1 Episode 17
Give It Up Podcast
Give It Up For AI & The Future Of The Creative Industry, With Wendell McKinney (Divine Persuasion Studio Founder)
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

AI is a hot topic, and there is major concerns over what jobs can be replaced with AI, and how soon that can happen. As we zero in on the creative/design industry in this conversation, Zoe and Vance chat with Wendell McKinney,(owner of creative agency Divine Persuasion Studio) to get his thoughts on the future of AI in the creative space, how believers should think about AI, and how he is thinking about infusing it into his own work!

To learn more about Wendell's company, and the work that they do, click HERE.
Give Wendell a follow on Instagram and thank him for this convo!

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We believe if we're going to proliferate the story of the creator of the cosmos, the most beautiful story ever told is the gospel. We have to do it with world class art. If AI gets to the level of design prowess that can actually replace a designer. First of all, we're not that close yet. If we do get there that actually frees us to do more great creative work that actually opens up more jobs for us in the future. A pastor turn tech leader and a millennial churchgoer, exploring the intersection of technology, culture and faith, equipping you with innovative strategies to support you as you live out your calling leader churches with confidence to step into the future together. This is the give it up podcast. Hey, everyone, and welcome back to the give it up podcast. And this is going to be quite a surprising conversation perhaps for a lot of people today, because we have brought on designer Wendell McKinney to the podcast doo doo doo doo. See where you are on sound effects here, I think. Correct. Keep on going. We just random claps throughout it. Yes. But the backstory on this conversation is Wendell and I were chatting at a conference recently. And being a designer and a creative. I wanted to hear his thoughts, and which I assumed were going to be negative about AI Artificial Intelligence, because a lot of people are talking about how they're afraid that AI is going to take their jobs. And so when I brought this up to Wendell, he said, Oh, my gosh, I love AI. And I said, stop right there. We will continue this conversation on Mike for the podcast, because this is going to be really interesting. That's what we do. Like, we don't have conversations in real life. It's just like, stop. We're not talking anymore. Until we're recording. That's like exactly lineal right there. I know. Exactly. Keep that same energy. So yeah, why No, I want to, I want to open this conversation up and and start with, tell us about who you are, what you do. And then we'll kind of jump into it from there. Well, first, just thank you so much for having me. And if you'll humor me, we at DPS, which is the studio that I am the CEO and founder of privilege to say that we always start every conversation with thankfulness fans know it was coming. So here we are excited to talk about wherever our conversation meanders. But today, I'm super thankful. I am going on a daddy date with my six year old who graduates kindergarten in three days, which is crazy. So please throw in your thankfulness. And then then I'll introduce oh, let's let's keep the kid thing going really quick. I'm really grateful. I have this rhythm and pattern now. With my second daughter, Emerson, where we do a daddy daughter dance. Like every morning, I just pick her up, I super up and make my own melody, and she loves it. Like she doesn't let me leave the house without it. So I'm super grateful for that. Beautiful. I love that. And so then I'm going to spin this on its head and say, I'm thankful I don't have kids. Yeah. Is this an announcement? Are we? Absolutely not? Yeah. But in a few short months. I'm dead. Yes. No, I love that. Thank you. I know for starting with that. Of course. Thank you. So you're are in this space, where you are a designer and you love making churches art more beautiful. I want to hear let's let's unpack your thoughts around what the church should be doing when it comes to elevating art. Man, that is such a deep question. I could go in so many ways. It's so funny. I don't know how you both feel about this. But lately, when people ask me questions, I'm tempted to use the phrase, I don't consider myself the expert. But then I have to catch myself now. It's like, Wait, people are using our resource and our platform, because we are the experts. So I will say I am learning a lot about the what I believe the church needs. And although I do think that we have a niche, and we have a solution to what has been a problem, especially over the last, you know, 20 or so yours in the western Evangelical Church stream when it comes to curating aren't really well. So I'll kind of speak to that. First I'll say as a pastor's kid, and being in ministry for seven years, I kind of knew firsthand, a lot of the difficulty that the modern American church specifically although we do serve a church in Australia, we're looking at the market in Brazil, because we have some resilience on team. Just I know really kind of firsthand the difficulty in curating really high quality art consistently over time. And what most churches deal with right now is the geographical issue of trying to hire someone on staff. The cost associated with that or, like so many of us followers of the way they're in this space, we're connected with really talented creatives, but it's hard to keep someone kind of gung ho in one singular congregation. And so there's a few You have us including my two co founders, Josh via SMA via no relation, which is fun. We just really, it's great. And actually, they both have a daughter and both his wife and her are pregnant. So it's really fun, a lot of confusion there, it's great. All that to say is we pretty quickly assess, okay, there's a there's a large gap in this space, both in the technological aspect of how art is curated through project management software, but then additionally, just the art itself. So the synopsis is pretty simple. We believe if we are going to proliferate the story of the creator of the cosmos, the most beautiful story ever told is the gospel, we have to do with world class art. And it can't it can't be copying what culture is doing. We need to innovate if Leonardo da Vinci can almost lose his eyesight, because he's painting the Sistine Chapel and paint is falling into his eyes, and I was broke his back in his neck doing this, then we have to do everything we can just like church history in our history has always been intertwined, to be at the forefront of the way that art is curated, whether it's visual design, digital design, print design, merchandise, and it can't be just cheap and nuanced copies of what culture is doing. We should be innovating and telling the most beautiful story with beautiful art that stunning and captivating and it also is worthy of the name of Jesus. That's powerful. That's so cool. I've never heard you articulate it that way. Oh, my gosh, that's so good. Yeah, that that's amazing. I just want to give a quick because you mentioned DPS team, can you quickly articulate for people that may not have context for you what exactly you guys do? Yeah. So really simply, we are a creative agency that serves churches, nonprofits, and thought leaders and about 95% of our clients are churches. And our goal is to partner with churches on an individual basis on a monthly subscription for the foreseeable future to basically be there off campus creative talent. And we really kind of market ourselves as a one stop shop where we would like to, you know, fine tune our platform to best fit the church individually. So we have really, really large communities with multi site campuses across different state lines. And we have brand new church plants. And so we offer visual design. So anything graphic, whether it's for print, or for in person, or for social media, we offer comprehensive, so really anything you need there. And then creative direction and collaboration video in motion through one seamless platform and client hub that different individuals on staff can log into and track all their projects. So project management software, with dedicated client care to make sure that we're with you for every step of the way. Yeah, I'm a big fan of what you guys do. And you said two things that I think are really interesting of some pain points you identified that y'all are solving. One is the ability to create consistently quality pieces of art. Right? That's one thing I heard. And then the other is the cost structure to support that. Can you speak to because this podcast is all about technology and innovation? Can you speak to how you're disrupting that? How you're innovating on that to make it possible for somebody to work with DPS? Absolutely. So kind of have to sink answers for you. One would be for most communities of faith, what we're used to doing is the church grows. And as the church grows, your need for art grows, right. So something that you and I've talked about a lot we're saying to a lot of pastors and church leaders is church creative is now the third, in our opinion, the third most important thing in your community. So number one is caring for the individuals that would call themselves a part of your community or for caring about the local community you're in. Number two would be making sure that tithes and offerings are coming in, let's go flow fam, we got to make sure that there's actual resource to make all this go. And then number three would be how you're curating yourself online and in person through really beautiful art. That said, what most churches are doing is staffing, or working with a band of volunteers or working with a freelancer. And the difficulty there is the cost, you can only choose one of the three, if you go any of those three routes, you can go for cost efficiency, you can go for high quality art, or you can go for a quick turnaround times. And there's no way to get all three if you try to go any of those routes. And additionally, a lot of churches as they grow, they just have to keep on adding more staff or keep on you know, leveraging volunteers more or keep on finding another talented Freelancer but it's really hard to keep them in the door. So what we can do is we give you better quality art quicker, at less cost. But the really big thing for us and this is a secondary heartbeat of everyone on our team is and it's I'm not even mad, I'm not mad I get I was there. But pastors don't really understand what it takes to lead creatives and creative in the church space has been so mismanaged. And so many creatives get burnt out, and they leave the church and we have these 28 year olds that won't even show up to a church anymore because they lie on the creative team where the volunteer team is really Hey, let us take care of the bulk or at least the really high end work for you. You could still staff some people or volunteer but in Instead of relying fully on what you can do in house, let us take off a lot of that worry. And my greatest joy is, and this is the thing I say to pastors and leaders now a lot when we're talking to him about a potential partnership is what we find. After three or four months, the creative director or creative pastor or executive pastor, whoever oversees the area comes back. And it's like, wow, I just make a request. And I go about my day, and I know, great artists on the way. So I think that answers your question, Vance. Yeah, no, it does. The follow. The follow up question to that is, it's so interesting that you frame one of those important pillars as art versus even like communication or distribution. Right, it seems that a lot of the focus and investment at modern churches today is hey, we need to be on all the social media channels. It's all about distribution. It's about kind of getting the voice out. And that's kind of the so you talked about carrying, that's the pastoral hat of the church, you talked about resources, obviously, that's needed to be able to do everything that the church does. And then the other side of a pastor is a herald, right. So they're their shepherd. They're also a herald. And so it's interesting that you frame it as art versus distribution, or communication. Is that intentional? If so, why? Absolutely. It's intentional for us, we just believe the story of Jesus. Amongst way, way better descriptions is a work of art. He's built a tapestry. I mean, if you if you look at the canon of Scripture, all literary work, and every story ever told, every film ever made, has its basis in the canon of Scripture, it is brilliant, even if you don't, something we've said a lot is, if Jesus, if the story of this Rabbi Carpenter, Yahweh, Jesus that actually walked and breathed on this planet 2000 some odd years ago, is real. Oh, my gosh, our life has changed, right? But even if his story were work of fiction, it is still the greatest story of all time that God put on flesh and bone and decided to die, like come up with a better story, come up with when you can. Right. So all that to say is, we truly believe that when it comes to telling the story of Jesus and the modern church, the Western Church evangelical Well, we are trying to reach people with the story. And the way that the stories and an art and culture is curated today. I mean, we could go through the gamut of whether it's Hollywood or Hypebeast, or, or sports or artistry, or any number of individuals, poets, artists, collaborators now podcasters influencers, what we are all doing is telling stories. And what we have found and what most churches who are early adopters onto our platform now have found is the modern church, you kind of need to think like an art house, and you need to curate your work really excellently so that when people come across your pages digitally, or on your YouTube or your your podcast, or on Instagram, the Almighty algorithm, right? You need to make sure that what you are curating is really intense, intensely feeling like it's you. Meaning it's not just a place for someone to understand where they should show up, you know, on a Sunday or Wednesday, they should feel like they're already a part of the community when they touch your space digitally, is something you'll have talked about a lot, Vance. So it's, it's fascinating that Bernard Arnault is now the richest person on the planet, right? Yeah, that's obviously not the only metric of success or impact. But it is interesting that that spot is no longer a technologist. Right? It's a it's a person that owns fashion brands. Right? It's a person that owns a bunch of high end art effectuated, through these different brands. And so I think that that's really, really interesting. I love that man. So good. Yeah, Wendell, I think what you're saying is extremely compelling, because it gives a new language to what people innately feel is true. You know, and it's so easy with so much content, to go back to the roots in the basics of, oh my gosh, wait, all of these platforms, like especially Instagram, for example. It was supposed to be for art. And we've gotten away with just pushing for content sake. And so I love that you go back to the historicity of it, and also sharing that there is a much bigger element behind all of this. And tying it back to to gospel story, of course. And, you know, we talked on this podcast about how we want to be the bridge between tech and in the face space. But what we hate is that the church is always last to adopt things. So here you have this innovative lens of what design should look like. And now we're in this cultural moment where artificial intelligence is starting to come into frame and the church has no idea what to do with it. it because they're like, this is scary. This could take away people's jobs. This isn't the gospel. It's robots, you know. So I would love to first just crack this open. Why are you sitting here today telling us that you are very much for artificial intelligence in the design space? First, I would just say that I think, historically speaking, the church has always been at the forefront of technological advancement, as well as at the forefront of art. And we could go on story after story. And I'm sure Vance could quote a lot more than I could. That That said, I think I mean, to make it really simple, would you stop using a microphone on a Sunday? Because microphones could be recorded and weird things could happen. Or you could amplify the wrong voice, or you know, what we've all been in those, those environments at church where there was some weird feedback, you know, like, the awkward sound, or the tech team wasn't quite what it should be. And if you fast forward to now, obviously, in 2023, where AI is at the forefront of everyone's lips, especially those of us who you know, think deeply about the tech space, or are you all in Silicon Valley? And for me, I think really simply my first my first question as we are, if we're going to talk about proliferating the gospel, and we're going to start axing out potential technologies because of some fear, I honestly believe that that is anti Christian, I don't live through the lens of fear, I live through the lens of faith, which is God's divine persuasion. So I am persuaded that God is good, therefore, I'm an optimist about what technology comes down the line. And I always look through the lens of what could what could we do to use this technology so that more human beings could encounter what it means to follow the way of this beautiful God, man, Jesus? So that's my first thought. Secondarily, I think that as a as a designer, and as a creative, I'm not going to be afraid of what technology can do, I'm going to think, How can this help me do less of the work I don't want to do so I can do more of the work I want to do. I don't know if either of you are familiar with navall Raticate, the Indian American angel investor, brilliant mind, he talks about this, and I'm probably gonna butcher it. But he has a brilliant mind for business. He believes and I would believe similarly, that when it comes to technological advancement, potentially taking away jobs from people, that might be true. So let's just say, if AI gets to the level of design prowess that could actually replace a designer on staff, whether that's at a church or at a studio, or at any place that hires a visual designer, or motion editor videographer. First of all, we're not that close yet. Like it's not as if you can go into AI or the dalai to and actually get a design that's really innately beautiful, that feels like your brand that knows you and represent you well, and then have it put in every deliverable use case, and then start posting it or using it that we're not there yet. Secondarily, if we do get there, that actually frees us to do more great creative work. Now, we don't have to worry about that. And we can actually manage this beautiful algorithm or manage this great AI to do lower level work. And it actually opens up more jobs for us in the future. So my personal perspective is AI, it might take away some of the base level jobs, but it's actually opened up more job opportunity for us to manage that. So we can do greater work and probably be paid more for the work that we can do. Because our expertise is now at a higher level than it was before because we have a technology that does the baseline work for us. I love that AI I believe is going to be a key for human flourishing in the future. I'm pretty big optimist around this to your point. Wendell, why I'm optimistic about it is because there's infinite amount of problems. Have you been to the DMV? Have you gone to the hospital? You know, have have you like, interacted with these archaic systems that still exist in finance? Have you seen how when I transfer money, it still takes three to five business days, like you don't I mean, like there's infinite amount of problems. And what's interesting is that to your point, if a AI is going to make eventually, every every human being on the planet, three to 5x, more effective or given opportunity for every human being on the planet, to be three to 5x more effective, we can start tackling some of these higher level problems faster. And that's why I believe that it's going to be a key to human flourishing. I think what's going to be key in addition to that is how especially a role of the church, here's a role for the church is how to unleash and democratize this, instead of operating at a fear, like you said, being divinely persuaded in faith to be the hub where the education about this the inspiration around this is effectuated through the church, because at the end of the day, the Church has all the incentive to be that the church is supposed to be the place for community no matter what stage of life or what socio economic status that you are, right. And so if only for profit centers are responsible for distributing the know how distributing the inspiration, distributing the access to leverage this technology, inequality is going to increase. Right. But the church is a 501 C three entity, and supposed to be specifically positioned in cities in local communities, creating deep relationships with people, if we can actually embrace it. As a local church, we can be a massive distribution center for access to this what I believe key to human flourishing. Yeah, so I love what you're saying dance because then that brings into frame this concept of how can creative teams use AI properly, dare I say, ethically in a way that it does produce human or human flourishing? So wonder, what kind of guardrails are you looking at as you're starting to implement AI into your work? Well, that is a great question. I think that for for what our use cases, at DPS, I'll tell you kind of what our vision is for how we're going to infuse AI, and then I'll circle back to love the guardrails, I think we should put in the vision for us is, first and foremost, again, we want to tell the most beautiful story of all time in the most beautiful way. So we only hire a world class artists, we have respect for that, you know, that person who's willing to grind and work hard has a heart for God and His use Photoshop before But respectfully, that's not who we work with. So that being said, we want to use AI to allow us to do less of an not busy work, but for lack of a better term, the busy work of design. So what a lot of designers have to do. Now, let's just say you're hiring a designer, you know, at an ad hoc price of $100 an hour, right, you hire him $100 an hour to do this project for you. And there's five deliverables for them to do those five deliverables, it might not take that much time. But they're thinking creatively, they're going out looking at inspiration, they're gathering mood boards, they're going online, to looking at some old work they might have done and then at the end of that process, they're going to put it all into the separate deliverables and use cases, they're going to put it through, you know, however they organize within Photoshop or InDesign or Illustrator, and they're going to upload all that to Dropbox and they're going to send you the dropbox link, the very first thing that we would like to do with AI is remove all that busy work at the end. So all the artists actually has to do is the design work, the creative work. And if AI could just take off that bottom rung, it's such a time saver, and so much efficiency where a lot of artists aren't even naturally gifted at you know, crossing their T's and dotting all their eyes at the end, like making sure everything is grammatically perfect, making sure that everything is organized perfectly making sure you link to Dropbox, all that. And if that could just if we could just take that off first. Wow, that's a huge win. Secondarily, the larger vision is, eventually we curate the really high end work like more you think like brand guidelines, high end assets, logo work. And then we allow AI as it continues to flourish, to bust out hundreds of deliverables in real time to a client that can instantly be reset until you find what you want, just like you would with chat GBT finding the right copy you need, you just keep resetting it based off of a brand identity that you've already agreed with. So we give our designers the ability to step up and think more like a creative director. And then we give this whatever tool is developed, whether it's the Dali two as it continues or whatever else might come from AI to do the busy work. And to assess really quick deliverables, we want to create a design vending machine, where if we've already curated a brand for you, you can get hundreds of deliverables for every single use case you need in seconds, rather than having to go back and forth with an artist or go back and forth with a comms director. So when you talk about guardrails, this is something that we're gonna have to continue to invest in, and we're gonna have to bring on more technologists to really lean on, I wouldn't consider myself the most, the foremost expert as it pertains to the guardrails here. My opinion and I don't know if this is the best is to move fast and break things. All that to say is in the current space, I think measuring what the world is doing culturally like the really big tech companies, and then assessing that with other thinkers like Vance like yourself like others and say, Hey, what do you think are the warranted guardrails that we should put up and then kind of working in a think tank in real time dependent upon the use case that we're rolling out? Yeah, I love that. I mean, you know, the fear around AI on the extreme state, a singularity, right? This idea that all of a sudden, the AI is going to, you know, quote, unquote, become smarter than us and this Terminator It narrative essentially, I think that we're not in that phase yet. I would encourage people to be more in the mode of what Wendell is saying here and move fast, learn, iterate, leverage this technology. If you think about this, right? How come 616 year old kid can learn how to drive a car in a week, but we still don't nail self driving cars. There's still like a whole element of observability in this life that AI has not been able to intake the data for, essentially. And so I think we're still quite a bit away of that fear around singularity. I also think about this theologically. Some of the fear is based on putting a cap on creativity. We're basically saying that, Oh, if you know AI is going to do these jobs, then it's going to it's a zero sum game. But theologically, if we believe that we serve the Creator, and he has unlimited resources, right, and we're just barely tapping into all that He has for us. Then you can probably be more divinely persuaded in faith, to believe that, hey, this is this is another exciting the same way. You know, we democratized copy. And printing through the Gutenberg Press, right through the printing press is a similar way where we're going to democratize art. And this is a probably not a perfect analogy, but similar to even the iPhone and Instagram, right? Is that didn't cap creativity that actually unlocked and democratized creativity for people that couldn't afford a Canon couldn't afford a Nikon couldn't afford some of these tools that were necessary to get a good shot or to edit a good photo. Right. And that allowed the people that did do that to elevate their game even further. Right, bro, oh, my gosh, I love the Instagram analogy. It is so real. Remember, I don't know if you recall. But when Instagram came out, if you were an early adopter, you kind of got mocked by your friends. I think in toddlers original tagline was a fun and quirky way to share photos with your friends. Whatever judgments people have, it is created so many people who built incomes and fed their babies for sure. And bless communities, the money that's been raised, of course, we could talk about the evils and out whatever. But if you just take it at face value, how much good a technology can be used for? And if you if you transfer that over to where AI is. And to your earlier point as well, man, I totally agree. We're so far off from this potential singularity, even the foremost experts if you listen to any of them, right? If you would, we could we could go forever naming people much smarter, that are really at the top of their game here. But you're basically going to have to copy the human brain in order to achieve that level of singularity. And I think as Christians, we can rest pretty easy. Do I believe the maker of the heavens in the earth, the God who made the hippo the God who made the gray whale, the God who made a palm tree sprout up out of nowhere, the God who made this Bumblebee flying and landed on that flower that gives us oxygen, he made the human brain so perfectly after his own image, I highly doubt that us humans are going to achieve that really quickly, right after this new technology got advanced. So I'm just like, Dude, I think we're okay. I think God's in control. Last I checked, I think Jesus is still seated at the right hand of the Father. And he's resting. And he's not worried God is not up there in heaven worried about AI. So as a Christian, if we're worried about AI, I think we have to check it through the lens of theology first, because God is in control, and he is sovereign. And every time a technology technological advancement has happened, and the church has leveraged it correctly, it has furthered the gospel allowed more people, more widows and orphans and people who are hurting to receive financial help and freedom and more families to find healing. Because if we use technology correctly, through the true lens of the gospel, not just for influence, not just for making money, although those things might come but if we stay within the sphere God has given us so if we allow AI to be infused into art, or infused into giving what could God do with a great technology like that, just like he did with Instagram, every single church in America basically has an Instagram account. What could God do if we allow churches to use software and use artificial intelligence to further his message? Jeez, let's go for it. And let's see what happens. That was a whole Mic drop. When I say that you you literally just changed my mind completely in that whole spiel right there. I'm like, All right, I'm gonna use AI for everything now. Like, that's how far you just changed my mind. That that is a really powerful revelation. They're about Yeah, like, we can't copy the human brain because that's what God created. So thank you for that unique perspective there, Wendell. So you know, we have people listening who love innovation, and they want to be on the forefront of it and bring that to their faith communities. So I guess I'd love to know if you have a word in which you'd like to close on, just to encourage that person listening with the unique perspective that you have. I would love to do that. Thank you. I do want to circle back on one thing really quickly? Sure. I think the one area of AI that I really want to be in tune to is how do we get the best cybersecurity while we're using AI across you know, different channels. That's like my one thought pinging a dear friend of mine would have would kind of push me towards and so let's lean on people, especially that we know and trust that can help us understand what's the best levels of personal security and cybersecurity as we're using it. So that's the one thing but still all that to say, let's use it, let's leverage it for the gospel. Great. So if you don't mind reiterating your question, so I make sure I answer it correctly. Yeah. So basically, to the person that's listening and wants to infuse innovation into their faith communities, you have a really unique perspective. And just like any closing, encouraging words that you would want to say specifically to that person. Think God needs dreamers. He, we need more people that are willing to do anything and everything because they've been so deeply moved by this, this Jewish rabbi Carpenter, Jesus actually had a real job before he anointed before he was the anointed Messiah before the people. So what's in your hands today? If you want to be an innovator? What skill Do you have? What passion Have you built up within your heart and your soul? Who do you have access to that could give you some more baseline knowledge? And then just just do something, just do something, get up off your butt, or maybe get back down in your chair? Do the design work, do that build build a website? What is it that you have in your mind and in your heart, because man, I don't know if you know, the cool of Marianne Williamson, Our deepest fear. I was working at a great company. But I felt like God had some different I didn't know how to acknowledge it got a really cool opportunity to work with a friend in LA. And this quote came to me, it really changed my life, and I might butcher it. But it's great. Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate, it's that we are powerful beyond measure, we think who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous, actually, who are you not to be, you are a child of God, you are shrinking so that others don't feel small, doesn't do anything for them. It is our light, not our darkness. So good. I love that, quote, possibly be who they are. I just totally butchered the end of it. But all that is good. Find out what you're passionate about and do everything you can to hand it to God, sit quietly, get a notebook, get a journal, talk to somebody about it, read the Psalms, and look for Jesus in it, and go and do something with the passion and the drive. And the talents that you have. I am a huge proponent of Jesus's parable, teaching of the parable, the parable of the talents, God has given you something that is innately only yours to go do and come out. And just like if just like Abrams, dad who didn't take the mantle and go off into the wilderness, somebody else will do it. But it is yours to take it is a mantle. It's a baton, that God would give you as a creative as an entrepreneur, as a technologist, as a marketer, as a thinker, as a family person, whatever he's put in your hand, do that well, and dream bigger, because God is capable of doing infinitely more than you can ask, think or imagine. He's in Ephesians, 320. God, He has great plans for your future, if you leverage it, he is going to own it, he's going to take you further than you could imagine. It's not going to be easy, but it'll be worth it. Because it's calling based, not just desire based, because God works for you desires to get you to your calling. So go and do it. Get up and do the work that God has given you to do because we need you, especially in a day like today, we need more people who are optimistic, who are willing to dream and leverage everything, to look at the gospel and share it within their wheelhouse that God has gifted him cool bars of bars. No, I mean, I love that quote, first and foremost, because it's in Coach Carter, and I love that movie. But But also, I just love what you're saying, Man and the underlying theme that you have. Some people have the motive around AI. Really, an Elon has said this himself. This technology, the technologies that they're building, to elevate human consciousness. Right. And to me, that's just human beings, seeking what they truly need. Not to elevate human consciousness but to encounter human consciousness. Right because human consciousness met with us took on flesh and bone, like you said, had a job was tempted in every way like we were tempted, cried like we cried, blood like we bled. And so it's like we're trying to elevate ourselves to then find this thing that we feel like is inaccessible to us. When at any point in time through art, through technology, through innovation, through storytelling, we can help people not try to elevate to that level but encounter the went into God, I love it. Whoa, oh my gosh, I know we're over time. But the smarter we get as human beings, the closer we get to God, it is all pointing to the maker of everything. If you look at world religion, if you look at technology, if you look at the way the world advances, we keep on hungering for something that we know we can't get ourselves. And if you infuse the story of Jesus into the narrative of everyday human life existence, especially, and modern day United States of America, it points you to the maker of everything, which we believe to be Jesus. Brilliant, love it. He's good. He's kind of he cares. He forgives, He loves, we're blessed. We're breathing, we got eyes and ears, we got hands on freaking coffee. Let's go. I think that you have been given a gift. And I thank you for sharing that gift with us today and so many other church leaders out here because we need you and we need the work that you're doing. And thank you for always pointing us back to what and who is most important. I'm honored by your kind words. Thank you so much for having me. Love you both. Thanks so much for listening to the give it up podcast if you want to receive even more insights on church innovation, culture, and giving. Now you can sign up for free to be an overflow insider, where you'll receive exclusive content discounts direct access to Vance Roush to get your questions answered. And also invite only access to our monthly fundraising leadership forums, head to backslash insider, or just click the link in our bio to sign up for free today. In order to get this podcast in the ears of even more church leaders. Could you please subscribe and leave a review for the show. This tells the podcast players what people are enjoying and want to hear more of and we are adamant about providing maximum value to even more church leaders. Thanks so much. We'll see you next time.

how the church can properly elevate art
what does Divine Persuasion Studio do
how is Wendell's company innovating and disrupting in the church space
the difference between art vs. distribution/communication
why is Wendell PRO Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the faith and creative space
why AI can actually empower human flourishing and not be fear-based
how can creative teams use AI ethically? what guardrails are necessary?
why creatives & believers should NOT be afraid of AI right now
Wendell's encouragement for believers who want to be on the forefront of innovation