Zan and Rod Long the One project

Faithful creativity in our own words

Friday, August 3, 2018
Gabe Reynaud Award recipients on the inspiration of Jesus. All.

A couple who share their creativity in children’s ministry and production locally and internationally are recipients of Manifest’s most prestigious award this year.

The Gabe Reynaud Award recognises excellence in faithful creativity. It honours the pioneering Seventh-day Adventist filmmaker and is an initiative of an Adventist Church in the South Pacific-led movement exploring, encouraging and celebrating faithful creativity.

Rod and Zan Long receive the award for sharing their creativity in ministry and production locally and internationally—as longtime leaders of ministries in the Kellyville Seventh-day Adventist Church and as board members of the One project.

Manifest Co-Convenor Nathan Brown asks their couple about Jesus. All. in the context of faithful creativity.

What does “faithful creativity” mean to you?
Faithful creativity simply means being faithful to the Bible and faithful in our efforts to point people to Jesus, constantly exploring new ways and ideas to reach the world and inspire living a faithful life. Jesus used creative methods to reach people with His message. We need to not bury our talent but continually look to invest and divest it.

Why bring the One project to Australia?
Rod: We came home from [the One project gathering in] Seattle bursting with energy, new life and love for Jesus. People noticed it and asked us about it. After only the first day of the gathering, we decided we needed to bring the One project to Australia. The beautiful thing about working with the One project has been the positive responses from those who attended—lives changed, Jesus relationships renewed, people returning to church, people more in love with their church . . . healing in many ways. That has been the best blessing, and the one thing that drove us to keep putting effort in.

the One project had a culture of excellence in planning, presentation and production. Why do these things matter?
Rod: Every element of a worship program is important and can enhance or detract from the main thing—Jesus—even in small ways. We have always aimed to bring the absolute best in every element of these gatherings to focus on Jesus and His message. The feel of the paper you hold, the graphic elements used, the flow of the program, how a table is decorated, creative and sometimes surprising worship elements, respecting people’s time by starting and finishing on time—all these things contribute toward the main goal. We bring our best in everything because the subject matter deserves it.

And TOP Kids. That became one of your contributions to the One project. How so?
Zan: I love “Jesus. All.”—these two words have redefined how we do life. While attending the 2013 gathering in Newcastle—one of my favourites—I thought if we aren’t inclusive of everyone no matter what age, then we might be “Jesus . . . Only for a few.” It’s so important to be intergenerational with our faith, so the challenge of creating an experience that is saturated in Jesus across the generations became my goal.

How does Jesus model and inspire creativity for you?
We love the contrast in Creation and how there’s always something new and unusual going on in the world around us. We love that Jesus calls us to see the immense possibility in every situation, when we let Him design our days. We’re excited for what he has planned for us and what new ways of being and doing He will bring. He never ceases to amaze us. His creativity is endless.

Gabe Reynaud

Gabe Reynaud became the Seventh-day Adventist Church’s first professionally trained film director. His work as a faithful creative, including Keepers of the Flame, The Search, Digging Up the Past and Chasing Utopia, won a number of international awards. He would become Senior Producer at the then Adventist Media Centre and pioneered a filmmaking unit at Avondale College of Higher Education.

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Author

Nathan Brown

Nathan is Book Editor at Signs Publishing. He is a former magazine editor, a published writer and an author or editor of more than a dozen books. He is also a co-convener of Manifest, a community exploring, encouraging and celebrating faithful creativity.

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