The Many Dimensions of Bryan Kidd

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An interview by Kate Riney   Bryan came to McAfee in January of 2013 to pursue his MDiv in the congregational ministry track. “It was a God thing,” Bryan says when asked how it is that he came to seminary. Although brilliant, Bryan claims that school is not his forté and prefers spaces where he can be creative and imaginative rather than academic. He began cultivating his love of design as a child when painting sets for Bible School. When people noticed his talent, he was asked to continue designing sets for other church productions like women's conferences and weddings. Along the way, his talent and passion only grew.   Like all artistic spirits, Bryan cannot contain his creativity. He says, “Being creative is so woven into my being and make-up that sometimes I just have to sit down and make something.” When you spend time with Bryan you get the sense that he's like a child at a restaurant. As soon as he's told to sit still and be silent, he'll beg for some crayons and a paper placemat, because there is imagination springing out of him at every moment and you can't keep a lid on it. Bryan describes himself as “not your cookie-cutter person” and there is a definite sense that he is not average, but in his attempts to express himself non-verbally Bryan doesn't just become a colorful person, Bryan brings color to the world.   When asked if Bryan's art attempts more to repulse or appeal, Bryan says, “Appeal, definitely.” Crafted during his years in undergrad at Eastern Kentucky University, the art that covers Bryan's apartment walls expresses a paradoxical playfulness and sophistication.  His 3-D art featured in this article is a perfect representation of Bryan's unique personality and the integration of his faith.“Our relationship with Christ is a part of our whole being so being able to connect with God through a visual or creative process is important to that” says Bryan, who adamantly believes that a relationship with Christ is sensory. Too often we focus exclusively on the intellectual and emotional components of our spiritual life and ignore the physical aspects of our being. Likewise, art has a way of connecting us through relationship with each other. Bryan believes that artistry is always a gift, whether natural or nurtured and something so innately good shouldn't be hidden when it can be shared with others to offer therapy, stimulate ideas, and inform conversation.   Like his approach to seminary, design is all in the process for Bryan. He considers an art project a changing thing that shapes him as much as he shapes it, saying that its not about the end product or a crystal-clear idea, but the journey from conception to culmination. He approaches his art with the knowledge he has obtained from previous work, but strives to learn as he goes. Thus, the process (itself) of crafting his art is always evolving and changes based on the medium and intended outcome. We would be wise to adopt the same attitude towards ministry, allowing the process of shepherding congregations to unfold as we learn their individual and community quirks, passions, and wounds and let that become more important than an agenda. Let us learn to love the process.   ………………….
Bryan is a first-year student in the congregational ministry track at McAfee. He is from Berea, Kentucky and the third of seven children. He graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelors in Interior Design and works as a wedding planner.