The Mission of Excel Creative
Student Stories

The Mission of Excel Creative

Koehn Manthei

May 2, 2024

The business that I’ve chosen to do my emphasis with is The Excel Creative. My role within this business is Audio Engineering, although I’m primarily a student, and I’ve done quite a bit more learning than actually creating in the past couple of months. I envision that my role will gradually become more and more active as the studio expands and starts taking on more serious projects in the future. So while I’m currently spending most of my time as a student, I’m also thinking about how my role will change in the future and I’m doing what I can now to best prepare myself for that.

The mission statement of The Excel Creative is to “Cultivate the Creative within the Created.” Practically, this looks like a balance between reflection and expression. It starts with reflection, where we spend quite a bit of time discussing and discovering the nature of our Creator and our identity in Christ. We firmly believe that as creatives in communion with the capital “C” creator, we should be the best artists in the world. We personally know the First Creator, and in following in His footsteps as “little Christs,” we should be creating the most philosophically and technically beautiful art out there. Our reflection flows directly into our expression, where we seek to create art worthy of the gospel that we share through it, whether that’s directly through the lyrics we sing or indirectly in the way that we serve our clients and coworkers.

The vision statement further clarifies the mission: “Our vision is twofold: Excel creative seeks to redefine the artist stereotype by instilling values like work ethic, diligence, integrity, and excellence into every participant. Especially being creatives that follow Christ, we strive to break the mediocre standard of pop-Christian art and dig down to the roots of what is good, true, and beautiful, push the envelope - create things that are exceptionally inspiring.” If the news that we share with our lips and our lives is truly the most beautiful that has ever been shared, our art should be just as beautiful. There should be no divide, no lack of integrity, between our verbal expression of commitment to Christ and our non-verbal communication through our work. I tell of His glory by the way I show up on time to meetings, the way I pour my heart out in the music I create, and the way I serve my fellow image-bearers in the workspace with me.

I’ve been seeing ways to live this out in little opportunities within my practicum. Rob used to say all the time that “how you do anything is how you do everything,” and I recognize ways to apply that within my emphasis. I’m not working on a ton of music yet, but I know that the way I treat little projects is the way that I’ll probably treat bigger projects when I get to them. “If you are faithful with little things, you will be faithful with larger ones.” So I make sure to clean up my space when I’m done working there. And when I’m working on a mixing project, I do everything I know how to in order to make it excellent. I write my essays as if they’ll be references for future students. Most of these things probably go unnoticed, but one day I want to be trusted with bigger opportunities, bigger projects, and bigger influence. While my specific role as a mixing engineer doesn’t have a ton of notable applications of the mission and vision statements (yet), living out my role as a culture-maker and an image-bearer is a way that I daily manifest the purpose of The Excel Creative.

Ultimately, the goal of The Excel Creative is to positively impact people within our sphere of influence. This goal is lived out by the heaven-to-earth culture that we set, and the gospel that we express. We look to Jesus for our example for this. The primary way that He preached the gospel was through His lifestyle. And so as little Christs, we should seek to express the gospel with our lifestyles and cultures just as much (if not more) than with our words. The need is great for Kingdom culture in the workplace. Excel Creative is concerned with this before anything else. Before we win any awards or sell out any shows or feature our art in any galleries, we focus on bringing heaven to earth in the culture that we set. The mission and vision statements serve as the standard of a successful culture within our studio. And it’s through setting this culture that we build the foundation upon which we grow our organization as a ministry of beauty-expression. The Excel Creative will impact our local community first, through the culture of the studio, and from that foundation we will create art that will reach the world.

The culture and art of The Excel Creative has already begun to affect our local community, primarily through the worship team. One thing that is always stressed on the team is a personal pursuit of Christ. All worship leaders are, as Austin says, lead worshipers. Everyone on the team individually shapes their worth around God, and the music that we create flows directly from this. We are only able to lead others to the Tree of Life in a public setting because we seek it on our own in a private setting. The fruit of this united pursuit of The Presence is felt in corporate worship, where at times it feels like the Spirit is closer than the people around us. This is the result of the culture of integrity and excellence that is laid out in the mission and vision statement of The Excel Creative.

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