I have had such joy performing for youth ministries in churches all over the US. It's a wonderful experience being able the share my personal testimony of how I came to know Christ with children and teens. Although, my real pleasure is from sharing my magical talents as a Gospel Illusionist where I present biblical stories and truths thru stories that inspires and motivate today's youth.
A parent is not the only relationship a child needs. If you are a parent, I am sure that you have experienced moments where you have spoken words of truth to your children, only to have what you say go in one ear and out the other. Then you may be caught of guard when they come home one day from school, church, or even from a summer camp only to have your child tell you about something they learned. As it turns out what they have learned while away from home is something you had repeated to them dozens of times before.
As a parent you will learn that it is so critically important to allow other adults that we trust to speak biblical wisdom to our children. It's all about how it is said and the timing that in their lives that they are hearing the message. Even if the message is identical, having a slightly different way of telling it may allow the message to finally stick with our children.
It's is a pure blessing to be able to have a church family that can instill God's wisdom and truth into our children’s lives that reinforce what we as parents are telling them at home. You see, children crave and desire approval from adults who are not their parents. This is something that can’t be done in the large group setting, and this is where the phrase "it takes a village to raise a child" derives from. When examining the partnerships required during the maturation of our youth. Our “village” has never been more necessary than it is today. We live in a face-paced, instant information, and pressure-packed world. Today’s children are faced with a myriad of both challenges and opportunities. Navigating parenthood can be a daunting undertaking – partnerships and supports are welcome and necessary to prepare our students for tomorrow.
It's important to place your children in an environment where they can build strong and safe relationships with adults that share a like-mind. You are creating a path for them to grow in their faith through the investment of others which is priceless in a child’s life.
The "Village" working together to raise today's youth elevates our community as a whole which is something parents can’t do alone. Kids need other adults to confirm, affirm and approve their life, which they simply crave it. Kids need to hear the voice of other people in their lives. It is difficult for parents to provide this for their children without the partnership of a church, and a life group. When a church takes the time to have well-trained small group leaders in your child's life, they are providing us as parents the access to spiritual formation for our kids that is truly difficult for us to do on our own.
Elevate your community with your church to maximize the potential families that can grow in their faith. I encourage you to Lead a small group for your church and be that voice that other children beside your own need to hear. Take charge in youth ministry, the children will thank you!
-Aaron Clark (The Amazing Ziggy)
What's more important a client being satisfied, or staying true to yourself?
Has a client ever requested for you to do something you feel is not appropriate?
For example: Recently I was asked to perform magic for a baby shower, I explained what all it would include and the client booked my services. Well the day of the event I come to find out more info about what the client truly wanted and expected of me. They wanted someone to babysit the kids and keep them entertained while the adults enjoyed the baby shower. Well here is where I stuck to my guns and it paid off...but potentially could have made the client cancel but considering that the party was the same day it was doubtful.
I explained to the client that I am not a babysitter, I am a professional magician and that I am not responsible for what those kids do at the event. My job is the entertain them not to monitor them, nor discipline them for misbehaving. I told the client that for every 10 kids there must be one adult to supervise the kids or I wasn't going to perform at the event.
I put my foot down and it turns out that the event went off without a hitch as the parents rotated in shifts so there was always an adult present and everyone had a blast.
So I wonder what unusual situation has a client requested you to take part in? And did you do it or did you tell the client No?
At some point you have to ask yourself is it more important to make the client happy so you can get paid? Or is your reputation, ethics, and your character what's most important?
You are your own boss, so you make the decisions, and I hope that you choose to stay true to yourself and tell the client they are out of line to even consider asking you to do something unethical or that could give you a bad reputation.
Andy Stanley I feel said it best at 18:00 minutes into his sermon (video below) when he preached about the apostle Paul writing letters in the "meantime" while waiting in prison he wrote 4 books of the bible which were meant only to be letters to be delivered to the churches he had planted along the Mediterranean. But those letters became the most widely read literature in the world, which is amazing considering he only wrote one copy!
So Andy Stanley is talking about adversity and decision making, he says: "You have no idea what, or who hangs in the balance when you decide to remain faithful, when everything around you says be faithless. You have no idea what God might be up to thru your faithfulness. When everything around you says there's no point in being ethical, there's nothing point in being moral, there's no point in being faithful, there's no point in staying, there's no point in telling the truth, there's no point in doing it the way that it ought to be done, there's no point in being obedient, there's no point in being submissive, there's no point in saying yes to God, because there is no win. You're just stuck, you're just living for some fantasy out there, and you have no idea what hangs in the balance. And the problem is, and the tragedy is, and the challenge is... You'll never know, unless you're willing to remain faithful in the midst of adversity. And what you have lived long enough to have already learned is simply this, that often times it is within the context of adversity, that God does his most amazing things in us, and thru us, and in the world."
And I couldn't agree more that when you stay true to yourself you may be blessing others, thru your character which can inspire someone else in their decision making. So don't be afraid to say no, and when you feel your backed into a corner stop and pray and God will give you an answer.
-Aaron Clark (The Amazing Ziggy)
It would be a real treat to be able to tour the world, share the Gospel, and perform magic and illusion everywhere you go. Ever since March 29th, 2009 which is the day that I was baptized and began my Walk with Jesus I have had the desire to be a Christian Illusionist. I do occasionally get to perform these types of shows, yet they are few and far between. I really admire the passion and dedication that many Christian Illusionist have about finding new ways to perform their effects while presenting Christ in a unique way.
A specific duo husband and wife duo that comes to mind is Dan and Suzie Potter performing together, they are knows as Duzie. Check them out at www.Duzie.com
I am so proud to call Dan and Suzie my friends, they are such amazing people and I so admire what they do. You see they tour all over the world sharing the Gospel. I recently had to pleasure of Bird Sitting their beautiful blue and gold Macaw named Oracle for them as they went on a missions trip to Australia for 2 weeks during the summer. I am so impressed with the knowledge of magic that Dan and Suzie have they really have studied every facet of magic there is to know inside and out. It is awesome to have the kind of connection with a group that has so much experience in the field of magical arts.
One thing I would love to know more about which I hope to soon discuss with Duzie about is how they have been able to overcome so many churches fear of the word "magic". So many churches are turned off by magicians as they fear that it will come across as black magic. For myself I promote it as an Illusion show not a magic show so that can help eliminate some of the negativity toward the word magic from the start. But seeing is believing, so I guess the best way to prove to the churches that think this way is by showing them videos that demonstrate how unique this way of sharing the Gods Words truly is. It really is all in how it is presented and as long as it is presented in a loving way that can also preach a powerful message about Jesus I don't see how it can be misinterpreted.
Dan and Suzie, I pray for you as you continue to share your performance with so many people in so many places around the world! I pray that you will be blessed and that new and exciting adventures are in store for you. I pray that you will get as much or more out of your missions trips as the lives you touch when your performing as well as when your not! Congrats on all you have accomplished and God please watch over them as they travel keep them safe and know they are very much appreciated in all that they do! - Amen.
-Aaron Clark (aka. The Amazing Ziggy)
So there are many people that say you shouldn't talk about Religion, or Politics when it comes to your business.
Now I will agree with the Politics part of that...I think we can all agree we hear to much Politics anyway! Not to mention if I see another post on Facebook about Hilary or Trump, I think I will just vomit! Who really cares anyway, they are all crooks and liars!
I however don't agree about Religion...I think we should all be more open and willing to share our passion for Christ, Now I am not pushing Christ on anyone...nor do I think that is right. But I can tell you about Christ and let you make your own choices for your own beliefs. You can be a Buddhist, a Muslim, A Jew, or whatever...but its my responsibility as a Christian to share Jesus with everyone I meet. But it's all about the approach, it needs to be done so first and foremost by living by example, as you can't preach it if you aren't living it.
The biggest and one of the most important things I do and that I share the most with others whom I meet is that I pray. I pray every day, I pray in the shower, I pray when I'm driving, I pray before I take the stage, I pray before a meal, but most importantly when I pray I give thanks for the many blessing I have been given. Its important to remain humble before God and tell him that you appreciate all he does for you. What is important is that in what ever you do you share the love of Jesus with everyone you meet and by doing so you will be blessed.
So for me it is my job to be on stage in front of large groups of people, now I don't feel that it would be wise for me to shove my beliefs in others faces...so I choose to be subtle and share my personal testimony and relationship with Christ when asked. But I am sure to showcase the good news about Christ in creative ways, I do so using Illusions. Can I turn water into wine? well no...but can I make you think that I can...well yes. But its all about how you present it because I don't want to take any credit for my illusions, as I am not a wizard...I'm an entertainer, I just showcase some incredible talents and I choose to do so while I also share the Gospel.
Now I don't have a seminary degree, and I am fairly new to being a Christian as I was not raised going to church even, I was actually taught that it was more important to spend time on the Lake than it does to waste your time going to church. So what I have is real life experiences that have lead me to believe in Jesus, which is honestly lead me to be a much more faithful Christian.
There are some other incredibly talented speakers / illusionists out there. Many of which I'm proud to call my friends, but I can honestly say one of the best in the business, whom I consider a friend as well as a mentor to me is none other than the amazingly talented Shane Wilbanks. Shane has over 20 years of full time ministry experience. He has a fantastic ability to capture an audiences attention, he truly connects with his audience with love while communicating lessons of truth and challenging lives to be more Christ-like, all while creating a sense of wonder & amazement thru illusions he performs.
I would love for you to know more about Shane Wilbanks check out his website:
-Aaron Clark (aka. The Amazing Ziggy)
#ShaneWilbanks #MakeKnownMinistry #GospelIllusionist
My Name is Aaron Clark and I'm know as The Amazing Ziggy. I've been a Professional Magician for over 20 years performing all over the US and internationally, but mostly for events on the east coast in the Atlanta Area.