I am hosting an artist’s showcase at my home church this next weekend (In TN…Feb 17). I am so excited to speak on the subject “The Artist Within You”, this is a subject that has been stirring in me for years, as has my growing interest in painting. But all arts and how the church has been impotent to give place to those who are artists.
Today, although many churches could hardly be called artist-friendly, there is a resurgence of interest in and advocacy for the arts. In the under-40 church crowd, loving the arts is like loving your grandma, as in, only the most backward philistines don’t. There are two things no young Christian dares to be against: social justice and the arts.
The truth is that I am a church person/minister/christian in transition about the whole process, but I am making big strides.
The passion for encouraging the arts is understandable and in large part commendable. Not only does the Church have a long history of commissioning art, but the Bible speaks highly of those with gifts of artistry and craftsmanship (see the famous pair, Bezalel and Oholiab). And let’s be honest, many of our churches are not exactly a haven for the artsy crowd. Church culture is usually more conducive to the bourgeois than the bohemian. So it makes sense that we would have to go out of our way to welcome artists and encourage their work.
Sometimes Christians make the mistake of thinking that for art to be valuable it must share the gospel or try to point people to Jesus. Such an approach usually makes for bad evangelism and bad art. Art is valuable because it can be beautiful and full of truth. We should not expect art to communicate in the same way that discourse does. Churches need to realize that the goal of the worship service is not to display the talents of artists. The ultimate goal is for the congregation to be edified and to worship Jesus Christ to glory of God. This means that the music must be fairly simple for hundreds (or thousands) of untrained people to sing it at the same time.
CLICK HERE For more info on “The Artist Within You” event that I am hosting