Why the Church Needs the Arts and Artists

Posted: August 17, 2021 in Uncategorized

The apostle Paul was right, the church is the body of Christ and as such, each member has a part to play. Further James 1:17 tells us ““Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” 1 Peter 4:10 adds that “each one should use whatever gifts he has received to serve others.” While Ephesians 2:10 adds that “…we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus to do good works which God prepared in advance for us to do.” What this means, very simply is that each person is gifted and those gifts were hard wired into us by the Creator of the Universe for the purpose of doing good in this world to His glory. Are all those gifts artistic? Of course not, but while the arts and especially the visual arts will be the main focus of this book, the more people the church can empower to use their God given gifts in the church and the world beyond, the better. Finding and creating these opportunities will require church leaders to employ their God given creativity and church members to look beyond the status quo to imagine what’s possible to the mind of an unlimited God. 

The emphasis in this book, as previously stated is the empowerment of the arts and artists, creativity and creative people in the church. There was a time in history where the church was the primary patron of the arts in the community. There were many reasons for that back then, chief among them being illustrating God’s Word for a largely illiterate world.  Even today as people become less and less biblically literate, perhaps we artists need to step into that role once again. Beyond that, the arts speak to both our hearts and minds. They help us to understand that which is unseen. I am convinced that for the church of Jesus Christ to fulfill it’s God given role in our world, preparing the way for the Lord, embracing the arts and artists, creative people and creativity is key. 

As an old confucian philosopher once stated, “What I hear, I forget. What I see, I remember. What I do, I understand.” As the day of Christ’s return draws near, it becomes more and more apparent that the church needs to be about the business of helping people to remember and understand (not to mention apply) God’s Word. It’s time for the church to get creative and we work with God to connect creation to its Creator. 

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