Aspiration of Art within the Church

Continuing thoughts on artistic expression within the church…

Every culture has a form, style, or place of prominence that its members aspire to. They are the standards by which everything is measured.  And much of what we do, whether intentional or not, is informed by these external forces.

And the church is no different.

In most churches on a Sunday morning, the place of prominence is the pulpit.  Most of the time is centered on pulpit activity; either Bible reading, teaching, praying, singing.  Church culture informs us that the pulpit is the penultimate place of public focus.  And that to occupy that space, you should mirror it in approach and style. This attention has the unfortunate consequence of suggesting that the “highest” form of expression within the church takes on specifically liturgical or “pulpit-y” tone.

I believe this is why so much of the artistic expression (yes, even blogs…) tends toward being overly preachy or sermonic.  

However, if art can be freed from the context of a Sunday morning service, and can truly be a reflection of the life lived by the artist, it will find its own expression and its own form.  

Instead of pawing after a place of acceptance and public adulation at the cost of originality and honesty, we can begin to release the story of our walk with God in a personal way that can deeply impact others.

What does your art aspire to?  Why?


One Response

  1. i just met w/my assoc. pastor about this very subject…in a way. i’m about to head up ‘an evening of expression’ – to allow people in our church & surrounding community to share with others what God has place in them, artistically. displays of paintings, sculptures, wood or metal work, & a poetry reading, to name a few. i sing, but i’ll be tryin my hand at poetry w/little melodies thrown in here & there. churches need to really get on board with the rest of society & an evolving culture. we have the same talent, but if our artistic talent is anointed, its impact will reach as many if not more people than secular art ~ and in doing so, bring glory to God – my ultimate purpose in singing or expressing my art. i try to not take a preaching stand ( although it bugs me a little how the word ‘preach’ or ‘preachy’ has adapted a negative connotation), & instead, just write & perform and sing & create things as a direct reflection of what God has shown me personally. my own God-walk.

    the more people see it expressed in the church, the more fellow believers will take notice & it’ll pry them out of their comfort zones & shells of insecurity.
    conversely, the more people see it expressed outside the church in venues like bars, coffee shops, restaurants, art festivals, the more the unsaved will take note too ~ and begin asking questions, opening their minds to attending a a church or better yet, (depending on how impacting the art is) may open their hearts to receiving Jesus! oh, praise him!

    i don’t know bout you, but i’m guilty of underestimating the power of the Holy Spirit that can flow through our pipes & though our hands as we do this thing called art. every follower of Christ myself included, needs to pray to our omnipotent Father & ask him for some of that omnipotence to be revealed in & through us. he has all potential, we have his image, therefore, we have much potential (most unrealized) if we can manage to stop limiting our ability to create & impact others. wile limiting ourselves, we limit and i’m sure grieve the Holy Spirit as he yearns to work thru our work and thru our words.

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