The other night, my friend Van and I had the honor of attending another Grove Gathering. Grove Gatherings are informal meetings of fellow artists from all over SoCal. We sat in the room with filmmakers, worship leaders, writers, painters and even a few other tech directors. I love going to these each month because as an artist—a technical artist, but an artist nonetheless—my soul needs encouragement from other artists.
I need someone else to say, “You’re not crazy; what you do is important. And it’s God-ordained.” When we gather with other like-minded artists, we are refreshed. Most churches are somewhat neutral on the arts these days, and some are downright hostile toward art and artists. Which is why we need each other. Unfortunately, most of you can’t attend a Grove Gathering, so I want to send some encouragement your way via this post.
Because Artists Influence Everything
The Grove just had new t-shirts made with that saying on the back. And I love it. Consider this; without artists, there would be no movies, no paintings, no Sistine Chapel, no music, no novels, no great restaurants, no great photographs, no amazing architecture. TV shows would be news and sporting events. Books would be instruction manuals and how-too books. Life would be incredibly boring. And a lot less beautiful.
Church without artists would consist of announcements and a 60 minute sermon. In an ugly building. A man far from God can come up with many rational arguments why Jesus isn’t really the Savior of the world. But art can sneak in the back door while he’s not looking and change his heart.
The Church Needs Art Now More Than Ever
We live in an increasingly cynical world, and many people don’t even think about the Church as a place to go to explore spiritual things any longer. Some studies show the Church ranks down there with car dealerships as places people can trust.
But what if we went back to creating amazing art again. What if instead of arguing that we are right and everyone else is wrong, we created moments that inspire, captivate and transform? What if the hour on Sunday was less about the imparting of another 32 points of theologically correct information but about an experience with our Creator? Art enables those things—art embodies those things.
The Church Needs Artists Now More Than Ever
Most of the people that read these posts are tech guys and gals. Sound engineers, lighting designers, video directors and producers, graphics and presentation people. You may think of yourselves as a tech. But I want to challenge you to see what you do as art. You have the ability to inspire or distract, create wonder or annoy, draw someone toward God or push them away.
While others on the church staff can debate the relative merits of an egalitarian or complementarian position on the roles of men and women in the church, or argue over dispensational theology, we have the opportunity to introduce people to a wonderfully creative and loving Father. Just look around at all He has created; God is an artist! His first act in our world wasn’t to write a 1,700 page commentary on the book of Judges, but to create the universe in all it’s beauty, and then step back and say, “Dang, that’s good!”
Art moves people, and artists have the privilege of moving them toward God if we choose to. Think about that this week as you prepare for the weekend. How can you imagine, inspire and point people to our wonderfully creative artist God?