So OK, I have laid out the problem… but some may be saying “why should we care” and “does all this arts stuff really matter”? Why should we even care about arts in the church? Is it really that important?
- By caring about art we are given a voice worthy of paying attention too. We are speaking the language of the culture we are a part of. You may not like the fact that we live in an entertainment culture, but it doesn’t change the fact that it exists. Art is one valuable way we to let our voice be heard.
- Look for ways to include the arts in your worship—not just music, but drama, painting, sculpture, and dance, etc… there are exceptional artists in all these areas and more (probably some hiding in your very pews).
- Care more about the aesthetics in your place of worship. From the moment you enter the church, what can you do artistically to draw attention to the things of God? Think paintings, furniture, music etc. (Some churches have turned their foyers into galleries that showcase artists in the church.)
- Plan social events that create opportunities for artists to be discovered. A talent show at a church retreat might just be the venue to discover talents you never new existed.
- While we want to encourage art, we also want to encourage quality. Have some sort of screening process in place so that what you create is truly inspiring to those that experience it… (I know that art is in the eye of the beholder… so tread carefully).
- Don’t do this alone. Consult with others in your church who are artists or at least good appreciators of art. Use them for everything from the design of the worship service to the design of your print materials; from the table displays in the foyer to the paintings in the bathroom. An arts committee in your church might be a great investment of time, talent and service.
- At the risk of sounding self-serving, invite guest artists into your church. Experiencing art well done inspires art well done!