Worship and Art
In this, the third and final post of the series on worship, I am hoping that you have been challenged with how you prepare your heart, as well as your physical expressiveness in times of corporate worship. Today, I would like to stir up the pot a little with what is an ongoing debate amongst churches and hopefully encourage us all to use our gifts and talents for the glory of God.
How should we as created beings utilize our gifts and talents during worship? What is the proper avenue for artists to express themselves and share their gifts with the church? Right now, there are many churches that have artists painting during times of corporate worship and dancers waving flags or banners. For those of us who do not experience this on a Sunday, we can wonder what the purpose is and why the attention is being given to an artist’s rendering of what God is doing in their heart as others are singing praises to God rather than what God is actually doing in the hearts of His children there. I have had quite a few discussions about this with people asking why we don’t do this at Redeemer and what I thought about it.
When an artist is painting during times of singing, is someone in attendance going to be amazed by what the inspired and perfect Word of God has to say about their pursuit of holiness and a Holy God, or are they just going to remember that there was someone painting a really cool picture during worship? Are we tempting ourselves with putting unnecessary idolic importance on an object (Acts 17:23) during worship or are we focused on the Object (Psalm 95, 148 & many others) of our worship? Do we find ourselves looking forward to what an artist is going to be painting instead of meeting with God, the One who has painted the stars and knows all of them by name? An artist cannot take the time to explain what they have painted so that it is clear what they are trying to portray. Would this be the same as giving a tongue without an interpretation? Is it done orderly and with excellence in a way that encourages and builds up the body?
What about flying flags or having choreographed dances during corporate worship? Where do we draw the line, with someone crocheting or knitting a sweater with what they believe God is saying to them during a song? That can be art too, right? Why don’t we set up a kitchen on stage and have someone cook an inspired meal? Can you see where this is going? Sarcastic maybe but true! Now I realize that I am asking a lot of questions in this post but I would rather have you think about it and wrestling with it than just reading my thoughts and either agreeing or arguing. God is a creative God obviously, just look around at the people in your life, but what does that mean for us as His created beings in regards to worship and how do we use that creativity for His glory?
There are ways that we can use these gifts for His glory and for the edification of the church, and maybe there will be a future post on that, but since I am just stirring up the pot for now let’s hear from all of you on this topic. Go ahead and comment and let us know your thoughts, and my prayer is that this will cause you to think about this topic in a new way.
Has creativity become the goal during times of worship?