Seeing Is Believing
Music is a very powerful artistic expression, which is probably why it is the primary method of worshipping God in most churches. I can’t argue with that. However, it is still only one way to express yourself artistically. Another powerful, but untapped resource for worship is the visual arts.
About 7 years ago, our church launched a visual arts ministry with one lady who longed to use her passion for art to glorify God. It started with a couple of high school students, but has slowly become something we integrate into worship services.
The goal of our arts ministry is the same as the music ministry. We want to bring glory to God through the use of visual arts. It’s worship. Music has the power to draw people to God because of what they hear, but art can draw people into worship through what they see and what they experience. Here are just two ways we have integrated art into our worship services.
Occasionally, we introduce live art during worship. This means that while the music is playing, artists are painting a visual that is connected with the worship experience. Often times, it’s connected with the teaching topic for that day.
The purpose of the live art is to enhance the experience and the message, not distract from it. Therefore, it’s important that the artistic team rehearses the art, times it with the songs, and stays out of the way. Seeing a visual come together in front of your eyes can be a very worshipful experience. Not everyone will connect with God through live art, but then again, not everyone connects with God through music either.
The authenticity of the next generation does not just want to observe worship, but to experience it. So as a church, we are creating hands on ways for them worship. We have had success with this through interactive stations. An example of an interactive station could be a confession time where people can write down their sins and place them on a cross as a symbol of the forgiveness we have through Christ.
We recently held a service, where we taught on the “jars of clay” passage from 2 Corinthians 4. Our arts ministry created 150 small clay cups displayed all over the platform with candles lit around them. It created a great atmosphere for worship, but during the final worship song, we invited people to come take a cup as a tangible application.
If we as the church, want to reach people we have never reached before, then we may have to do things we have never done before. It’s the same with worship. Visual Art may be a great step in introducing something new that will connect well with the millennial generation.
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