Tuesday, September 16, 2014

4 Ways The Church Can Make Good Art Again - David Ryan Gutierrez in Relevant Magazine

Real talk: there is very little about the modern evangelical church that is creative. And this is a huge problem.

The church was once the workshop for the greatest art the world has ever known. Past tense.

Many churches are no longer seeking to create unique encounters with God. Instead, we’re often settling for following a successful model from CD's, books or personalities.

Real talk: there is very little about the modern evangelical church that is creative. And this is a huge problem.

1. Embrace The Crazy Beauty of Artists. Most of us can’t hear the music anymore. We’ve grown creatively deaf. So when faced with an artist who can still hear their internal song loud and clear, it’s easy for us to assume they’re crazy.

Artists can be a challenge to work with. They’re an emotional crowd. But that’s only because they’re more in tune with their emotional spectrum than most. That’s how God designed them. And because of that, artists can give language and vision to our deepest emotions. When we reach the end of our limited emotional bandwidth, artists take us further.

2. Demand A Higher Standard. While art is subjective by nature, there are elements that are objectively good or bad. An out-of-tune note is displeasing to the ear. Wooden dramatic performances are uncomfortable to watch. Poor writing fails to engage the mind.

The Church is, of course, meant to be a place of support and encouragement. However, we have to be careful that we don’t extend this to a point that costs us objectively good art.

3. Refuse Mimicry. If the Church is going to re-establish itself as a birthplace for creativity, it has to take a stand against mimicry. Imitation may be the greatest form of flattery, but when our efforts end at imitation, we've missed an opportunity to grow.

It’s certainly easier. It’s safer. But it’s wrong. With so many new songs to write, new sermons to speak and new pieces to perform, why would we ever settle for the art that’s already been created?

4. Take Risks. Standing on the front lines of a revolution will always carry with it greater risk. Many of us who take up the charge as creative leaders will find ourselves taking the first shots from the opposition.

Great art is an investment of self and soul. Any investor will tell you that the greater the risk, the greater the reward. Artfully leading people into the story of Christ is a risky endeavor.

But that’s only because there’s no greater reward than inspiring creation to return to its Creator.

The full article is available here