24 April 2008 ~ 2 Comments

Cultural Creatives: Part 2

Yesterday I shared some notes from a session with Earl Creps on reaching cultural creatives as a church.  If you missed that, feel free to scroll down and check it out.

One of the things the Earl mentioned that stuck out to me was their desire to contribute to the community they are a part of.  There’s a concern I have heard from some artists regarding the church.  The general issue is that we tend to fail at celebrating art for the sake of beauty and only really celebrate art to the degree that it illustrates the points that we want to make in our services.

It is an easy trap to fall into, and one that I definitely am guilty of.  As I would get so wrapped up in planning out Sundays experience, artist became simply a means to communicate our message that Sunday.  This is very valuable, but if it the only focus I think this subtly says to artists that their personal expression is valid only as long as it is used for our purposes. 

Often the church tries to figure out how we can reach "creatives" rather than inviting creatives onboard to build, create, lead, and challenge the way we think.  When I first started in ministry, I thought much more like a creative type myself.  But then I learned in the church world how things are "supposed" to be done and began focusing so much more on the programs rather than my love of art and beauty.  Now I consistently need to unlearn some of the things that have been reinforced in me in order to be the person that God really wants me to be and reach the communities he’s equipped me to reach.

So how do we as a church become a place for creatives, allowing them to feel like valued contributing members without it having to be in the confines of how we want to use it?  When I was at Recreate, one of the presenters talked about hosting a film festival for our community.  Part of me, most of me, loves that idea.  But another part of me has had trouble wrapping my head around the usefulness.  Where is the redemptive value?  Are we sharing the greater story with them somehow?  Are we inviting them to church to fill the seats the next Sunday?  Perhaps it should be enough that we value just encouraging and celebrating creativity, and there is no other hidden agenda or motives.  Now that gets me more excited.  Just not sure if that one will sell to a board or your average church leadership.  ;)

So my questions for you today, what do you think…
Does the church value art in and of itself?
What can we do to value art and artists beyond our own agendas?
How have you (or have you) seen this done effectively?

Your turn.

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