Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Artists, Worship, and the Church

For the past decade, or so, there has been much said about art and worship.  You can see this reflected in different ways, for example, artists are now often employed to lead worship, some churches now refer to worship as the "Ministry of the Worship Arts," and one of the major trends is for congregations to take over old abandoned theaters in order to use them for worship.  You can read about this in an article that was recently published, "Artists Build the Church," which is centered on Jon Guerra, the "artist-in-residence," not worship pastor, who leads worship at a church called The Line, and Aaron Youngren, the lead pastor, who together
have formed a "determination to tear down the walls between church art and city art so that music can freely flow between the venues."

They both had what they call the frustrating experience of the lack of art in their church backgrounds, and desire to see that changed.  Youngren says that his frustration has been summed up well by an essay written by another artist, Makoto Fujimura, "A Letter to North American Churches."  And what is this frustration, exactly? 
An artist’s relationship with you has not been easy; we are often in the margins of your communities, being the misfits that we are. . . . Instead of having quality artists at the core of your worship, we were forced to operate as extras; as in ‘if-we-can-afford-it-good-but-otherwise-please-volunteer,’ Extras.
What do you think about this?  Have artists been unlovingly marginalized in the Church?

See what Carl Trueman has to say here.  In his typical British whit, he is spot on.

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