A lot of us have worked hard to figure out how to use art to connect with the unchurched in our weekend services and we can point to lives that have been changed when God used that art to get past defenses, raise honest questions and speak powerfully into lives. Lately I’ve been stewing on the question of where we go from here. I think great art for our events is a great thing, especially when our events are part of the movement of the Kingdom of God. But what does art for the sake of the movement (as opposed to art for the sake of an event that is part of the movement) look like? A couple of brief thoughts:
People are drawn to a movement by its followers as much as its leader. People don’t emulate leaders. They emulate fellow followers. (See Paul’s line about following him as he follows Christ in 1 Corinthians 11.) If our art will serve the movement, it needs to elevate the stories of the movement’s followers. Old school testimony time might have more wisdom to it than we realize!
Movements are tied to places, times and people. They’re not static. They’re not floating in the clouds, like Platonic ideals that are detached from the blood and sweat of our everyday lives. And so art for the movement has to have a dynamic relationship with the place and time and people of the movement. It has to be responsive to the community and its needs. This is one of the reasons we’re pushing harder than ever to make original art a benchmark of our work at Granger. Original art can give a voice to the circumstances of the people right here in our neighborhood in a way that reproduced art cannot. If the incarnation is the moment when God wrapped Himself up in the circumstance of the people to whom He was sent, then original art is inherently incarnational.
What about you? Though there’s strength to be leveraged in the hegemony of popular culture, how do you think the Church can leverage art for the sake of a movement that is embedded in a certain place and time? What else needs to be true of our art if it will lend its full force to our mission? Check out an art installation Granger leveraged in a recent series called Before I Die... to capture and promote the heart of the topic being discussed on the weekend.
Bring your staff and volunteer leaders to the Creative & Communication Arts Workshop at Granger Thursday, May 19, to boost your impact with guests.Register by next Monday, April 18 to get the Early Bird rate of just $99 per person, or $89 for groups of 2–5, or $79 for groups of 6+. Attend both days ofworkshops (there’s a second day of additional workshops on Wednesday, May 18) and get a further discount: $20 off per day!