The Artistic Church


This is one of the most common complaints made about modern Churches. It reflects an unfortunate historical development where for many Church seems boring and monotonous. It has been a regrettable consequence of the Protestant reaction to elaborate practices of the Roman Catholic Church (with all its “smells and bells”) that many Churches have become bland and stale.
Rather, the Bible paints a picture of a wonderfully and beautifully creative God who calls His people to enjoy the beauty and art of His creation. The way Churches do this will point people to our Saviour, about whom the Bible says, “All things were through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” (John 1:3)


The obvious thing to say from the outset is that God created everything, “Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.” (Revelation 4:11). All of creation was imagined, conceived, created and is sustained by Almighty God. God is not boring! Consider the beauty of the intricate design of a butterfly’s wings, or unique pattern of a snowflake, or the grandeur of a mountain, or the magnificence of a sunset – all these are the work of our Father in Heaven.
More than that, God put music in the hearts of people. Beginning with Adam’s love song to Eve (Genesis 2:23), through the songs of Moses (Exodus 15:1-18) and Miriam (Exodus 15:21) and culminating in the great crescendo that is the Book of Psalms, God has called His people to sing. Jesus sang with the disciples (Mark 14:26). When the earliest Church gathered, they were commanded to sing (Ephesians 5:19; Colossians 3:16). Music has been an identifying mark of the Church ever since then, from the music of George Frideric Handel, through the hymns of John and Charles Wesley, through to modern music like Hillsong and Chris Tomlin.
Art and drama can also be seen in the many illustrations of the Bible, including Christ’s parables (mini-dramas that carry powerful applications) and the images employed through the Bible: “The Lord is my Shepherd” (Psalm 23:1); “Wisdom cries aloud in the street, in the markets she raises her voice.” (Proverbs 1:20); “You are the light of the World” (Matthew 5:14); “You are the body of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 12:27). Art and drama have also become part of our Christian heritage.


For us at FLBC, it may seem that we are hamstrung in how much music and art we can have, since we rent premises. However, our music will be lifted as we lift our voices to God; our art can be in the form of digital presentations through the data projector and we have plenty of room for drama. As we show our creative God through art, music and drama, we can show our Father in new, creative and interesting ways that will make words come alive through the power of the Holy Spirit.
Do you have gifts, skills or talents in these areas? Then, get on board! Where can you serve?


Next month, we’ll continue our “Living in the Church Community” series with the “Universal Church.”