As you can tell I have a very high view of the nature and potential of art. To ensure however, that this post doesn’t get too self-indulgent, I will just focus, for now, on how art relates to ministry and worship. Just remember that there is SO much more that I would like to say on this topic… and I probably will at some point.
Music and the arts are integral in the responsive worship of God (remember God saves; we worship). Whether it be a song, a movie, a story or a play; art draws us into the narrative and emotions of the character(s). In unique and curious ways we enter into the story with them. We see what they see, feel what they feel. The arts associated with a “worship service” are no different. When we sing a worship chorus or watch a drama, when we listen to a story or stare into a painting, we become participators in the greater story of God’s redemption and salvation. Our response is to worship.
The amazing thing about art, especially within worship, is that it is both solitary and communal. When we are drawn into the greater story we are drawn in as individuals. What we experience and what we feel is unique and personal, yet we are surrounded by others who are entering into the same story. In a moment we are no longer just individuals solitarily worshipping God, but a great multitude worshipping Him for the common work of salvation.
Ultimately, the purpose of art in “worship” is to be a conduit of life change and a vessel for the praises of His people for all that He is and all He has done. Art softens the heart bringing us to a place of willingness; obedience. God saves; we worship.