It is often difficult to pin down the value of art. Most people would recognise that art, whether in the form of music, painting, writing, performance or something in between, is valuable. However, defining what that value is and why that should be the case becomes tricky.
One answer that can be offered is that art is valuable primarily because it can communicate a message. For Christians, this is particularly appealing, as we have a message that we feel strongly needs to be communicated! From this point then, it can lead churches to encourage artists in their communities to produce work in line with this goal, but potentially neglect other practitioners whose work does not communicate the gospel so clearly.
While I agree that most art has the potential to communicate a message very powerfully, I think that it is a mistake to see this as the primary role of an artist. Therefore, it was recently my pleasure to have the chance to address a group of pastors and church planters on this very topic and give some pointers as to how, by understanding art better, we can welcome, support and disciple the artists in our churches more effectively.
Whether you’re a church leader, an artist, or an interested observer to this kind of discussion, hopefully the following video will be helpful, and if you’d like to follow up any of the points raised in the video, pop over to the Sputnik site
, where there are loads of articles and resources to explore the wonderful world of faith & art further.
This talk was filmed at the recent DNA Download event at Inspire church in Clerkenwell. This event was put on in conjunction with City to City, a church planting movement founded by Tim Keller which looks to recruit, train, coach and resource leaders to start new churches and church networks in global cities. Their website is here.