So, through their curiosity—and a wonderful product of it: looking at familiar realities in fresh ways (4)—they always create situations and places where relationships are formed (5).
- Community (Culture) Connectors—artistic Kingdom servants can provide the Community (inside and outside the local parish) holistic expressions and profile of that facilitate the need-meeting biblical virtues—like justice, honesty, courage, compassion, moderation, and moral character—all of which will . . .
- Contribute – to the community by creatively bringing beauty, joy, goodness and truth—from God’s perspective, without preaching or frowning.
- Create – new culture that is virtuous, beautiful, good and true.
- Profile – to the community the good, the bad and the ugly. Artists possess powerful means of helping the community see, feel and engage both the good and the bad of the community. Without preaching or pounding, artists-in-community-with-church-leadership can innovatively and productively point out what needs to be faced, fixed and changed; including the fact we each need God’s help and healing in order to live life fully.
Artistic Kingdom servants—when released and affirmed—can connect with the mainstream community culture delightfully, beautifully, creatively, and powerfully.
- Compassion Context Creators—artistic activities—like drama groups, bands, choirs, art groups, public mural projects, dance classes and groups, video/film classes & projects … motivated by the need and intent to CARE for and DEVELOP the person and the community—are crucial to the work of evangelism.
A beautiful example of this sort of thing in my Nashville region is Rejoice Dance Ministry, and it’s Director, Patricia Cross (6); where, in North Nashville they work with at-risk inner-city kids through their after-school dance classes, building character & virtues that help these children know better how to live life well—especially by coming to know the Life-giver Himself, Jesus.
- Story-Tellers—artists are the “voices” of our cultures & communities, narrating our peoples’ stories through the poems, paintings, dances, films, dramas, designs, architecture, fashions, food, sculptures, songs and lore of the people; and interpreting how our story makes sense and has meaning within the framework of The Story of the World (The BIG Story of GOD, Himself, revealing Himself to the world—God’s BIG Story of history—is the world’s greatest meta-narrative. But more on that another time.)
Therefore, the Gospel cannot be told well enough without artistic expression, and the involvement of the artistic expression specialists.
- Public-Proclamation-Producers—artists are the specialists to whom God has given the sensitivities and awareness (honed by training and practice of their various crafts) by which public meetings can be designed and directed to the end that the gatherings actually accomplish the purposes for which they were desired.
How many times have you gone to a community meeting or a worship gathering—in any culture or religious setting—where the intent was to lift up, but you’ve left let down? Fault both the non-artistic official who commissioned the gathering (mayor, president, executive, pastor or priest) and the (alleged) artistic practitioners commissioned to pull off the gathering.
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