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When the Church Hurts Artists

When the church hurts artists, both the church and the artist lose. Here at AEM we wish we didn’t continue to hear these stories of artists wounded and hurt by the church, but we do. The church should be the place you are encouraged and nurtured in your creativity, but when that doesn’t happen, the wounds can be deep. The key is not only understanding God’s gift of creativity but also understanding why some pastors and leaders don’t understand the arts.


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Christianity & Creativity: Bezalel

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Copyright © 2020 Joel & Michelle Pelsue. All Rights Reserved. Used with Permission. 

6 comments on “When the Church Hurts Artists”

  1. Welborn Ferrene Reply

    When the church uses quality talent and professional performers and doesn’t pay them, it seems to me, the LEAST they could do is recognise the value of their talents with a tax gift receipt; comparable to the amount they’d have to pay someone for the same performance or service.

    • Joel Pelsue Reply


      Great idea – It is, after all, pro bono work for the artist and the creative professional. The tax donation receipt would definitely make a statement of value!

      Thank you,


  2. Christian Wilkerson Reply

    We are in the process of starting an arts program at the church I attend. What we are working toward is arts education for jr.high and high school kids following a currículum we are in the process of writing, combined with hands on classes for kids who want to paint, work in clay, as well as a good program for song writing, help for kids who are beginning musicians, with weekly jam sessions and intro classes for their particular instrument. In our particular schools art has gotten to be almost non-existent. With YouTube, etc, there are some great instrument classes for how to play your particular instrument. With internet instruction, weekly work playing live and a yearly concert and art show, we feel like it’s a good start to exposing kids to the world of art.

    • Joel Pelsue Reply


      Thank you for reaching out, and what an encouragement to hear you are creating an entire curriculum for arts education. What you describe is a great start! Let me know if you ever have questions and need some theological clarity on challenging issues. As always, the arts are the first to be defunded and the last to be recreated. So in tough times, kids miss out. May God bless your efforts and direct your steps.

      – Joel

    • Joel Pelsue Reply

      Yes, indeed! Christians need to focus not only on classical education, and good theology…we need to train them to appreciate beauty and to create art.

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