Why Churches Need Artists

Why Churches Need Artists

There is a reason why churches need artists. The Bible invites us to “taste and see” that the Lord is good. From architects able to create buildings that proclaim the glory of God and illuminate the Gospel, to musicians who lead us in worship, and the craftsmanship required to make the bread and the wine for communion…we need creative men and women to help us “taste and see” that the Lord is good.

We are not brains on sticks walking around who merely study and concluded that the Lord is good. No, we are embodied men and women made in the Image of God, whose senses are to be activated so that we worship God with all our heart, mind, body and strength.




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4 comments on “Why Churches Need Artists”

  1. Fiona Reply

    I am needing some advice on how to move on from having a creative role in my church as Artist in Residence. ( small country town, U.K.)
    It was part of a pilot scheme that has now ended.
    I was part of the worship team working closely with the Rector and the Musical Director.
    My brief was to help people of all ages to engage spiritually using creativity, and offering artwork and installations within the main worship space for reflection, which was a joy.
    When the Rector left, I was told that my voluntary post of 5 years had ended with him.
    The temporary team leader couldn’t see the connection with art and worship, or when I offered creative prayer retreats and admitted that if he wanted to see art he’d go to a gallery. The musical director has left his role. I still worship and serve in the altar team in the same church. I have made a commitment to serve the Lord , using my creative gifts, and this hurts.
    I am trying to honour that by updating my art skills but I feel so sad that I can no longer offer in this way in my place of worship.
    After 2 years we are about to appoint a new Rector. I was asked to put some pictures of my work in the advert profile.
    I don’t know what to hope for, or if the time has now passed, but I would like to know how to express to whoever comes to lead the Team what I have been doing in a positive and forward looking way.

    • Joel Pelsue Reply


      First, my heart goes out to you. I have talked to far too many creatives who have offered their gifts, and at some point have been taken for granted or treated as if their gifts are not important in the life of the church.

      Second, I find the best place to start is to ask questions in order to discern where the pastor/rector is coming from theologically and in their own experience when it comes to the arts: Are they simply unaware, and have no aesthetic sensitivity? Do they have a negative view based on an incorrect reading of the second commandment? Or have they had a bad experience with a previous artist who didn’t work well with them, or their work was not quite up to the professional level it needs to be? Finding out their personal and theological concerns helps them to see that you respect their perspective, and can help them open up to hearing your experience and perspective.

      If it is a bad past experience with another artist, find out what that was and see how you can assuage their fears and find a way to collaborate in order to avoid a repeat of the past.

      If it is a theological concern, feel free to email me! I think our videos on Bezalel are a perfect starting point. https://a-e-m.org/christianity-creativity-bezalel/ What I find most helpful is connecting the beauty of Eden to the beauty of the New Jerusalem, and seeing how Ecclesiastes tells us that God makes all things beautiful in its time. Beauty is part of the character of God. Then examine how the artwork in the book of Exodus demonstrates how God commissioned extravagant artwork to be at the center of the Israelite culture and a the center of our worship of God. It is an echo of the beauty of God and an echo of the beauty of the New Jerusalem.

      My prayer right now is that God will open doors for you to glorify Him with your art, and enable you to use your gifts to edify others in the Body of Christ!

      let me know if this is helpful, or if you want to further clarify…Blessings!

  2. Stephen Cook Reply

    Joel, You may find this interesting and germane to the message. I have a friend who pastors a church in the Hunter Valley of Australia. The valley is one of the best wine regions in Aus. He has many vintners and owners that attend the church. Many years ago, one of the winery owners offered to supply wine for communion. The offer was accepted, and the owner delivered some of his very best wine. This kicked off a bit of competition between wineries to provide the finest wine in the valley for communion. This prompted interesting discussions not only about the making of the wines used but the meaning of wine in communion. It is amazing what comes out of offering the very best to the Lord. It didn’t hurt church growth, either.

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