I believe that there is a place for the arts inside the church as well as outside of it. There are several different ways in which we are already seeing the arts used in churches and there are still many more possibilities! Have a read below to see how we've been using it at our church. If you would like more information about how to run these kinds of projects then don't hesitate to get in touch or search through the blog to find more details on specific activities.
In previous services we have taken the opportunity to worship God with more than music and singing as we set up large canvases and used paints to allow people the opportunity to worship God though visual expression. Sometimes these paintings have involved input from multiple members of the congregation as they worked on a single canvas collaboratively. On another occasion a single artist has painted a series of images alone. The focus for these paintings is always God and they are a means for people to connect with him, whether it be by taking part in the creation of the paintings or by watching and hearing him speak through images painted by others.
Prayer stations are a great way to use art in a church service. We have come up with stations for all different prayer subjects ranging from a creative way to pray for our town to a powerful way to ask Jesus to break strongholds that have taken root in our lives. Prayer stations are simply a creative way to pray, using visual elements to express our prayers to God. It involves a bit of preparation time as any required materials and instructions must be set up before hand but it is well worth the effort as it gives the congregation another option as to how they might like to pray with increased freedom and expression.
Youth and Sunday School
Kids often love being creative and Sunday school can be a great opportunity for this. Not only have we done visual projects, with the older class we have given opportunity to explore other creative options including writing, music, dance and drama...though I'll admit some options were much more popular than others! We try to bring creative elements into all areas of the lessons whether it's the way we tell a bible story to the younger class, coming up with a new and creative way for the children to respond to what we talk about or helping them to creatively lead and involve the church during a youth lead service.
You can read more about some of the Sunday school projects that I helped to organise in the past by clicking here ...feel free to use them for your own group!
Workshops are a great way to encourage people to explore and learn more about using art as a way to connect with God. I've taken part in workshops run by other people and was greatly encouraged hearing testimonies about how God has moved through the arts for his glory. I now lead workshops on a monthly basis, teaching people how to connect with God in a creative way. These workshops are a safe place for people to experiment with art and listening to God or expressing themselves to Him. People may not always feel confident taking part in group paintings at the front of church and workshops can be a great alternative to this as they have a relaxed atmosphere and offer people the chance to work in a much more private setting.