I have noticed a few different churches putting artists on the stage during worship, it really interested me and i thought, what a great way to express worship, I found another post by a lady called "Mindy Painter" (handy name :)  anyways, id love to hear thoughts on this.

I once heard a story of someone being physically healed, the moment
they laid eyes on a painting that had been done during a time of
worship.  Wow!! How amazing is that?!  God uses art to bring healing!

A few months ago, I was asked to paint during worship—something I had
never done before.  My initial reaction was, “How can I do this? I
never paint with an audience.  What if I make a mistake?  Everyone will
be watching!”  I quickly realized that my concerns were all about my
performance and insecurities.  On the contrary, this was supposed to be
about worshiping God.  I needed to get out of the way and allow the Holy
Spirit to move and direct me.  It wasn’t about pleasing people, or
coming up with an incredible piece of art.  This was supposed to be a
selfless offering to my Savior.

Before the service, a group of us gathered to pray and get a sense of
what God might be doing.  I prayed for pictures, colors and ideas to
put on that blank canvas.  Sure enough, a simple picture repeatedly
entered my mind.  The Spirit was totally leading!!!

As the service began, I walked over to the blank canvas, which was
hanging slightly out of view, on a wall off to one side of the room. 
The music started, and all my concerns, fears, and insecurities
instantly vanished!  It was spectacular!!  With each brush stroke and
layer of paint, the Holy Spirit was leading me.  I was facing the wall,
my back to everyone, feeling such freedom, singing my heart out, raising
my hands, and PAINTING!

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the
Spirit of the Lord is, there is
freedom.
[Corinthians 3:17]

How does this work practically?  No matter your skill level, I would
encourage you to try this at home.

  1. Have some worship music playing in the background.
  2. Spend some time in prayer, waiting on the Holy Spirit to guide
    you and give you pictures.
  3. Go for it!!  Do whatever type of art you most enjoy…
    drawing, painting, sculpting, collage, writing, photography,
    graphic design, sewing.  There are many options.

If you’d like to try doing art during a worship gathering, I would
recommend setting up the canvas or work area out of main sight.  I know
that it can be cool to watch art being done on stage with the band, but
it can also be incredibly distracting. At our church, we have the art
area off to one side of the room.  That way, people are able to fully
focus on God rather than watching the artist’s every move, and when they
are done engaging in worship, they can have a look at what has been
created.  Also, don’t feel the pressure to have a completed work of art
during one worship-set. Take your time. It might be several weeks before
you are finished. Lastly, remember your art is an offering of worship
to God.  Once you finish a piece, let it go.  It shouldn’t matter if it
gets displayed for the whole world to see or covered up so that someone
else can create something later.

It is all about God!  May he be glorified in our art!!


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First of all, I am in accord with the general idea of "reclaiming the arts for the church." I do not agree with the fundamentalist notion that artistic expression is idolatrous, that churches should be severe and ugly. This may be an extension of Paul's teaching about adornments for women; but I think the apostle was speaking of the sort of attitude that may accompany adornment (as true for a church as for an individual).

I've thought it funny that my office would be covered with my own paintings and photographs, and beautiful prints that piqued interest in God's word, while the sanctuary walls were stark white. Then we got a new pastor, who promoted artistic expression. We began "prophetic painting", which sounds very mysterious, but is actually just... painting whatever you feel the Lord is saying to you, often symbolic but not necessarily, during the service (or any time).

When I was a youngster I used to play Bach when I painted; it gave me ideas. When I took my turn during a worship service, I found it for me an utterly beautiful experience as the sung and spoken Word settled my thoughts and a clear message came through in a painting. No requirement was made to finish, or for the picture to "say" anything specific. It was simply a picture. If a viewer wanted to attribute some idea to it, that was their business. I was especially glad because children gathered around and were simply watching the creative process.

I know of no Scriptures to fortify my favor of the idea of painting during worship. I find nothing idolatrous or excessively sensual about it, any more than I find with music (uh-oh... I may have started another discussion!).
Some may find difficulty in evaluating the purpose of visual art (much as some cannot understand why one would play an instrumental offertory). But there are many purposes. One may say "praise the Lord", and that feeds the soul, and uplifts the spirit. Another may say "are you thirsty? have my soda", and feeds the body (as well as the soul). One may paint a picture that brings beauty into a viewer's life that has experienced more ugliness than anyone should ever see. There are times when I think that that, as much as our pious proclamations about the "ministry of worship music", is a prime purpose of having music in the church, and by extension, the visual, dramatic, poetic and other arts.

Brad, I very much appreciate the attitudes and advice you have expressed in your introducing this discussion - helpful to any church considering starting this type of ministry.
I dont think is says anywhere to "praise with Paintbrush" it has less to do with the method and more to do with the heart. The bible say praise God with all your heart all you mind and strength, i dont have any trouble believing that when playing music people are inspired by the holy spirit and and that takes their playing and worship to another level, i dont see why God cant flow through someone and annoint their painting. If paul was annointing handkerchiefs and sending them out so sick people would get healed, why not anoint a painting and send them out into the world and people be blessed and come to know God through that experience
The history of God's people is full of much beautiful music and other forms of artistic expression (even architecture). There was much beauty and skilled craftsmanship that went into - - -

the first tabernacle:
"And I (the Lord) have filled him (Bezalel) with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship, to make artistic designs for work in gold, in silver and in bronze..." Ex 31:3-4

into the Ark of the Covenant (Ex 25:1-22)

and the temple, the details of which, David says "the Lord made me understand in writing by His hand upon me, all the details of this pattern" I Chron 28:19.

All of these works were specifically directed by the Lord Himself.

I don't think anyone seriously disputes that music has a legitimate and appropriate place in the community of Christian worshipers, but I cannot see how visual arts are any less legitimate. In fact, there was much LESS divine direction about the early musicians than about the artistic designs! (I Chron 25:1-7) But that doesn't lessen the good judgment and wisdom that David and his leadership team used (wonder where they got those abilities?) in developing the music ministry.

I honestly don't think God has any need for our music or our art, not even the most incredible masterpieces. The most magnificent song or painting of earth is nothing more than, nor less than, a child's hand-made greeting card that a parent displays. God knows it is good FOR US to express our love for Him. And He is pleased to receive the loving expressions of His children!
Bruce, why so black and white? Why, in your opinion, do you find that outside of musical worship, other forms of creative worship are "tangible"? This is not meant as a negative question, but one of curiosity and wonderment.

Our amazing God is not one of limitations. He created these giftings in us, to be used back onto Him through the outward expression of so many styles and outflows of worship. I disagree that any kind of creative worship is hard to hold on to or just in "the moment". As I believe other artists (musical and otherwise) besides me can confirm, the passion for worship and the arts and colors and new songs and dancing and rhythms and patterns run through our veins like a lifeblood. It is a constant ebb and flow, for it is always moving, and always changing, evolving, challenging, and stretching us. It does not give up, but we can give up through our own free will, on it. The Holy Spirit, who lives in each of us, gives fresh new ideas to be used in worship if we give Him the permission to use us in this way. Creative birthing gives purpose and direction and testimony and healing, and fuels the desire to reach up and pull down the heavenlies right here right now through all these beautiful things.
I think I see where Bruce's might be going - the dancing and music happen and are gone. There isn't any possibility that it be focused on later as an idol like you can a golden calf or a statue. It can't be "had". Idolatry is harder with music. Paintings are different - people might praise God now, but later, they may forget God and focus on the painting.

And there are two things that are consistent in the Bible - "sing and praise God with music" and "don't make graven images, don't make an alter out of hewn stone". It strikes me that "non-Christian" painting has it's legitimate place. But now, we're painting pictures of people and Jesus and animals and associating them with God. Today, we've got it straight. But where will we be in 20 or 40 years with it?

Golden calves started out as a way to praise God and think about his character. Look where that ended up. Music started out as a way to praise God and it still is.

No one will change their minds over this discussion. But at least we've all made our concerns known. If it ends up going badly, I feel good with what I've said. If we all make it to old age and our children aren't idolatrous, that's great too.
so should we not make christian music albums? or record any of our songs in fear of Idolising the band or songs??
Funny you should say that. There is this poster that shocked me one time:

http://www.castaliapub.com/energycaper/image-pages/RockG.html

If you can get a close up look at it, you notice that the crowd is bowing down to the stage and the stage is actually kind of the face of a Rock God or something like that. It appears that they've changed the graphic a little bit over the years to soften it, but it used to be pretty blatant.

Hey, I don't care and don't find myself tempted to worship may favorite musicians. But some folks do struggle with that...
Waaaayyyy too legalistic. That's just my opinion. Worship begins in the heart. If the heart has wrong motives, or is mired with confusion and hardness, then the worship and outflow that comes forth from such will also be corrupt. Not saying this is you, Stevo. But I do think you're putting the gifts of the Holy Spirit, particularly God and His manifest presence, in a box. We both desire the same goal for all to come to know and receive Christ, but in getting there our paths seem vastly different.
couldnt of said it better nicki
People don't worship music? They don't focus on music to the point that they desire worship services where only "their" kind of music happens (to the division and detriment of the Body)? They don't worship the sound of their favorite CD to the point that "private interpretation" is not kosher? They don't have a top 25?

If we get idolatrous about anything in the church world, it's music.
how do you mean he is limited?? surely WE are the only ones that put limits on God??
Sigh. God doesn't fail. MAN fails. Man has free will.

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