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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Releasing His anointing? Flow in His creativity? What is that?

I still think creativity and artistic expression is primarily a talent thing as well as a personal preference thing. I also think David Gilmour has written and played some of the most beautiful music in history. That has to be "talent on loan from God" whether he knows it or not. And I know of no Christian musician who reaches me like his music. I wish there was!
As they say in the old country, You Betcha!
Hi Aaron,

Actually, it seems that I'm the ranting one and you're just questioning my rant, yes?

Are you equating a painting with the Word of God? That's the main point.

I'm commenting on the quotation in the original post. It sounds like she's looking to be "moved" by the Spirit and "let the Spirit take over". That's not what the Bible teaches about the Spirit, it's more of what the pagan and animistic religions teach and is very akin to divination. We're not to be automatons.

Instead, it's best to say that because we are God's children and have been regenerated and reborn, we have a boundless source of joy and love and wish to freely express that through our artistic talents. To call our works of art "from God" or "Spirit led' implies something much more serious and frankly quite dangerous.

And I don't know anything about impressions - I don't see anything on that in scripture. Even less so when applied to painting. If impressions are the standard by which we judge "spirit led"-ness, we're all in big trouble.
aaron!!!

i love this reply!!!!! Thankyou!!! lets never belittle God to fit into our understanding!!

Jesus left saying, "you will do greater things than me" how do we do greater things if we put God in a box ?


When a painter is led to worship with their gifting why should you call it "divination" when they are impressed to paint a certain picture/style/color?

Im comfortable with the fact that you're christian expression may be limited a certain style, but don't limit God to your picture. When you say God cannot do something you border on Pharasee Religousness.

And if God chooses to heal someone, praise him for it! No matter how it comes!

Truthfully, our church hasnt had the oppertunity to use art in worship and have limited experience in its use in the worship setting. But golly it sounds fun. The one time I saw it being done, I was visiting a church and a gentleman was painting something for himself to the side of the building not to be a spectacle for anyone. It was for him and his God alone. Amazing, and I didnt even see the product. What's the problem in a person expressing their Love for God using the gifts he has given them?

If Ive misunderstood your intent, im sorry for rantin.
And God was performing extraordinary miracles by the hand of Paul, so that handkerchiefs or aprons were even carried from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out." Acts 19:11-12 Yes, indeed, healings and miracles from the Spirit of God do sound amazingly "like" the imitation divinations of the enemy.... But perhaps it would be more accurate to say that pagan divination tries to mimic the power of the Spirit of God.
Absolutely true, as the Word indicates. Though there are some who, for various reasons, place such miracles in a certain "dispensation" which theoretically ended with the deaths of the apostles (a theory proposed in recent times), the Word itself makes no such claim of discontinuity. And yes, there is today, as in other eras, a great deal of counterfeit and nonsense about pertaining to healing through faith in God, about which it is very difficult to make blanket statements. There is quite a difference, however, in venues in which healing is marketed and that which is simply experienced because of the goodness of God. The Word makes it plain that neither Elymas (nor Tetzel nor people who make fake healing shrines nor anyone else who tries to mimic the Spirit's power) will come to any good end.

But we pray for healing for others and health for ourselves, and there is ample evidence in Scripture that God desires us to do so (and prayer occurs in all Christian churches, regardless of official belief about its various forms of efficacy). We pray for the salvation of family, friends and unknown people; yet we know that those people make the decision freely -- yet the prayer is considered valuable in all quarters of Christendom, evangelical, liturgical and whatever else may be about.

I am a very rational thinker; I put information and ideas to the test much more than the average person; but I must say that there is quite a bit about the ways of God I do not fathom -- and I am in good company when I say this (look at Isaiah's, or Paul's remarks about the transcendent nature of God).
Hi Patti,

The point I was going for is that Paul was acting as a free agent in the service of God - he wasn't "controlled" by the Spirit. There are pagan religions and now Christians who seek to be "taken over" by a spirit - not as a free agent but as a controlled robot. We're seeing language about "spiritual painting" that reflects this - "auto painting" so to speak. Being controlled by a spirit in that way still lies in the realm of divination and doesnt' reflect the character of God and how He works in us. My feeling is that anyone who picks up a paintbrush and says, "Spirit, paint through me, take over my paintbrush" is seeking a form of divination without realizing it. And to look at so many of the end results, it's not working very well.

I've seen this idea in many areas of the church today and it's actually dangerous. There is a lot of erosion in Christian circles as to exactly what God is up to and how He works. Christianity is being invaded by gnosticism and pagan spiritualism, but since we wrap Christian-ease around it, detection is difficult. Serious study of the Word is lacking and the results are showing up like wildfire.
Hi Stevo --
\has anyone said anything about being controlled by a spirit? The Spirit yields self-control (Galatians 5:22). Even when speaking in tongues, the Spirit gives utterance, but does not control the speaker (note Paul's regulations to the Body in 1 Corinthians 12 & 14). When we act in the character of Christ, giving a good word, a blessing, a cup of cold water, we are being His light (Matthew 5), being not only His ambassadors, but being "the least of these my brethren" to whom the world, including our own brethren in the church, respond.

It's not an easy thing, because there are those, and some of them are fond of advertising themselves, who proclaim themselves to be "anointed", or their music, poetry, art, or whatever, to have a special blessing or anointing on it. Forget that whitewash. Jesus said, 'You shall know them by their fruit' (or, as you put it, the end results).

Maybe I'll continue your thought with some questions (variety pack): Do any of you that paint (during worship time, as in the examples we've seen), find yourselves "controlled" in some way by God, or do you have full free will to testify to His glory in the medium (pardon the term:) of art? In what ways has this type of ministry been helpful or meaningful to the congregation? Does the music ministry have a particular effect on the creation of art in the sanctuary? What makes this type of art different from a pagan May Day celebration?
Hi there Stevo, I have never come across any Christians wanting to be "taken over" by a spirit, so I really can't respond or guess what that might really mean. In the biblical sense of "dying to self" and being a temple of the Holy Spirit, maybe some understand that as relinquishing control and yielding their life and destiny to God's hands. I like what Greg posted though, to see what others say about some of those questions.
Yea, I thought it was in the original post, but I must have read it somewhere else.
hey stevo,

yes mate that is my Gretsch.. im a little obsessed with it ;-) its amazing!!!
It's nice to see this topic come up, as the arts are as much a part of worship as the music. I am head of my church's worship painting ministry, and I'm also a professional artists by trade. I paint, draw, write, worship, and do stained glasswork, all from the heart and outflow of worship.

At church I have about 6 or 7 people on the regular Sunday morning rotation. Painting, sketching, pastels.. whatever it may be, during worship is a wonderful, uplifting thing. It allows the Holy Spirit to flow out through the artistic giftings He has put in that person, as a hand-in-hand worship with the musical component. It can bring healing, it can flow just like music, and it can capture the "moment" or essence of worship or the prophetic, especially if during the worship someone received a breakthrough and wanted a physical memory of it (this happened with 2 of my paintings recently).

With any ministry and those who volunteer, it is up to the wisdom, experience, and discernment of those who lead it to vet their volunteers - just like you'd do with the musical worship team - to make sure what that artist is bringing to the congregation is edifying and appropriate. Actual "skill" level is less of a concern for my rotation of painters, although they are all growing and learning and wonderful in their own right. Some have no prior experience at all, but I am after the heart, not the talent. And as always, art is in the eye of the beholder... the beholder is Jesus!

Logistically, our stage has a higher platform for the band, and then 2 lower platforms to each side, one for the drum cage and the other for the painter. We are considering now adding more than 1 painter at a time, as the interest has been so encouraging and positive from both the pastors, as well as, the congregation. We also invite children to paint and to see their artwork from their pure hearts is beautiful. Each artist is required to supply all of their materials, sans the easel and drop cloth. It is all done in order, but with the freedom to paint whatever they wish (again, edifying, etc.). Coming up in January I am also helping to organize a worship arts night at my church, with worship, painting, dance, flags, the Word, testimonies, and more for 6 hours straight. It's going to be wonderful!

I would encourage any church to explore this ministry for themselves.

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