A third reason for the timing of this arts/faith movement is for the beautification of the Bride.  How long have churches—especially Protestant churches- lived with an absence of beauty in our worship spaces? (Actually, the answer might be "about 500 years", since the Reformation.) And Catholic churches have struggled with this, as well. In making the announcement for the Vatican's Nov 21st Arts Summit the president of the Pontifical Council for Culture said that the art and architecture of many modern churches, "…do not offer beauty, but rather ugliness."

Beauty is an inherent aspect of the personality of God; He loves and creates beauty just because it is part of who He is. That was driven home with the discovery of bizarrely beautiful galaxies caught by the Hubble telescope over the last two decades. Wild, mind-boggling  beauty that we didn't even know existed until the Hubble, challenges us to think about a God who creates and values beauty that serves no utilitarian purpose. It's time that the Church started tapping into and portraying the full personality of this awesome God. We can and should lead the world in all areas of creativity because we are beloved children of the Creator God, made in His image and living in intimate relationship with Him.

And a forth reason for the rise of the New Renaissance is for the reconciliation of a whole tribe of people… the artists of the world. Millions of these people have been disconnected from their true source, wandering for centuries in search of elusive creative fulfillment. Most have known that there is a spiritual aspect to the creative process, but God is calling them to the joy of learning to truly collaborate with Him in creativity. They have a place in the church and the world to be a conduit of His joy, insights and messages on the earth, and as they take their place in the community of the Body of Christ, it will flourish and grow in maturity, and the artists themselves will know joy.

What can be done?

So what can Artists, Pastors and leaders, Churches and supporters do to usher in this new renaissance? Practically speaking, artists can get training, grow in their craft and become part of a Christian community. Pastors and leaders can look for ways to integrate the arts into services, churches can pursue artists and start a small arts gallery. Supporters can be advocates for the arts in their church and help educate congregations. On our website, thenewr.org you'll find articles and resources on these subjects and more.

But in the end, all this activity will not be enough to see this movement to renew the arts reach critical mass.

Bono, from U2, said in a USA Today interview that his band tries, "…to write songs that raise the temperature of the room and find words for feelings you can't express. And then, as Quincy Jones says, you wait for God to walk through the door. Because in the end, craft isn't enough." Impressive works of art, ingenious education and brilliant proposals—though all those things and more are needed—aren't enough for a New Spiritual Renaissance in the arts.

We must have divine inspiration.

We must seek ideas from God; connecting and collaborating with Him in our creativity on the projects he planned for us before we were born.  This starts with learning to hear God's voice in prayer and in our everyday lives. You'll experience your greatest growth as a believer when you develop that aptitude. For more resources at developing this skill, see the "Hearing God in Your Creativity" section at our website, http://thenewR.org.

A New Renaissance IS rising, and it starts in the hearts of artists, leaders, and the Body of Christ as we learn to listen for His voice and collaborate with Him.

J. Scott McElroy is the founder of  The New Renaissance Rising and author of Finding Divine Inspiration: Working With the Holy Spirit in Your Creativity (2008, Destiny Image).  He is a writer, voiceover artist, visual artist, and award-winning radio producer who is passionate about redeeming the arts through collaborating with the Holy Spirit. As a voiceover artist, he hosted the Animal Planet TV series "Wildlife Journal" from 2004-2007. His voice is heard on national TV commercials, video games, websites and more. He lives in Indianapolis, Indiana with his wife Danielle daughter Hailee and son Kaia.

Original publication date: January 6, 2010