Interesting! So Gardner seems to think that if a person—a child in this case—is involved in the artistic process, she could be called an artist.

Whether you agree with Gardner or not, you can't deny that with technology the ability of the average person to be creative—even artistic—and express themselves in a public arena, is greater than it has ever been. Nearly every kid I know has a Myspace or Facebook page where they are constantly creating and adding content, photos, stories, ideas, and messages. This explosion of access to creative tools may change the world in the next ten years. In the future the majority of people may be adept at some kind of creativity, even artistry. We may experience interactive creativity and art in ways we never dreamed possible. We in the church need to embrace the wave of accessible creativity and try to discern how God can speak through it. The Church can and should be involved in the business of drawing out people's creativity and connecting them to the source of it.

The Body of Christ will be on the road to maturity, and the world will see a more accurate representation of God's personality when all of our gifts—fully developed or not—are able to work together and flourish in the Church. Therefore, I think there should be a place in the creative life of a church for most people who feel drawn to making art, from the beginner to the master. That doesn't mean everyone's work gets displayed publicly, but there are ways to encourage people of all skill levels to collaborate with God.

So how can we open up our churches and our minds so that more people can get involved in the creative process, yet continue to raise the quality of our art?

(Click here to go to Part Two of this article)

J. Scott McElroy is the 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.

Visit Scott's Finding Divine Inspiration blog at jscottmc.wordpress.com.

Original publication date: October 22, 2009