In my experience, there are many frustrated "creative types" in our churches looking for ways to use and grow in their abilities for the glory of God. We have to find ways to involve, encourage and disciple them.  These spiritually sensitive people will find their real fulfillment as artists and humans and as they take their place in the Body of Christ. The Body will be incomplete while the arts and artists are missing from it and the beauty and creativity of God's personality will remain partially veiled. As artists flourish the Body will flourish. As they are renewed, the Body will be renewed.

Of course, for these systems to work smoothly, there needs to be someone running them. From talking to pastors and leaders, there is a great need for artist/leaders. If you are a pastor, I encourage you to pray that God will bring someone to you. I believe He will do this in every church that has a desire to grow in the integration of the arts. He wouldn't give this desire without providing for it.

In addition to the church websites embedded in this article, there are many other resources available to help in the process of integrating the arts and artists into your church. CIVA (Christians In the Visual Arts) has a gallery handbook available here. The Willow Creek Association provides the TowardWonder.org website for the arts. IAM (International Arts Movement) is great at setting standards for artists and their work. I'm always looking for more resources, so if you know of a helpful site on the arts, please pass it along. You may email me at scott@FindingDivineInspiration.com.

May God speed the New Renaissance that is rising!

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 29, 2009