Monday, February 6, 2012

Art in Youth Ministry

One of the books I'm currently reading as a part of my classwork is Marva J. Dawn's Reaching Out without Dumbing Down: A Theology of Worship for This Urgent Time.  It's been a very good exploration into worship and culture.  We've been talking in class about what it means to be creative as Christians and how to use that in worship...especially in light of the abundant technology and media sources out there.  

How do we put the organic element back in our worship services?  How can we really use the arts for worship in new ways that aren't a part of our normal church cultures.  I've really been trying to figure out how to practically add creativity into our ReFuel services...after all, creativity IS NOT ONLY making cool videos every now and then (although I really enjoy that).  Going further than the worship services, how can we encourage our students to engage in artist endeavors?  How can we encourage a generation of creative young people to create for his glory?

As I was reading a chapter on worship styles, I came across a quote by William D.Hendricks.  As a former art student and as a guy who thinks of himself as semi-creative person, this really made me stop and think.
It has been said that in ancient Greece, art killed religion; later in Christian Europe, religion killed art.  That alone is worth some reflection.  But we can add that in modern America, entertainment is killing both art and religion - a situation that leaves very little space for the Christian artist.
What do you think, youth ministry nation?  How have you embraced creativity in your youth ministry?  Do you ever use the arts?  Let's start a discussion!


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