In scripture, we first meet God as creator of a glorious world, a world He calls “good” in its essence. God then goes on to create a “very good” humanity, shaping male and female forms from the dust of the earth, finally breathing into us the breath of life, an inspiration of His Spirit that placed His image on our very being.
The act of God’s creation is the beginning place for biblical thinking about the arts.
With this in mind, the Arts Ministry at the Northwest Church recognizes the fundamental artistic urge—the desire to make something—as having come from God, therefore having innate value in and of itself. Humanity’s urge to make and design items for function and for beauty stems from our sharing in God’s image and nature at the most fundamental level.
Therefore, the NW Church Arts Ministry seeks ways to encourage and equip artists as they work to discover and create the forms God has called them to make, constantly working to honor and glorify God in the making.
Practically speaking, this means the Arts Ministry wants to help artists do their work. In the end, we know that an artist makes art by doing just that—making it, and that only the artist can shoulder the work. But being responsible to do the work need not mean working in lonely isolation.
We recognize making art—and by art we are referring to any skilled creation of form that is attempting to make a symbolical statement about the world and the human experience (music, theatre, painting, poetry, literature, architecture, various products of design and craft, etc.)—to be hard, skillful work, requiring ample amounts of material and spiritual resources in order to proceed.
Therefore, the primary focus of the NW Church Arts Ministry is to help provide connection to those specific and necessary spiritual resources, the most primary of which is Jesus Christ.
As Christians, our emphasis is on finding wisdom and strength, beauty and truth—indeed, salvation—in the person of Jesus, and serving the coming of His Kingdom (the reign of God) in the world with our thoughts, our feelings, and our work.
Several new efforts are being launched as we begin to reach out to the artists in our congregation and our community.
1) THE ARTIST COMMUNITY: Central to this work will be the establishment of The NW Church Artist Community. The Artist Community will seek to make connections between artists of all ages and disciplines, styles and interests. This community will seek to create various and diverse opportunities for the creation of what we are calling The Conversation. It will also constantly seek the means by which to reach out to the artists in our community who are not part of the body here at the NW Church.
2) THE CONVERSATION: The Conversation is just that: it is the ongoing thinking, experiencing, and talking that our artists will share as we move forward on the journey of faith and art making. Our hope is for The Conversation in our Artist Community to be energetic, vital, and highly relevant to the lives of the artists participating. The Conversation will take place in multiple and diverse settings, including, but not limited to, the following: an ongoing Sunday morning Bible study, an ongoing small group fellowship, an online community, mentoring and counseling, and various arts events.
Our desire and prayer is that the primary force driving The Conversation will always be the Holy Spirit of God.
If you are an artist, and by this we mean to include professionals, educators, critics, hobbyists, apprentices, and young people (of all disciplines), then come be a part of The Conversation. Let us help you find your work and the means to work on it, and through that work, we’ll join in the transforming work of Christ’s Kingdom, the constant call to true love and freedom in Him.