The Art of Worship


[Note: This is part 1 of a 2 part series by Gail Hamilton. The 2nd post will appear later this week.]

Do you consider yourself an artist?  Maybe you never really thought about all that the word “artist” involves. A lot of people think that an artist is someone who can paint or draw beautiful pictures. But “artist” really refers to anyone who creates by using their skill, one who is innovative and uses their imagination, and talent, such as with drawing, painting, sculpture, various crafts, acting, dancing, writing, filmmaking, developing media, photography, and all aspects of music.  The arts give us a way to express our feelings; they create emotional responses.  Most of us who are part of the worship team at CACC are focused on the arts that surround music.  I love music! Even people, who are not gifted in music, usually enjoy music and are definitely affected by it.  Music is all around us!  We not only play it and sing it, enjoy it, and critique it, but we have our favorite old songs and new songs and different styles that touch us somewhere inside.  Music affects our emotions. Some songs make us feel sad, some make us feel happy, some make us break into dancing! Music not only touches our emotions, it is attached to memories.  How many of you experience hearing certain songs that take you to a memory of being somewhere else, or back to an experience, or being with certain friends? Also, what would a movie be without the sound track?????  The music behind the acting helps to evoke the desired emotion of the scene in the movie.

I recently joined some of our adult team in a workshop for our Momentum youth band members.  I played the beginning of several movie theme songs – just instrumental – and they were able to name the movie within a matter of seconds. Music is attached to memories and emotions.

We have all experienced the fact that music touches our souls in a mysterious way.  It is a gift that God has created. He is the original artist – the Master Artist!  We are created in His image – He is a creative God – and He has given us this gift called music and other artistic talents that allow us to create. God loves music and creativity, and He enjoys our praise through music and the arts.

Whether you sing, play an instrument, mix sounds or “play” the sound board, display the visual arts with song lyrics or videos, or create a palette of colors and shapes for the screen or the stage, you have God-given talents. We have all been given talents and gifts from God. Whether it is in the arts or in other areas, you can be sure that you have talents, God-given gifts.

We all love music and love using the talents we have been given, but it goes beyond this. Hopefully we recognize that the abilities we have and continue to develop are gifts He has allowed us to have. When you are an artist, you gain a lot of satisfaction and joy from developing your talents. You might reach that place where you say you are truly passionate about whatever your talent is.  But I want to encourage you to remember that it is not “your talent” to be selfish with, but that it is a gift from God to be used for His glory – to give Him honor and to strengthen and encourage His Church!

You may end up using your artistic talents in a different situation or even in a job someday that involves performance or is in the entertainment business, but using your gift in God’s Church is a higher calling!

So let me leave you with a few thoughts and questions to “ponder”…..

  1. If you are an artist, and are using your God-given talent in ministry, what considerations and responsibilities do you need to consider when realizing that your art affects the emotions, and memories of others?
  1. When you realize that God has blessed you with a gift in the arts that you can enjoy and use in His Kingdom, how do you respond?

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