The Church

1. What do you envision (10, 20, 30 years down the road) as you think of the
arts and the imagination related to the topic of the day?

• Permission to dream
• Find God’s original intention for the church
• Church like a tree where birds find shelter
• Church is a place where people who don’t know the Lord are drawn by the creativity in the church and needs are met
• Church prepares “meals” that are as good as the best restaurant
• No longer “fast food” in the church
• Church gives freely to society, becoming a leader in the arts, stimulating creativity in Christians and non-Christians
• Storytelling in a variety of artistic disciplines
• Artists who know a marvelous affirmation to work in culture
• Salt and light in stimulating creativity and imagination
• Art on the agenda of the church
• Connecting to the heritage of the culture through the arts
• Show an interest in the cultural makeup of the community through the arts
• Give value to the ethnic differences through the arts
• Arts bridging a mono track church to a holistic church (Luke 2:42), which then bridges to the community
• Freedom for the artists, freedom from “tradition” for church members
• Openness to use the arts in the church
• Playwrights, galleries, etc. endorsed by the church
• Church ready to speak into a culture and be an agent for transformation
• Space in church to do non-consensual, disturbing, gratuitous art (Psalms)
• Get past the identity with the building (the church is the space), the space becomes a cultural hub in the community
• Touch on themes such as culture, art, history and relevant issues
• Church to realize that it is a culture in itself
• Breathtaking events in the church
• See the church become the local community creative facilitator
• Pastors and leaders lay tracks into culture
• Picture of river – freedom of movement across all boundaries
• Communications through all cultures to hearts of all, not just Christians
• Artists having normal positions the church and valued/accepted properly
• Understanding art, moving towards excellence
• The church will regain a position of leadership in producing art that is innovative and doesn’t mimic the world around us
• More of a broad mindset and definition of the kinds of art that can glorify God. Truth that is spoken through art (religious or not) is still valid
• A new understanding of how art can go beyond words to communicate
• Church would understand the value of the artist
• Encourage beauty in different forms (relationships)
• The church would accept art as a vehicle of honesty and discover truth
• Passion and expectation
• Rediscovery of the past … bringing into the present
• Going back to patronage and support of artist work to glory of God
• Community of artists… (e.g. theatre church)
• See Christian values in professional circles… or in new developed circles
• New generation of pastors who will be more supportive of the arts
• Worship leader positions expanded into arts leaders in our churches
• Training for a wider arts presence in the churches
• Embracing all of the arts in our churches… so that all of us can express ourselves in our church communities
• Holistic collection of expressions
• Place to go for artistic healing, renewal and expression
• Rooted in surrounding culture
• Move forward but keep (cultural) history (reposition/re-coin past works)
• Openness, welcome, reception
• Something for the senses, particularly smell
• Diversity of expression
• Storytelling, liturgy
• Growth in understanding of what art is
• Increase of arts in churches (Sunday and through the week)
• Communication as community/community as communication
• Archive of photos and stories (recordings) of people at church
• More community and belonging

2. What issues (Stones) have prevented this from currently happening?

• Fear
• Insecurity of leadership
• Judgmental attitudes
• Mediocre standards
• Western traditional thinking
• Fear of ambiguous thinking
• Efficiency the enemy of creativity and creativity the enemy of efficiency
• Legalism and tradition
• Finances – financing artists
• Lack of affirmation and commissioning
• Lack of artistic vocabulary/experience
• Ignorance of artistic excellence
• Lack of understanding by the church about the arts
• Lack of recognition of all the artistic gifts
• Artistic arrogance
• Fear by the artist of giving up control to the church
• Sanction only given by the church if the art takes place in the church space
• Spiritual and emotional bondage
• Rules and regulations by the church or missions body
• Unwillingness to change/lack of flexibility
• Blindness and deafness
• Unbiblical worldview
• Tendency by leadership to belittle the value of the arts and artist
• Not valuing excellence or showmanship
• Poor examples or the arts
• Lack of repentance
• Not valuing tradition properly (creativity from another generation)
• Mutual pride on the part of both the church and the artist
• The church mimics the world
• Utilitarian approaches to art in order to communicate
• Rejection of the art and or artist
• Art doesn’t mention God enough
• Indifference
• Misunderstanding of artistic process
• Money priorities
• Intolerance of failure
• Uses too narrow range of presenting teaching
• Barrier in understanding
• Playing catch-up instead of leaping forward
• Comfort zone in the church
• Fear of feeling uncomfortable
• “We don’t do that” / lack of freedom
• Ourselves
• Artists have contempt for the church
• Artist’s attitude about resources
• Shutting down ideas
• Over-structuring and stiff traditional restrictions for the new
• Communication barriers
• A Second Reformation needs to happen
• Limitation in theological training
• We are stuck in the boat
• We are more focused and fixed on the institution of the church
• Theological traditions have unbiblical “laws” in place
• Ignorance of the arts
• Ignorance in how to embrace the arts in the church leadership
• Artists are seen as problematic… misfits
• Undeveloped ecumenical settings
• Unsafe to be real, transparent (dictatorship of the smile!). Networks are a substitute for real community
• Lack of interest of art and culture for its own sake
• Prejudice against/ignorance of art
• Inability to engage 100% in what we are doing at this moment
• General acceleration in society (faster, no depth). Lifestyle and pace issues
• Lack of servant heart
• Too few opportunities to serve within church
• Lack of authenticity
• Christianisation of culture
• Finances
• Lack of interest in humans as being, focus is on souls to be saved

3. How do we remove these stones and work with God to build His kingdom purposes in and through the arts?

• Healthier Biblical understanding and teaching about the arts
• Good examples to follow
• Fellowship of likeminded supportive believers (artists/art lovers)
• Artists building character/brokenness
• Change our fixation with the oral/word
• Appreciation for image driven communication
• Continue to communicate
• Seminaries with courses on arts and communication
• Relationship between artists/church leaders/prayer, patience, servant artists
• Focus on the relationships to which we are called.
• Understand need for community. Develop healthy artistic communities
• Education on biblical worldview – pastor, artist and people in the church
• Education through engaging
• Understanding and respecting each others roles and gifts
• Artists need to have graciousness/ forgiveness
• Humility
• Purse Holiness and purity reflecting the character of God
• The Church will put artists in leadership roles allowing prophetic input
• Arts have role to help churches reflect on who they are in the larger body
• Strategy to integrate literature into seminaries with holistic art worldviews
• Build good community
• No either/or approach to education, or exposure to artistic relevance
• Need to experience something different
• Involve artists in preaching
• Model the potential
• Need shared network of ideas/how to incorporate the arts in the churches
• Tours of our European art history to unveil the truth of our story
• Art month model (CH)
• Education
• Humility
• Servant heart
• Trigger emotions (deeply, experientially, emotionally)
• Capture imagination
• Write grants, ask for donations
• Authenticity in our relationship with Christ

4. What are some strategic partnerships and resources that would be necessary in making this a reality?

• Believers in arts and business people who are willing to invest in the arts
• EU partnerships
• Find/build strategic relationships w/influential leaders in European church
• Bring artists and pastors together
• Clearly transmitting vision to partners
• Partnerships with Bible schools, seminaries and training schools
• Trans-denominational partnerships
• Prayer partnerships
• Organise activities/ways for people to tap into own creativity
• Library of good books, not only Christian authors
• Cultural/Arts training required at (Christian) universities/Bible schools
• Calendar of local cultural events at churches
• Archive of photos, stories
• You-Tube
• Hospitality
• Places of renewal (home!)
• All Nations (GB)
• Regent’s College (USA)
• Two colleges in Finland (Nina gives training)
• Foundations that would invest in arts scholarships, resident programs, etc
• Actors/directors partner with college directors and give training/courses
• European Commission
• Utilise artists to give training
• Find business partnerships and offer workshops to businesses as return
• Dealing with problems in society gets public funding
• Dinner theatre for non-Christians (partnership of organisations)
• Christian artists working in respectful partnership with pre/non-Christians
• Initiatives of Change – Renewal Arts (Uwe Steinmetz)
• Arts Conference (Schloss Mittersill)
• Psalmodia (Guy Barblan)
• Art academies, not necessarily Christian

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