How the Church Can Leverage the Arts for Evangelism
Given that the objective truth of the gospel never changes, the PROCESS of evangelism is much more about helping people encounter Christ than it is explaining Christ. And ARTISTS are some of the most powerful God-designed servants who can create environments wherein people experience the God-desired fruit of evangelism—people reconciled to God through the work of Christ.
In fact, when we emphasize explaining over encountering God’s gospel, we raise at least two barriers to witnessing. The first barrier is the fear that I’ll make a mistake or that I’ll miss something. The second barrier is the fear that “I’ll” be rejected. Plus, these barriers are both about me, not about those I’m praying will access God’s help, healing, love, forgiveness, and life.
All this to say that if church and mission leadership strategically turn to the artistic kingdom servants in their networks, they will embrace untold creative resources for designing at least seven environments wherein they and their vast army of normal Jesus-loved-people-loving volunteer Christians can meet with, pray for, care for, and share with people in their neighborhoods and communities.
So let me suggest at least seven evangelism environments that artists are God-designed to create.
Environment Designers. Artists are the ones God capacitied to imagine, then design, the culturally appropriate gathered events of the community—worship liturgies, celebration rituals & memorializations: all the various community gatherings, funerals, weddings, rites-of-passage. These are any GATHERINGS in which the community manifests its heart & soul (its transcendent reality—the expressions of the sum of its participants) in tangible terms. Community cannot design these gatherings well without the artistically gifted.
Heart Strikers of Humanity. Artists are the specialists God has given humanity to sculpt environments wherein people’s hearts can enter and touch the transcendent realities of life and of God.
Relationship Makers. The environments artists design always promote human interaction that produces relationships. Artists are hardwired to be curious about culture expressions and intrigued by and interested in culture’s ways. Through their curiosity—and a wonderful product of it: looking at familiar realities in fresh ways—they always create situations and places where relationships are formed.
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SOURCE: Christianity Today
Dr. Byron Spradlin