Imagine if the local church became the place in culture to experience creativity, beauty and transcendence.
This compelling statement at the beginning of J.Scott McElroy’s new book Creative Church Handbook: Reclaiming the Power of the Arts in Your Congregation, really caught my attention. This probably does not surprise you as I am convinced that the stirring of imagination and creativity within all of us is an essential tool to help us move forward into God’s creative future. My own awakening of creativity over the last ten years has strengthened my faith in amazing ways so it has been a delight to read through this book and explore new and exciting ways to incorporate art and dance into the church.
This book is a wonderful place to start in exploring creativity within the church both as an expression during worship services as well as for outreach into the community. I was impressed at the breadth of Scott’s exploration of creativity and the thoroughness with which he details ways to use arts, music, and dance in a variety of ways.
My favourite chapter, however is his exploration of how to use creative arts beyond the church walls. He gives interesting examples of arts in use to reach out to the homeless, for healing therapy and to help connect businesses in the community to name just a few possibilities.
This book is a great resource for both novices and those already well seasoned in the use of arts in the church – a wonderful creative tool that will stir your imagination and that of your congregation in important ways.