By Lilly Lewin—
One of my passions is to bring art and artists back into worship. Once upon a time, before the Reformation, the artists told The Story. The artists were the ones who brought the Bible to life in paint, stone, wood and color. Sadly we threw the baby out with the bath water and art and imagery left most church buildings. We were left to our ears to receive the Good News. I remember the very first time I watched an artist paint in response to a sermon. I began sobbing. So many friends of mine who are artists never were invited to use their gifts in church and especially not in a worship setting. They didn’t know that their gifts were valuable, and needed, to help tell of the love of Jesus and help engage a visually driven culture.
Since that time, I have been on a mission to bring art back into worship. I know that singing and music are art forms, but I am talking about visual art and artists. I love using the art of the Masters as well as contemporary art pieces to help people engage God and provide a focus for prayer and worship. I love inviting artists of all kinds to share their gifts in a worship gathering. And I love providing art supplies in worship settings so all ages can create prayers and express themselves.
One of my favorite visual artists is my friend Scott Erickson http://scottericksonart.com/
. I met Scott many years ago when he was painting live at the National Youth Worker’s Convention. Since then, Scott has been an artist in residence at churches in Houston, Seattle, and Portland, been on staff with World Vision and created wonderful art pieces to help us respond to God. He even travels with an amazing one-man show called “we are not troubled guests” as well as speaking and teaching about art in worship and “live” painting at churches and conferences all over the US. Scott just finished a new series of art pieces on Practices http://scottericksonart.com/portfolio/spiritual-practices-downloadable-art-show/
that you can download for your own use or for your church community to use. He also has a great prayer book that I used during Lent this year. You can also find great inspiration from his video series “Why the Church needs Art” http://scottericksonart.com/video/
Check out Scott’s amazing work http://scottericksonart.com/
And follow him on instagram too!
Your mission for the weekend: Is to take yourself on an art date! Try out one of the ideas below!
I don’t know who said this but I quote it all the time in my workshops, “we are all artists til about second grade, then we start comparing our drawings with other people’s and we stop believing in our own creativity. “ It’s time to reclaim our creativity and believe we are artists again!
- So grab some crayons, some side walk chalk, some markers, or water colors and create something! Allow the Holy Spirit to inspire you with color and texture. Enjoy the process and don’t worry about the final outcome. Just do it!
- If you enjoy drawing our doodling, start taking your sketchbook and art supplies to church and drawing in response to the sermon/talk. What images come to mind from the music, or from the scripture passage or from the message preached or taught?
- Draw a large heart on a piece of paper or cardboard, use magazines to find words and pictures that represent what God’s heart for you is all about. Cut out pictures and words that represent God’s heart for you.
What is in God’s heart? How does God feel about you? What gifts does God want to give to you?
Draw these in the heart or cut out words and pictures from magazines and create a collage of love.
- Go to an art museum or art gallery and let the Holy Spirit be your guide. What do you notice? What art piece speaks to you?
“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he/she grows up.”