Many of the greatest artistic Masterpieces of all time have been made to glorify God, and this is true not only in painting and sculpture, but in drama, dance and all other fields of artistic endeavor. Yet as in writing, simply having the talent and temperament, the time and the resources to produce art doesn’t make it a spiritual practice; there is more involved.

The Expressive Spiritual Practice of Art is the practice of using one’s artistic abilities to glorify God as an expression of their relationship with Him. In doing so, the production of art draws the person closer to God; quite often this practice is used by a person with the spiritual gift of craftsmanship.

This one isn’t the easiest practice for me to describe, since I don’t really have any particular artistic ability; my sister got all of that in our family. Even so, the expressive disciplines always seem to come down to a ministry of some kind. Several years ago, our church put on a show for Christmas that included lots of music, a couple of skits, video and even a little showmanship. There were a couple of people with artistic ability who produced amazing backdrops, people with the gift of craftsmanship stepped up to construct beautiful sets, people with technical abilities handled sound, audio video and lighting, and of course, the musicians came seemingly from nowhere and did fantastic work.

I mention this because the atmosphere in rehearsals was amazing, for the most part. Everyone was there because they wanted to bring glory to God, and they said so often without prompting from anyone; the entire project was an example of expressive spiritual practice, in several areas at once.

Artistic people use their abilities as a spiritual practice in a variety of events within the local church, but they also often use them in making pictures or sculptures or other items that inspire others to walk closer with God, and that express the creator’s relationship with God. As a result, everyone is blessed, and the Kingdom is built up.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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7 Responses to Art

  1. photojaq says:

    I have some artistic ability…. SOME! And I’ve used it to illustrate my Christian children’s stories, backdrops and posters for VBS, crafts for the 7 mission trips I’ve been on, and making games and lesson illustrations for kids.
    I’ve loved the art and statuary I’ve seen in Italy (Florence esp.), but although we will be in Milan, Italy next week, our church’s mission team has voted NOT to see da Vinci’s The Last Supper. Maybe on another trip…..?
    I really appreciate those who are using this “grace” or “expression” for the Lord.
    And, Don, YOU use it to some extent with your photography!

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  3. Barbara Lane says:

    My daughter crochets – and her creations are amazing. She has a website and does sell products, but she also crochets and gives away hats for cancer patients, blankets for homeless and every year creates personal gifts for all the children in her second grade class. This past mother’s day she made beautiful wraps and sent to women who had lost a child or who were battling other difficulties in their lives. While most would never think of crocheting as a spiritual gift, the blessings she gives through her talent is, I believe, truly a gift of God. When you add that no one taught her this skill. She just bought a DVD and started crocheting.

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