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.