Bring the Beauty of Art to Your Worship
Throughout the ages, art has always been a part of worship. While we often pair music with worship, there are a variety of ways that we can use art to enhance our corporate and private worship. Here are a few ideas.
Bring the Beauty of Art to Your Worship
By Tricia K. Brown
“Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.”
--Ralph Waldo Emerson
Throughout the ages, art has always been a part of worship. God designed the temple, employing artisans in its beautiful and ornate workmanship. Churches of old included stained glass windows created to illustrate God’s word, and even simple country churches often include beautiful wooden crosses and podiums. While we often pair music with worship, there are a variety of ways that we can use art to enhance our corporate and private worship. Here are a few ideas.
Corporate Worship: Team up with a sketch artist, painter, or sculptor to create a unique worship presentation. Discuss your sermon with the artist and allow them to illustrate the primary scripture, person of interest, or message. Give the artist a work area on stage. As you preach, ask the artist to work on the piece. When the work is completed, place it on display for the congregation. If your artists prefer to work in private, offer to video them and display the video on screen during the worship service or display their completed works on stage. Visual artists can also gift their talents by creating posters, bulletins and other forms of print media used during services.
Private Worship: Choose a Bible verse, a characteristic of God, or a name of God that you would like to meditate upon. Draw a picture illustrating it. If you don’t consider yourself very artistic, you can purchase a scriptural coloring book or find a template to use. Read and pray over the piece as you work.
Corporate Worship: Technology has changed how art is made. Videography is an artform in itself. Enlist people in your congregation to submit photos or videos on various subjects. Use PowerPoint or another video editing software to put the clips together to create a seamless presentation. For example, congregants can submit clips of mothers to be included in a Mother’s Day presentation.
Private Worship: Bookmark those worship videos that you see on Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok. Pull one up during your devotional time or whenever you have a minute to concentrate on spending a quiet moment with the Lord.
The Spoken and Written Word
Corporate Worship: In recent years, the almost lost art of oral poetry has been transformed. Spoken word pieces concentrate on the aesthetics of word play. The presenter’s cadence is as important as the words themselves. Ask for volunteers to write and perform a piece on a particular topic or ask them to dramatically read a prewritten liturgy or poem. You can make this a team effort by including musicians to perform background music. Writers can also participate in worship by creating Sunday school lessons or writing plays, poetry and prayers for special occasions.
Private Worship: Try your hand at creative writing. You don’t have to be an expert! Write your prayers instead of saying them. Write a poem expressing your love for the Lord or thanksgiving for all he has done for you. An easy way to start is by forming an acrostic. Choose a word that relates to your studies. Write it vertically on your page. For each letter of the word, write a descriptive word or phrase that describes it. For example, if you are studying about being holy, you would write H-O-L-Y with each letter on a separate line. Then you would write descriptors next to each word:
H—holds close to the Lord
O—only worships God
L—loves Jesus more than anything else
Y—Yahweh wants me to be holy!
Arts and Crafts
Corporate Worship: There are many artisans who may not even think of themselves as such. Knitters, quilters, seamstresses, woodworkers, and other craftsmen and women are all artists in their own right. Give them the opportunity to contribute to congregational worship or other church ministries. For example, ask them to create rugs or table runners to use in your sanctuary or banners to be used during worship service. Seamstresses may be willing to help design and create costumes for holiday performances. Quilters may wish to display seasonal pieces in special exhibits. Woodworkers can help build stages and props for plays or even create special candleholders or other worship implements. One gifted craftsman created a large metal dove to hang above the baptismal at his church. A woman who is an especially gifted decorator helps decorate her church every Christmas. She considers her time and efforts an act of sacrifice and worship.
Private Worship: As you work on your craft or hobby, listen to Christian music and think about God as the true artisan. Be intentional in praise. For example, as you knit, you might pray, “God thank you for the color blue. Thank you for the variety of blues that we see in nature.” If you are a woodworker, you might remember how God is working on you. You might say, “Thank you, God, that you are sanding out my rough edges.” If you create pieces that can be donated to people in need or sold to earn money for missions, you can pray for those people as well.
The type of arts and artists is as varied as the individuals in your congregation. From architects to florists, artists can and should use their talents to bless others and worship the Lord. There is no reason that worship should be boring. Art is another way in which you can wonder at and express God’s creativity, love and majesty.
About the Author: Tricia K. Brown, is a Christian author and inspirational speaker. She is the author of three books including her recently published novella, Seen, Heard, Beloved, which is available on Amazon. Through her business, The Girls Get Together, Tricia shares stories of life, loss, and laughter to encourage women in their walks with the Lord and each other. You can connect with her on Facebook, on Instagram @ThisGirlTriciaB, or on her website at www.thegirlsgettogether.com.