David Arms God’s Story – http://davidarms.com/
“For most of modern history, Christianity has been one of the primary producers – and patrons – of the arts,” according to Relevant magazine (Nov/Dec 2010). But in recent years the production and appreciation of quality art (painting, sculpture, literature, drama, poetry, music and other creative expressions of beauty) have been pushed to the sidelines by many believers and relegated to positions of minor importance. There are exceptions, of course. Relevant focuses on musicians in every issue and currently profiles a contemporary Christian painter (Makoto Fujimura), an actor (Max McLean), and a film-maker (Douglas Gresham, adopted son of C.S. Lewis). All three are passionately committed to making excellent art, in part because they are followers of Jesus Christ.
Christmas can pull us back into an awareness of the arts. Look beyond cutesy Christmas songs, gaudy displays of Christmas lights, and the pop culture of this season. Then see December as a time for glorious music and art that points us to events and experiences beyond the narrow perspectives of our daily lives. Have caregivers, coaches, leaders, and teachers missed something important by overlooking how the arts might enhance their work and impact their lives and the lives of those with whom they work? Consider this:
- Every year Fast Company magazine publishes an entire issue on the significance of design in business, marketing, and the development of people-friendly buildings and workspaces (see October 2010).
- The best speakers I know use carefully selected images and captivating storytelling to better communicate their concepts.
- Play therapy, psychodrama, music therapy, painting and similar “right brain” activities are becoming of greater importance for impacting victims of trauma, including children.
- Perhaps involvement with art can make coaches, counselors and leaders more sensitive, patient, and balanced.
- Once again churches are focusing on fine art as a way of connecting with people and pointing them to Jesus.
Recently I visited a church where film and sculpture reinforced the morning message (Video – Out of the Dust) and where the following “flash mob “ video showed how art could drop unexpectedly into the world of Christmas shopping. Please watch the video. Then comment about how the arts can make us better leaders and people-builders.