I met this afternoon with one of the musicians who has played at our LifePoint Cafe. She was bringing me a stack of CD’s for us to put out at our CityFest booth on August 13. We had a wonderful little visit, catching up on how things are going with her career.
After she left, I reflected on something that has long been a passion of mine — creating an artist-friendly environment at LifePoint. I would love to see LifePoint become a place where artists are not only welcomed but where they take up residence. A place where they return to draw spiritual strength and support. A place where their creativity is encouraged and challenged to have redemptive value.
I think of what the Belmont Church was in the 1970s and 1980s as artists from the Nashville area began attending. A more recent example would be Mosaic in Los Angeles. Both seemed to foster an environment where the artist felt at home.
I believe it’s hard for most churches to create an artist-friendly environment because most churches are not artist-friendly. “Creative arts” in many churches simply means the music they use. It’s not a holistic, all-encompassing approach.
As I think through the various churches in San Diego, not many jump out as “artist friendly” churches. Certainly not among artists in their 20s and 30s. The work of many of these same artists have very spiritual undertones. Unfortunately, they don’t feel a need to root themselves in a faith community. Or maybe they tried and didn’t feel at home.
My hope is that God will use LifePoint to become that kind of faith community. And we’re getting there …
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Had a chance to visit with the folks at Vineyard last week up in Boise, ID. They have a very impressive Christian arts program going, including healing arts, drama, poetry, photography, and artwork ministries (not to mention Vineyard’s well known music arts ministry). I was there for an environmental conference, and interestingly enough, they recognized that just as God demonstrates His character through Creation, He has given us creative abilities that glorify Him and bless others.
I live-blogged the conference here. If you want more info, drop me a note and I’ll hook you up with their Christian arts folks.
Grace and peace,