On Using Visual Arts: Through the Eyes of Jesus

Pressing Forward from where we've come

When I began learning to worship the Lord in new ways, what a process it was to actually get free!  There was so much to learn - and it to me it was a delight and a mystery to be unraveled!!


I have an early memory of dancing in worship with my sister, Candy.  At times during a worship service we would feel as though we were chained into a box - a little box of about 2 square feet - afraid to move outside of that box.  When that happened, we would look at each other and literally RUN to the back of the sanctuary and dance around like mad women - shaking it all off!  It looked and felt crazy, but it worked!!  We would be free of the shackles and ready to press forward, always learning new ways to express our love to Him, increasing our dance language.


Over the years most of us  have gradually freed ourselves from fear of rejection and fear of offending.  And, happily, we have moved on from wearing the very restrictive "dance garments" that we used to wear (trussed up like Thanksgiving turkeys!) We welcome and enjoy a more free, relaxed style. Our expressive movements are broadly varied and we have gained much ground in our dance language.  Much of our progress has come from focusing vertically, each dancer or movement artist working on developing his or her personal love relationship with the Lord - and now, we have some to a place of liberty and even confidence in our ministry.

Now what?

Now we have much freedom!  At my church there is a culture of freedom in movement during worship.  We support the arts and welcome their use in the worship of our Jesus - He is worthy of it all!


And here we are, totally focused on God - totally going vertical - totally free in ourselves - eager to move out into ministry during praise and worship whenever we see an opening or feel that we've "got something" to express.  All of the movement artists, flaggers, signers, etc. are concentrated in one place - down in the front of the sanctuary, worshiping, watching, waiting for a chance to do our thing... loving being where the "glory spout" is - while the puzzled, non-churched and confused people sit in the back of the building, wondering,  "What in the world is going on?  Why are they jumping around?  And what's with the flags?  It's distracting!"  These ones that Jesus also loves are unconnected and uninterested in what we are doing.


It's time to SHIFT.


God's heart is so big, and He is so unwilling to let the lost and disenfranchised to do without while a few of us dive into the glory. It is time to change our focus from "just me and God" (vertical) to "what does Jesus want to do in the house tonight?" (horizontal)  Let's ask ourselves, "Where is the Lord working, right now?  What do His eyes see?  Who does He want to touch, heal, speak to right now?"  And then we DO what we see Him doing!!  Take our worship to the back of the room, to the aisles, to someone who needs to sense His presence.  


Are we willing to die to ourselves, and become His hands, His feet, His eyes, His heart - and watch Him move through us to bring others to life?




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