I had an interesting conversation today at the Center. It's interesting on two fronts because to me it is a delicate balance between post modern church and Christendom as well as a balance between artistic and more practical people. This is a slight on neither, just observation and hopefully a conversation starter.
I had suggested that we invite artists in our congregation to take part in our worship by adding their art in whichever capacity that meant. We've been good at recruiting new singers to add their ministry, but what about the artists that used other mediums. the painters sculptors poets dancers etc. And the conversation came up, what if it doesn't match the vision of our congregation?
This is a fair question. What if a given person's artistic vision didn't match that of our congregation. It would be insulting to turn away their gift and that could cause a rift/division that could be harmful to that persons relationship with the church. But on the other side of the coin it would be difficult as a person working at the church to lift up something that didn't fit along with the vision of the church.
The other interesting aspect is those in our congregation that are more traditionalist and interested in becoming "just another Lutheran church." Would they outright reject any new artistic expression during worship or in our worship space?
Lots of potential issues here. I'm certain that this kind of debate has kept creative arts out of worship spaces across the world. What are your experiences with artistic expression in worship? Positive or negative experiences?
i'm going to keep pondering this a while.