How To Impact Culture Creatively
So, where to start? The topics of culture and faith, creativity and the church seem again to be causing discomfort and challenge amongst believers. Alternative values and worldviews are thrust violently in our faces. In the relatively few words I have, I hope to add something of value to the conversation.
Firstly, it is clear that ‘culture’ (which I am taking to mean the expression through art, music or literature of a set of beliefs and values) is of extreme value to the Father. Our engagement as believers in ‘cultural activity’ is paramount to the expansion of the kingdom and an important witness to those who have yet to encounter Jesus. It is easy to talk in theoretical terms; but the crux of the matter is being able to translate a desire to affect the world into actual reality. So, how does this happen?
A creative idea
At university, a group of us suddenly realised we had within our immediate community a large amount of musical and artistic potential that was being wasted, simply because it had no outlet. We felt we had something that could act as a vehicle for furthering God’s kingdom in the form of original music and unique events that we did at significant times of the year (i.e. Christmas and Valentines Day.) Our objective was to help people to encounter Jesus through our creativity and focus on excellence. For some reason, God really gave it momentum and life and it put us into a place where we were playing regularly at university and college events.
Community and excellence
This is just one expression of how God can work but I think there are some principles that are critical to being effective for Jesus in culture. Community is critical. Believers who are isolated are vulnerable. Being part of a community where friendship and relationships are deep and strong give strength to the pursuit of a vision or purpose for culture. Excellence is another key value integral to effectively affecting culture. Push creative boundaries; dare to develop ideas further. By the same token, excellence is not perfectionism (needing to perform out of fear), so lets continually trust that God is able to flow through us.
Touch a world that needs answers
If you feel a desire to express your relationship with God through a creative and cultural medium, then go for it because it’s God’s desire that culture points to Him. Find the likeminded people who will push you to express your pursuit of Christ in artistic ways and submit your talents to them so that what you create can touch a world that needs answers.
Here’s what we did:
I hope that helps just a little bit. Oh, and here is the link to one of the tracks we produced … hopefully it will encourage and inspire you too.
* The main image for this article is the design we used to promote 'Lovegig,' one of our music events.
14th March 2013 News