This semester the children of FBCX have the opportunity on Wednesday afternoons to participate in Worship Arts Workshops. Creative people from our church have shared or will share with us about their creative outlets. This a chance to connect with our own creativity and also explore how art and worship are bound up together. Here are some of our takeaways so far.
Being made in God’s image, we are made to create! When we dig our hands in the dirt to plant flowers, we remember the God who molded humanity out of dirt in the first garden. When we explore how colors interact with one another and affect our feelings, we commune with the God who paints a rainbow across the sky as a promise of love. When we bake flaky biscuits, we recall the story of God providing manna each morning when God’s people were hungry. Tapping into our creative spirit is not counter to reverence; it’s tapping into the very spark of creation we each carry.
Art, like worship, is personal. We each find God in different ways, whether that’s through prayer, song, Bible study, nature, or something else. In the same way, some of us may connect with one form of artistic creation better than others, and that’s okay because there are practically limitless options! The child who could have patiently kneaded bread dough for hours so it turned out just right may be content to dump dirt in a pot with a flower and call it a day. Meanwhile, the child who was more interested in eating than making bread may have approached gardening with a deep curiosity about soil, roots, and proper weather conditions before picking out just the right plant to cherish at home.
Art, like worship, is also communal. While we may connect with God differently, we don’t seclude ourselves, but rather come together as a church family to lift one another up as we worship. In the same way, our creations are made to be shared. Whether it’s a creation that brings joy just by looking at it like a painting or planter, something that meets a need like therapeutic movement or a quilt for one who is cold in the winter, or something used in communal worship like a loaf of communion bread or an altar-scape, our art spreads the love of God when we share it.
Finally, there is freedom in thinking outside the box. Not only are children expanding their understanding of what worship can be, but also what art can be. Even the realm of creativity can get bogged down by what is correct and whether a final “product” is right or wrong. But when exploring creativity we realize the only way to be “right” is to be open. When let loose to create, children make art that brings them such delight that it must be divine, even if it would never end up in a museum. It is my prayer that this freedom in expression is encouraged as children join God’s good work in the world, and that I am able to learn from their example.
Thank you to those who have and will continue to share their artistic outlets with the children! And thank you to First Baptist Church of Christ for providing this space for our young ones as we remain committed to our calling to “Nurture, Love, and Serve All.”