I’m a Visual Artist: Here’s How I Wish My Gifts Could Be Used in Church

Written by Peyton T. Robbins

Peyton T. Robbins is currently a junior at Samford University studying as a Studio Art major and a University Fellow. He intends to pursue a PhD in Art History after graduation. After moving from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas to attend college at, he revived his fire and passion for the Lord and for the arts. As a student resident for the Samford Center for Worship and the Arts, Peyton regularly engages this meaningful intersection of worship and art to bring glory to God. He attends Mountain Brook Community Church in South Birmingham. See Peyton's growing collection of artwork here: https://www.peytontrobbins.com/.

The first verb in the canonical Bible is create. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Many of us are familiar with Genesis 1:1 as the opening line to the Bible. Rather than revisiting the creation story, let’s delve into the concept of being made in God’s image as creators ourselves. After all, we were created to be creators.

Chances are, your church features musical art (in the form of corporate worship) as a large part of its weekly service, and music is a wonderful tool to use God-given creative aspects to edify, encourage, equip, and exhort the church, while directing glory to God.

Hanging Pear, closeup

Similarly, but in more subtle ways, your church also likely utilizes visual art every week, perhaps in the form of lyric slides, worship guides, digital newsletters, and church architecture features. All of these are useful and appropriate means of visual art contribution, but they are not necessarily fully utilizing the potential of visual arts. Creating comes in all shapes, sizes, and mediums – and it would be wise to explore ALL these different artistic forms. It is even more important to consider the stewardship of gifts and talents the Lord has entrusted to your own congregation – and to encourage ALL artists within your church community to express themselves and their faith using their creative gifts.

Hurricane

I personally believe churches need to do a much better job of encouraging current visual artists and raising up the next generation of artists who desire to serve the church with their gifts. However, there seems, at times, to be a negative stigma associated with entering the visual arts field. Like many churches across the world, my home church valued the contributions of musical art over visual art. I remember one church leader even warning the church that visual art is a field “filled with darkness.”

This claim, whether it is true or not, is certainly discouraging to young believers who are passionate about the arts. Hearing these negative words was incredibly hurtful to my motivation and my passion to create, and I even contemplated stepping away from pursuing an artistic career entirely. I believe the visual arts field is only as dark as we make it out to be. We need to encourage the next generation of visual artists who are also believers in Christ to go out and be a light to the world, no matter how much darkness may or may not surround them.

Hurricane, closeup

Encouraging visual artists is not as hard as you may think. There are multiple ways of including the visual arts into worship services and many scriptures that can be used as encouragement for these young artistic believers. A student interested in graphic design could be invited to work with the tech team to create slides for worship. Or a student interested in drawing, painting, or sculpture could create illustrative or inspirational artwork to display during the service or out in the foyer. These are only a few examples of bringing the visual arts into a church that both glorifies God and encourages young artists.

If you don’t have the space to incorporate physical artwork into your church, you can always give an encouraging word to the young artists in your congregation and remind them of their God-given talents and abilities. Verses like Exodus 35:31-35 can be used to remind artists that all their work, whether 3-dimension with metal or wood or stone, 2-dimension with engraving or designing, or even verbally through the art of creative teaching, were gifted to them by God.

And he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with wisdom, with understanding, with knowledge and with all kinds of skills to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze.

–Exodus 35:31-32 (NIV)

It is crucial that we give the next generation of artists in our churches the confidence to create boldly and use their skills to proclaim the glory of God. What steps can you take within your own realm of influence to consider encouraging young visual artists within your own congregation?

Posted on December 20, 2023 to the Center for Worship and the Arts at Samford University blog post https://www.samford.edu/worship-arts/blog/2023/Im-a-Visual-Artist-Heres-How-I-Wish-My-Gifts-Could-Be-Used-in-Church Posted on March 14, 2023 to Peyton T. Robbins’ personal website blog post https://www.peytontrobbins.com/blog/im-a-visual-artist-heres-how-i-wish-my-gifts-could-be-used-in-church

<h2><a href="https://makingglory.com/author/peytonrobbins/" target="_self">Peyton T. Robbins</a></h2>

Peyton T. Robbins

Peyton T. Robbins is currently a junior at Samford University studying as a Studio Art major and a University Fellow. He intends to pursue a PhD in Art History after graduation. After moving from Dallas/Fort Worth, Texas to attend college at, he revived his fire and passion for the Lord and for the arts. As a student resident for the Samford Center for Worship and the Arts, Peyton regularly engages this meaningful intersection of worship and art to bring glory to God. He attends Mountain Brook Community Church in South Birmingham. See Peyton's growing collection of artwork here: https://www.peytontrobbins.com/.

You may also like…

Keeping Missions Alive through Art

Keeping Missions Alive through Art

It is easy for churches to focus on the work that is being done during missional moments and not take time to reflect on that work. Perhaps a slideshow is presented about the work that was done, but humans require time to wrestle with complex thoughts and need multiple passes at ideas before they are fully grasped.

What is Worship?

What is Worship?

Our goal is to hear the signal better.  The signal is God. The will of God, the love of God, the presence of God. 

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Stay informed with Making Glory's weekly e-newsletter - your essential source of concise updates, delivering exactly what you need to know.

You have Successfully Subscribed!