While recently spending hours online trying to recall a song from the mid-90s, I was reminded how art plays a significant role in my faith.
While a fervent or well-written message can move me, songs, instrumentals, paintings, photographs and performances are the memories that anchor my faith. For instance, I can’t remember the sermon the night I accepted Christ, but I vividly remember the invitation hymn.
The Christian arts is a vast area to cover in one column. Yet, there are some sites that can help you experience many creative facets of our faith. The best list I have found for arts resources is the I Lift My Eyes Ministries link directory (psalm121.ca/links.html).
Art: Many art and photography sites are limited to one person’s work. Not so with classical visual art based on religious themes at religious-art.org, or at Biblical Art on the WWW (biblical-art.com) to search by scripture passage or theme.
Start your search for stained glass art examples in the links section of the Artists in Stained Glass organization (aisg.on.ca).
Music: Listen to artists you like at no cost on a streaming service such as Grooveshark.com or Pandora.com where you can find recommendations on artists and songs of several styles — from gospel to choral. RadioTuna.com searches for online radio stations, and Musicovery.com uses mood to aid searches. To “take what you get,” visit AccuRadio’s Contemporary music channels (accuradio.com/christiancontemporary), KLOVE.com or AIR1.com . More about music genres and lyrics can be found at christianmusic.about.com.
Worship ideas: Calvin College’s Institute of Christian Worship (calvin.edu/worship/visual_arts ) is designed to be used as a “catalyst for the study and practice of using visual arts in worship.” Encourage children with create-your-own art sites for music at The Music Lab (SFSKids.org ) or National Gallery of Art’s Art Zone (nga.gov/kids ).
Festivals and workshops: Encouraging artists also can enrich our faith. Christian-movie.com promotes Christ through the film industry and lists festivals such as 168project.com , where teams make a film in 168 hours (seven days). In Missouri, a fall Write About Jesus workshop for songwriters (write aboutjesus.com ) is offered annually. This year’s event will be held at First Baptist Church, Harvester, St. Charles. Or create your own music online at the free JamStudio.com . Finally, Animoto.com is a tool that allows you to create fast-paced music videos from your photos and video clips.
Support: Believers can support and pray for artists and their craft. Artists can support one another through organizations such as the Christian Performing Arts Fellowship (christianperformingart.org ) and Christians in the Visual Arts (civa.org ). The evangelistic Artists in Christian Testimony (actinternational.org ) sends out, equips and supports artistic ministers and missionaries. There are prayer organizations primarily for artists, such as Hollywood Prayer Network (hollywoodprayernetwork.org ) with chapters in Branson and Joplin, Hollywood Connect (hollywoodconnect.com ) and Mastermedia International (mastermediaintl.org ). The first two contain a list of other Christian arts organizations, and the latter, a prayer guide.
Since Adam’s naming the animals in Genesis, God has given His people a passion to create. The variety of sites here can help you experience or produce memorable creations. Share them as a way to inspire others to do the same.
Ken Satterfield is advertising and marketing coordinator for Word&Way.