Is Artistic Leadership Necessary?

Artistic leadership in biblical times was necessary for instruction and admonition. Throughout the Prophetic Books of the Bible one sees serious dramatic teaching, instructing, and admonishing. This was done through media (vision), story and parable and with a view to engaging both the content/information God wanted communicated and the relational interaction God expects from His believers. Consider this:

  • God’s communication to Pharaoh via Moses’ multi-media confrontations (e.g., Ex 7:10ff)

  • God’s pastoral counseling through David’s Psalms (e.g., the entire Book of Psalms)

  • God’s instructions on life and living through Solomon’s proverbs and epic poems (Proverbs, Ecclesiastes, Song of Solomon

  • God’s warnings through the Laments of Ezekiel (e.g., Ez. 19) and the allegories of Ezekiel (Ez. 16)

  • God’s prophetic calls to Israel through Isaiah’s poetry (most of the entire Book of Isaiah)

  • God’s prophetic announcements through the dramas of Jeremiah (e.g., Jer. 13, 18, 19, 27)

  • God’s instruction to all Creation through the Incarnation for Messiah Jesus (The Gospels)

  • God’s instruction about Himself and His Kingdom through Jesus’ parables (e.g., Luke 14-18)

  • God’s Revelation of The End Times and the New Heaven and Earth through John’s Revelation (The Revelation of John).

Is Artistic Leadership Necessary?

In the Exodus 35 passage revealing the work of the craftsman—the artistic expression specialist, the imagination, and emotions specialist—it clearly reveals that God has designed specialized Kingdom servants to serve His believing community.

The Church in the postmodern cultures of today’s world faces the challenge of making God’s reality through Jesus Christ an unavoidable issue. Consequently, the Church should realize that contextualized worship and artistic ministry strategies are central to accomplishing the biblical mandates of world evangelization before it. So many things about God—His accessibility, His worship, His reality, His healing, His help—must be addressed artistically. There is no doubt that God is stimulating contextual worship and arts ministry and raising up artistic Christians who want to make a difference for Him in today’s world.

With these things in mind, we should embrace the same practice of imagination as the writer of Psalm 150 did centuries ago. May this Psalm of David remind all who wrestle with the theology of imagination and artist expression that God is beautiful, pure, majestic, good, holy, powerful, hesed-loving, and supreme. They should be reminded that worship requires imagination to see more clearly into the realities of the GLORY of the fullness of HIM who is truly is. So with that:

“Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens. Praise him for his acts of power; praise him for his surpassing greatness. Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre, praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute, praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals. Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.” Psalm 150, NIV

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