Earlier this year, Fuller Theological Seminary professor of theology and culture David Taylor posted on Twitter: “After teaching classes on the vocation of an artist for years now, I’ve noticed a pattern in how Christians talk about their art-making process: it’s either over-spiritualized or under-spiritualized. God seemingly suffocates the integrity of the work or remains an afterthought.”

Taylor’s tweet sparked a conversation between him and veteran singer-songwriter Sara Groves about her upbringing in the Pentecostal tradition and how her beliefs on creativity and inspiration have shifted throughout her 20-year career.

David Taylor (DT): When did you first start to rethink inspiration as it related to your music? And how did your Pentecostal background influence your thinking?

Sara Groves (SG): I remember my first major tour with Michael Card. After the concerts he would overhear listeners giving me compliments about what I had shared and how that would launch me into a deep self-deprecating, almost penitent mode. He approached me later to say, “You know, you and I, we are not our gifts. We get to be co-celebrators with the audience. They say, ‘that song really helped me,’ and we get to say, ‘it helped me too’.” That idea lifted my head and was the beginning of my journey to find a better framework for inspiration and gifts; it created a separate space where creativity was the invitation, a collaboration with God.

I think much of the over-spiritualized talk around the creative process came from my attempts to signal that I recognized my worminess. No one feels able to claim rights ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.