The arts are uniquely capable of moving people on an emotional level. I believe that in a worship service, we should allow the preaching and teaching to do what they do best, and employ the arts to focus where they are strongest. We come to church to learn about truth, but also to be inspired, to be lifted, and to be moved. And the arts move us! Our goal should be to prepare artistic elements that have the potential to become transcendent moments - moments which the Holy Spirit has unmistakably anointed and which can lead to life transformation.
So in what ways do the arts move us? There is a broad spectrum of possible emotions in worship. Not all of these emotions would be evident every week. Here's at least a starter list of the ways the arts can move us:
- Toward beauty - lifting our spirits as we are inspired by creation;
- Toward celebration - freeing us to express joy and gratitude;
- Toward justice - stirring within us a righteous kind of anger to make things right in this broken world;