I recently heard about how the Assemblies of God denomination is committed to raising up the youth to use their God-given talents in the area of the fine arts. Every year, they have the festival in a different major city in the United States. In August 2010, they had their national Fine Arts Festival in Detroit.
The festival’s mission is to “help students discover, develop and deploy their ministry gifts.” Each year, there are close to 70,000 junior and senior high school students who submit their entries. It is an incredible display of talents and creativity. There are 8 major sections in this festival. They cover the topics of: Drama, Dance, Art, Instrumental, Communication, Writing, Vocal, and Exhibition. Under those major sections there are about 58 different categories to specialize in.
In fact, it is quite breath-taking to see all the talents and gifts displayed in one place.
I am wondering how many churches really value cultivating creativity. How many young people are released to use their talent for God’s glory in the church? I know that in our church we can definitely improve in this area. But I have been encouraged to see more of the young people in our church really have a passion to use their gifts and talents for evangelism and for His glory.
It is in the church where we should see some of the most creative people. If God is the ultimate Creative Creator, then His children, who are made in His image, should be creating some beautiful things.
As I was reflecting on my life, I realized that I am definitely a “closet artist” (a.k.a. I love the arts but I’m trying really hard to keep my cool gangster image). I remember how I have enjoyed making things with my hands (model airplanes… yes, even sewing a soccer ball pillow from scratch for home economics in 8th grade). I think about the one-person drama that I did in the 1980’s with Carmen’s song, “The Champion” (painted my face half white and half red to represent God and Satan). I remember how my small group in college did a drama during Praise Night that went through the Gospel message from creation to the cross, through the use of a puppet imagery with strings (since then this skit has been redone in many different ways).
In this generation, where people are more artist than ever before, I am thinking that it would be awesome to cultivate more of the creativity in the Body of Christ. As Chuck Colson once said, “The next Billy Graham in our generation will be an artist,” I am praying that God will raise up people who will use their artistic skills to share the Gospel message to the people and nations in our generation.
This is why, when I saw this drama presentation from the National Fine Arts Festival which was held in Detroit this past year, it moved me and stirred up my passion for the arts. This drama raised the bar for drama presentations to a whole new level.
Check it out: