Monday, December 7, 2020

Using Sanctified Art

If you’re looking for ways to make your streaming worship services more engaging and memorable, using visuals is the way to go.  Not just putting words on a screen, but adding pictures or visual art that show those words and concepts. 

The visual medium of whatever platform you’re using for “distance” worship begs for pictures and visual art. Otherwise, you’re just doing a version of radio, streaming a lot of words. If we’re going to use Zoom or Facebook Live or other platforms well, and if we really want to connect with our people, adding visuals is a must.

Most worship leaders have figured out how to do that, but it can be tiring to come up with those visual resources week after week. This is where a group I’ve recently learned about comes in. The women at have figured it out.  

Here’s what they, and all of us, know about worship today:

“Pastors are overworked and volunteers are exhausted; when push comes to shove, creativity can often go out the door. Faith leaders need the support of artists and creatives to midwife artful, God-breathed ministry.”

And this is where they come in: their website is full of original art and music that stand alone or illustrate seasonal and theme-based worship services.  I’m very impressed with what I see here. Not only are the visuals beautiful and pleasing to the eye, but they also contain messages of inclusivity with a prophetic voicing that addresses the central issues we face as society and people, all rooted in scripture.

They provide music and hymn ideas for the season, an image licensing library, liturgy, poetry, and films, even resources for complete sermon series, all the while “...committed to expanding imagination around the divine image and providing resources with inclusive and affirming theology.”

Their stated core values are: 

The unique creativity of all people. 

Created in the image of the Divine Artist, every person contains the capacity for    creativity and imagination.

The inherent goodness of all humans, regardless of identity, race, nationality,    sexuality, status, or gender expression.

The good news of the gospel that calls us to work toward liberation and wholeness for all of creation.

I find their artistic standards to be right and true:

Expansive language for God and God’s people

Imaginative images for God and God’s people

Honesty and authenticity

Anti-oppression and anti-racism

Today’s online (and in-person) worship, often reduced to a lot of words, invites, in a visual culture, resources that capture attention, stimulate imaginations, and motivate personal and social change.  

A Sanctified Art! is one group you’ll want to explore.