Here at JCC we worship a God who is wonderfully creative, and loves to create! (Genesis 1:1, Psalm 104:24-25; Isaiah 42:5) We are blessed to have many members of our church that are gifted creatively, talented musicians, dancers and choreographers, artists, poets and many more! It is clear that the Holy Spirit inspires people to worship in many different ways, and it’s important to us as a worship team at JCC that we create an environment during corporate worship which allows creativity to flow freely and be expressed as part of our worship times.
Why bring creative arts into worship?
Recently we met as a wider worship team to pray and worship together, and as part of this evening we talked about some of our hopes and dreams for worship at JCC. One of the dreams shared by many of the team was to see the entire congregation, young and old, guests and members, all celebrating and worshiping with freedom on a Sunday morning. Part of trying to cultivate this kind of environment in worship means giving space for creative individuals to feel free to express themselves fully in our times of corporate worship; it also means doing all we can to allow the people of God to pour their hearts out to him in worship.
One thing it is important to be clear on however, is that we are not seeking to provide people with a way to separate themselves from the way we currently worship corporately. We believe it is important that our worship is expressed through song, that the scriptures compel us to ‘sing to the Lord a new song…and make a joyful noise to the Lord’ (Psalm 98:1-4). We also want to make sure that creativity is expressed in the right way, and that we are not creating something to be worshipped, God is and always will be the sole focus of our worship times. We love to see creative expression in worship, but it needs to be pointing to and worshipping God, and in no way replacing or distracting from him.
Our vision for creative arts at JCC
To encourage the success of using creative arts as part of worship here at JCC it is important to establish clear vision, to help us see what this might look like.
- One area in which we are passionate about allowing people to worship is through movement; this will involve creating space for individuals to worship through movement as part of our corporate worship on a Sunday. We recognise that we have some gifted choreographers and dancers within our membership. It is our aim to encourage them to use this gifting to enhance our larger church events such as Christmas and Easter celebrations, by creating movement pieces which celebrate God’s love for us, and lift people’s eyes to him.
- We also love to see our children and young people involved in worship as much as possible, and we love to encourage their creative gifting to grow and flourish. In the past we have provided opportunities for the use of flags and easy to use musical instruments to encourage this, and we hope to do so again in the near future.
- We want to create opportunities for the Holy Spirit to move through the gifting of creative individuals. Our long term vision for using art as part of our Sunday services would be to see the Holy Spirit stirring artists to create prophetic pieces of art and using the creative gifting of our members to speak to the hearts of the people of God.
- Finally, we want to see increased freedom during our worship times. As we introduce creative arts into our worship here at JCC we want to cultivate a worship environment in which all people feel able to worship using the gifting with which God has blessed them, in an environment of worship in which the Holy Spirit is so obviously present and the power of God is at work among us.