Art in the Ruthlessly Simple Church

When I talk about a ruthlessly simple church I envision a gathering of believers that is not program-heavy or particularly fixated on Sunday morning. There isn’t one form that a ruthlessly simple church must take, but it will certainly have Jesus at the center.

The arts have suffered greatly in the environs of the pragmatic, program-focused church of late, and so I’ve been wondering if there is any place for artistic expression, particularly worship in a ruthlessly simple church.

Obviously many church gatherings have music in one form or another, but I’m also wondering about painting, photography, graphic design, poetry, or whatever else may qualify as artistic expression within the limits of what is generally considered art.

If a church group desires to remain small and simple the obvious choice is to create a partnership with a local library, art gallery, or some other institution with wall space. Many local nonprofits and libraries are eager to hang art on their walls and to even host a complete exhibition.

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One thought on “Art in the Ruthlessly Simple Church

  1. Adam Malliet

    While Circle of Hope may not be ruthlessly simple in the manner you are speaking, using art in the service is always encouraged.

    Artists regularly contribute art specific to the “theme” of the night. Of course, music is used, but often times in untraditional ways… original music, instrumentals, mainstream pop songs, etc… For Advent a film student produced a video for each week. I read poetry for a service, which led to the poet visiting and sharing his poetry in person. Each meeting is a new opportunity for the congregation to participate in an art project that is worshipful.

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