I do not claim any artistic talents. I leave that to others in my family, including my brother, Joe, my late husband, Raouf, and my boys. I stand in awe of their artistic giftings. My area of art is writing, but I’ll leave it to others to say if it’s a gift or not. Whatever the case, wherever your own personal artistic talent lies, did you know it can be used to build bridges for the gospel?
A bridge is anything that connects us with another person and allows us to walk in the direction of Jesus.
To understand this concept of bridge building is to realize the huge variety of avenues we have at our disposal in giving witness for Christ. For many, like my husband, conversations, stories, and questions were his go-to tools for bridge-building. He could talk to anyone about the commonest of topics and lead to spiritual truth and a gospel presentation. This is the way many people look at witness—it happens through words.
While we need words, we do not have to start with words to build a bridge.
This is where art comes in. As a carpenter, my husband sought out many a woodworker to purchase materials for his various projects. Handling wood, comparing techniques, and discussing projects opened doors and built a bridge. To get a person to cross a bridge, they have to find a reason to start the journey. A mutual love of art is a beautiful place to begin.
Many in cross-cultural service use art to connect with people on a deeper level. I’ve seen Christian artists painting in public places. Sometimes their work has a spiritual meaning that opens conversations, but other times, it’s just a common scene that draws people to ask questions. Teaching art to children or in a studio builds relationships and bridges to witness. Seeking out recording artists or actors for special projects introduces them to spiritual topics. A sewing class or crochet, knitting, or embroidery group opens doors as hearts are encouraged by a common skill.
We serve a creative God.
We are able to make and design because our Heavenly Father did so first. He is the source for any creative gifting we may have, and it is to him we point with our art and love for beauty. How do conversations about art or around art you’re doing draw others to God? Have you thought about how you can use your special gifts or talents to build relationships that lead to witness?
A bridge is meant to be crossed.
What is the point of building a bridge if it leads nowhere? As you connect with others through your art, think about how you can not only begin spiritual conversations but lead others to hear the truth of the gospel.
- Working with wood? Did you know Jesus was a carpenter? He left his profession for a greater purpose—to make a way of salvation for mankind.
- Painting a landscape? Can you imagine what it was like for God to speak the first landscape into being? In order to do that, he had to first bring light into existence. Jesus is the ultimate light of life who will dispel all darkness upon his return.
- Working with clay? Do you know the first person who molded something out of clay? God! When he formed man from the dust of the earth. He did that to have a relationship with you. Sin messed it up, but Jesus came to restore it.
- Making videos or movies? Have you ever thought about what the film of your life looks like? How will it end? God wants to give you a happy ending. You can have that through Christ.
- Play an instrument? Did you know that there are instruments in the Bible? Songs too? What does your music honor? The world or God? Jesus wants to turn your music into a beautiful melody to his glory.
I pray that as you make, create, design, play, and sing, you will see ways God can use your art for his purposes.
Grace and Peace