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Welcome. We hope you find helpful information and make new friends here.  Our desire is to provide a platform with which to connect Christian artists.

If you came to check out possible training schools, find new resources, meet others involved in arts ministries around the world, or to get inspired by what others are doing, we think you’ll find interesting opportunities.

Please contact us with ideas – ideas for new resources we should make people aware of, or ministry opportunities available, or just with comments or questions.

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An Artist's Impression

When I was writing my Masters Dissertation I focused it on how the visual Arts in today's world can be used to communicate the gospel to a visually orientated generation.  One aspect of the study was looking at the Orthodox Churches approach to Iconography.  I am not Orthodox (either with a big O or a small one!) but I am always open to learning new dimensions to God’s character from streams different than my own.  I found one definition of iconography that described it as 'Windows of perception upon the Divine' (McGrath 1999:17).  I just love this definition as it describes the use of an artistic portal that enables the onlooker to gain deeper revelation as to who God is.  I believe kingdom redeemed art to have exactly this potential in today's world.

I won't go into too much more detail as perhaps all of the non-artists among you are probably switching off! My premise in helping artists think about themselves as missionaries is that although art has different dimensions to it, the core of it is about communication. Artists are communicators and they use the medium of art to convey whatever thoughts or messages they are wanting to bring across to the world.

Missionaries are also communicators. But the differences between how these two types of people operate and function are considerable. Missionaries tend to stick to traditional forms of communication hoping that the message is powerful enough on its own. Artists are a little more complex and dare I say it, left field, in how they convey a potential truth. They use shock tactics, abstract ideas, questions, protest, metaphor, story and philosophy mixed with colour and form to invite people into their world. Sounds like a description of Jesus to me...

Could we possibly learn from this approach? 

The Lord has been leading me in this season to go deeper in storytelling and narrative; both orally as well as visually.  Unusually, He has also been leading me to look at the Impressionist movement in the 19th century. An artistic period that includes well known artists such as Monet, Cézanne and van Gogh. When these artists and many more like them started to explore new ways to paint and create work, it was a shock to the arts world, and more so to the public. Their new methodology, although beautiful to us today, broke all of the conventional rules of the day. It was viewed as lazy, unfinished, anarchic and revolutionary. A book that I am reading at the moment quotes some of the responses from critics of the day. They were accused of:

'Sending the public mad, frightening the enemy in battle and causing women to miscarry'!

Wow.  Just from painting pictures a little differently?

In reality, these artist communicators were looking at the world around them through a different lens.  They were asking questions about the status quo that no one else was asking at that time.  It is no surprise that the bourgeoisie of the day did not appreciate being challenged with regards to their morality or particular view of main stream Western society.  Hard to believe today but it took 20 years of consistency before the public began to notice them, much longer for these ideas to take root in society, and then begin to transform it.  You might not be an artist but I implore you to consider this for a moment - these artists were communicating philosophical ideals and challenging what they viewed as wrong and unjust in the world around them.  It took a life time, and more, for all of them but they did it and radically changed the future of western society.  The knock on effects of this touched upon new truth forms, relationships, politics, social structure, religion, architecture......the list is endless.  

The visual arts within our society are more powerful and pervading than they ever have been as a form of communication. How are we releasing artists within YWAM in Western Europe to do the same? How are we encouraging our artists to explore the message that might be within them? 

As I said in the beginning, these are principals of communication and all of us are called to communicate truth, to live it, to describe it in multiple dimensions. How do you communicate truth, or live it, or describe it to the world around you? How does your YWAM community? Have you slipped into tired traditional forms of communication? 

We live in a world that is like a truth sponge that is open to almost anything, soaking up everything that is thrown at them. The potential for abuse in this horrifies me to be honest. Let us join in with this dialogue and help people sift through all the confusing messages that are floating around. But more than that, let us think about how bold we are in challenging the status quo and the creative ways that we might speak into it.

You are a 


Jesus was the master at this. He planted seeds of truth in people’s hearts that took root and unfolded over time and gradually changed society; fuelling a movement that is with us today. The artists I mentioned took 20 years just to get started and only saw real fruit towards the ends of their lives. We also need to be realistic about the journey ahead and to find courage to launch into it with Godly passion and creative commitment.  

Remember, you are a communicator, so take this revelation seriously and do something about it.

Lots of love

Carl - YWAM Western European Leader