A Biblical Theology of Creative Excellence
Updated: Sep 1, 2022
The first five words of the Bible are, “In the beginning God created…” The greatest book ever written, that tells us the story of our heavenly Father, first tells us that God created. God is the ultimate craftsman, and yet, it seems that craftsmanship in the church has always been a bit of a sticking point for many churches. Certainly, there are barriers that each church has and as staff and volunteers in churches, we often find ourselves doing jobs for which we may not be qualified. But regardless, we should always seek out the highest level of excellence in all that we do.
As someone who works in production and the arts in church, I’ve encountered many people who feel that it’s all too much, that all of the lights and music and graphics and videos are getting in the way of what God wants to do. I would argue that the things we create are not only important to God, but are a reflection of his nature as a creator and that excellence in these areas is even mandated to God’s people.
In the book of Exodus, we find God’s people stranded in the wilderness. When it becomes clear that they will be in this situation for a while, God begins to give Moses instructions on the building of his temple, the place where his presence will dwell and his people can come to be with him. For multiple chapters, we see God direct Moses to different people across the Israelite camp whom God has given the skills to create all of the specific elements of the temple. It is clear that excellence in the creation of these elements was essential to God. Exodus 31:3, speaking about one of these craftsmen, reads, “I have filled him with the Spirit of God in wisdom, in understanding, in knowledge, and in all kinds of craftsmanship.” If it was so important to God that his temple be created with excellence, then why do we not operate under that same mindset now in the way that our services look and sound?
Psalms 19:1 reads, “The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.” This and many other verses in the Bible talk about how creation is a reflection of the nature and beauty of God. That’s why I believe that everything we create is so important and should be handled with care and reverence. Not only are the things that we create a reflection of God’s nature, but we become a reflection of God when we allow him into our creative process. Proverbs 8:30 reads, “Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; and I was daily His delight, rejoicing always before him.” When we create alongside God, he is able to mold us into master craftsmen, and he loves it!
So we know that Biblically, God delights in us as master craftsmen. Not only that, but he equips us with the knowledge and skills we need in order to serve him in a way that is excellent. I would even argue that excellence is something that he requires of us. Exodus 28:3 says, “Tell all the skilled workers to whom I have given wisdom in such matters that they are to make garments for Aaron, for his consecration, so he may serve me as a priest.” How incredible is it that the quality of Aaron’s priestly garment was so important to God that he gave the knowledge and skill to these workers so that Aaron could serve him?! These garments were a necessary part of Aaron becoming the priest of God. If that doesn’t tell us that God cares about the quality of our work, then I don’t know what will.
This theology of excellence in creativity is why I decided to create Elevate. I saw a big hole in the church in the area of graphic design that needed to be filled. There are so many churches that desire to grow and improve in this area but feel lost or overwhelmed or simply out of options. My goal is to help churches to elevate the visual elements of their services, websites, social media and more so that we can all begin to achieve higher levels of excellence in creativity and reflect God as the master craftsman in all that we do!