International (MNN) – Can an artist be a missionary, too? Operation Mobilization says yes, and their OM Arts program can help make that happen. OM Arts is working to connect artists to opportunities in the mission field.
Jack* from OM Arts explains that OM Arts’ goal is to use the unique skills artists bring to the table to spread the Gospel.
“Our focus is rather than seeing the arts as some kind of gimmick or a tool, but… God working through artists to contribute to and help facilitate the unique beauty of the worship and the witness of local communities of Jesus followers,” he says.
OM works with the unreached in the Middle East, South and Central Asia, and Europe. Before sending out artists on mission trips, OM Arts works to prepare them and bring out their skills to spread the Gospel in their own ways.
“We should be more encouraging to artists, while at the same time inviting them to step up more fully, into who God’s created them to be….We want to challenge our artists, to be reaching out in the culture, and to be helping us as we worship,” Jack says.
For OM Arts, art as a way to spread God’s Word comes in two categories: worship and witness.
An artist may choose to use their art as a way to worship God or to show others a piece of their story as a witness to God’s work in the world.
Jack explains that a big area of need in many countries is in their worship music. In many places, Christians are using translated English songs in their worship.
“There’s nothing wrong with English language songs, but the metaphors that are presented, they don’t touch the heart of those cultures that God has uniquely created. So, some of our projects are about helping local Jesus followers develop their own biblically appropriate, culturally relevant worship expressions,” he says.
Jack adds, “It can help foster unity within the church.”
OM Arts works with artists and communities to use art in several ways. These include working on community projects and therapeutic programs.
“Art has a way of asking questions [and] delving more deeply into the world around us… Artists are able to ask questions [and] engage with people’s thoughts and hearts in a way that sort of that welcomes them in, [and] dares to think differently,” Jack says.
Going into the mission field to spread the Gospel using art is a unique opportunity. OM Arts asks for prayer for their artists and their mission trips.
Jack says, “Please pray for our hearts….Our real work is cultivating the characteristics in artists that allow them to thrive on mission, and especially in places where Jesus isn’t yet known.”
Pray for these artists to have the resources to go on mission trips. Pray that they can help share the Gospel through their art.
*Name has been changed.
Header photo courtesy of Amaury Salas via Unsplash.