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Misunderstood Artists?

We asked several artists what their churches could understand better.

Okay, sure, the misunderstood artist bit gets tiring. The fact remains that misconceptions and stereotypes surround art and artists — especially in Christian circles. We asked some artists what one thing they wish church communities better understood about their work.

“Deep theological reflection through a visual means is critical to the Christian imagination. Visual art is also a language and holds as much power for many people as the written or spoken word. I would love to see visual art viewed as essential to telling the story of the gospel.

Kelly Kruse, painter

Kansas City, Missouri

“The job of the artist and the pastor are basically the same: Be transformed and then invite others into that transformation.”

Scott Erickson, visual artist

Portland, Oregon


“I wish pastors, or just people, knew that graphic design and photography are not just about ‘making things pretty,’ but it’s about communicating stories and messages and reflecting people or a culture in the most effective and compelling way.”

Elizabeth Thomas, photographer

Kansas City, Missouri

“It would be great if pastors recognized that my art is my vocation. Creating beauty is my calling and career. My painting is how I worship and work, pray and show compassion, and participate in God’s mission for the world. It is not a hobby!”

Kathy Self, painter

Highlands Ranch, Colorado

“The end product (song, painting, poem, book) is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the time, effort, energy, and resources that went into making it. You’ll never see all the work that goes into creating.”

Jeremy Hoekstra, musician

Grand Rapids, Michigan

“I wish my pastor knew that our work in the arts has the power to infuse the words and symbols of our culture.  A dynamic and significant partnership is needed between the church and the arts if anyone listening to a sermon at church will understand what the pastor is saying. Without this partnership, sermons are rendered entertainment without intended impact, as listeners hear the message as listening to a foreign, unknown language.”

Jeremiah Enna, executive director of a dance and theater conservatory

Olathe, Kansas


“That beautiful spaces have an impact psychologically and can be used to curate worship as well, without being iconographic. That creating beauty around us is simply a form of stewardship.”

Janae Leeke, historian and writer
Nashville, Tennessee

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H2 - What’s a Rich Text element?

h4 BOLD - Static and dynamic content editing

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H2 Bold - What’s a Rich Text element?

h4 - Static and dynamic content editing

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat

H6 What’s a Rich Text element? Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

H3 - What’s a Rich Text element?

h5 bold - How to customize formatting for each rich text

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat

H3 Bold - What’s a Rich Text element?

h5 - How to customize formatting for each rich text

At vero eos et accusamus et iusto odio dignissimos ducimus qui blanditiis praesentium voluptatum deleniti atque corrupti quos dolores et quas molestias excepturi sint occaecati cupiditate non provident, similique sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollitia animi, id est laborum et dolorum fuga. Et harum quidem rerum facilis est et expedita distinctio. Nam libero tempore, cum soluta nobis est eligendi optio cumque nihil impedit quo minus id quod maxime placeat facere possimus, omnis voluptas assumenda est, omnis dolor repellendus. Temporibus autem quibusdam et aut officiis debitis aut rerum necessitatibus saepe eveniet ut et voluptates repudiandae sint et molestiae non recusandae. Itaque earum rerum hic tenetur a sapiente delectus, ut aut reiciendis voluptatibus maiores alias consequatur aut perferendis doloribus asperiores repellat

H6 What’s a Rich Text element? Headings, paragraphs, blockquotes, figures, images, and figure captions can all be styled after a class is added to the rich text element using the "When inside of" nested selector system.

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