In his book “For the Beauty of The Church,” David O. Taylor answers the question ‘What is art for?’ by declaring that, strictly speaking, it isn’t for anything; going on to say that it’s “gratuitous,” except for its function as a “vessel of beauty.” In another chapter, he asks rhetorically of the gospel’s meaning “what if he himself has taken the initiative, become the sacrifice, torn the temple veil? What is left but gloriously unuseful prayer and praise?”
Because of the gospel, the only response, or ‘work’ that is expected of us is “gratuitous” worship. We are only required to believe once, then express that belief through the professing and worshipping of Christ as our savior throughout our lives. This beautifully simple equation is the animating principle behind the Worship Arts Ministry of City Church Houston.
But I’d like to take this one step further. While the act of praise itself is unnecessary, and therefore gratuitous, in the ‘mechanics’ of our salvation, it is overwhelmingly meaningful in the conditioning of our hearts and minds to be filled with the love of Christ. We believe that our community of faith is bound together in the practice, and even discipline, of regular worship, in the Sunday service, and beyond. It’s something we do together once a week to remind us of its importance and transformational power for the other six days.
Additionally, the Worship Arts ministry activates the mission of City Church, to “bring beauty to broken places,” in a vital way; by seeking to immerse in, interact with, and empower the local arts and culture. We aim to do this without any “agenda,” except to bring about creative excellence for the glory of God and the edification of the city at large, throughout Houston’s rich and diverse collection of world-class creatives. This extends beyond music to the visual arts, multimedia, and other artistic forms which all have the capacity to point back to THE chief creative of the universe.
We welcome those within the family of City Church to contact us and share their creative gifts or interests as we seek to build a “community within the community” of people from all backgrounds to share their artistic passions, within and without the walls of the church. And then, by the grace of God, we may, individually and collectively, truly be “vessels of beauty.”