"Worship is man's full reason for existence. Worship is why we are born and why we are born again." A.W. Tozer

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Imagine That by Manuel Luz

Imagine That by Manuel Luz has been a book that I have been wanting to read for a while since seeing it advertised in Worship Leader magazine. This book caught my interest because I am also a worship leader at a church just as Manuel Luz is and have been involved with the arts for a long time. I also have to work with the arts in the church and I really wanted to get a better understanding of how the arts fit in the church. I believe Manuel has a great understanding of how the arts fit in the church and in ministry. In the opening chapter of this book, Manuel focuses us on God as the Artist and us being created in the image of God. In that chapter he says this,
"We create because we are made in the image of the creator. We simply cannot help it."
He parallels this with how God gave Adam the task of naming the animals to Adam. Manuel says that because God did this with Adam, God is also calling us to be creative, the created becomes creator. Because we have this call and are made in the image of the original Artist, we have a wonderful opportunity to use our gifts and talents in service to our God. We also have a great tool to aid us in our worship, a tool that we continue to develop. I love how he says that artistry can be a spiritual discipline. Manuel says that "spiritual disciplines are external behaviors that aid in internal transformation" and "the discipline of art can bring us closer to God, and can be a spiritual discipline, one that should be encouraged, nurtured, trained, and developed." Just as our spiritual life is a journey of learning and growing, so is our art. Artists as individuals should never stop honing their skills, learning, practicing. After reading Manuel's quote, I believe that we as worship pastors have a special calling to seek out the artists in our congregations, to help them understand that their craft is an essential part of worship, privately and corporately, and allow them the opportunity to use their gifts to honor and glorify the One who gave these gifts to them. And what better place to use them, in corporate worship in our local body of believers.

Special thanks to Moody Publishers for providing this complimentary book to read and review.

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