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A Crucial Counter Cultural Career

This little guy was busking in the camping area at Easterfest in 2012, making up the words and singing to the chordless strumming of his guitar. He was a favourite of the campers and did very well financially. The supportive environment and launchpad that Easterfest gives for up and coming artists is an important part of the the job the festival does in extending the Kingdom and influencing culture. Our schools need to be doing the same wherever possible.

As I’ve previously argued, and as others such as Jimmy Needham agree, the arts are a highly effective way of influencing a culture and therefore a society.

If you agree with this supposition, then you would also probably support the importance of Christians presenting the highest standard of Arts possible, specifically aimed to positively influence society and usher in the Kingdom.

If you stand with me on that concept, then you would also hold that the role of the Arts teacher is usually drastically understated  and misunderstood within our current Christian education system.  Subjects such as music, art, drama, dance and media can sometimes appear to the less discerning as fillers for those who are less academically inclined, or a bludge subject for those who need a break from the real work.  Sometimes, influenced by the current culture of our society, even the teacher’s themselves may be drawn into this mindset. It would seem that many schools, even Christian schools, study pieces of art that are exemplary as being worldly and anti-Kingdom.  They include foul language, inappropriate sexual themes and other unsuitable adult material.  When questioned on this, the conventional thoughts from Christian educators seems to be that the students need to be exposed to the Arts of the world so that they can evaluate it from a Christian world-view and make educated decisions about its worth.  One teacher has suggested that it is just too hard to find appropriate material and so students should more or less ignore the ‘bad’ parts.  What a tragedy.

Counter-culturally, I would suggest that the strongest emphasis within the Arts curriculum needs to be placed on creation.  Everything – the study of artists, the analysis of pieces of art, the acquisition of the skills of creation – should all be aimed at equipping a generation to create masterful, Kingdom-based, God-glorifying,  society-influencing, culture-leading works of music, theatre, dance, visual art and media.  In terms of the Kingdom, growing artists need to realise that they are just as important, maybe even more important to the Kingdom, than engineers, lawyers, politicians and orthodontists. My advice to creative readers here, is that if you want to change the world, be involved in training up a generation of history-making, culture-changing artists.

The only job that I can think of that is more important than that of the Arts teacher, is that of the parent.

Ever changing; Thy Kingdom come

Jonathan

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  1. Wendy May says: June 8, 2014

    I remember that little guy. He was great and very popular despite what the world would consider an imperfect performance. He used his opportunity, his feet, his hands, his heart and his voice to serve God where he was and to make a joyful noise and I’m sure the powers of darkness didn’t bother to stick around. At that time and in that place he was a little world changer.

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