When Hillsong United recently picked up two awards for Top Christian Artist and Top Christian Song at the recent US Billboard Music Awards, after having achieved number one on the ARIA charts for their Album “Empires” in 2015, I was amazed, but not surprised.
Nor was I surprised when Brian Houston’s inspirational memoir, Live Love Lead, made history on the UK charts before going on to become an international best seller.
Similarly, I wasn’t taken aback when the little-known Colton Burpo book, “Heaven is For Real,” catapulted onto the NYT best-sellers list where it sat unchallenged for 156 weeks, or the faith-based movie “Miracles from Heaven” (starring Hollywood heavyweights) hit the big screen in cinemas internationally.
I believe God is breathing on the creative arts and on those creative people who have a passion for Jesus and a purpose in their pursuits.
It’s our time to rise and God’s time to shine.
For way too long, Christian artists, filmmakers, authors, painters, poets, songwriters, photographers and the like, have stood patiently in the wings while the world took centre stage. My philosophy all along has been: “Why not?” Why wouldn’t a follower of Jesus win the Archibald Prize or a Walkley Award for Journalism, or take home an Oscar, or pick up a Grammy, or score the Pulitzer Prize for literature, or win “The Voice USA”?
Folks, the spotlight is shifting – not onto us but onto Jesus. And for followers of Jesus, a world of opportunity within the creative arts exists. Ben Field, Content Director for the Hillsong Channel believes the world is seeking authenticity and truth and that Christians are learning that creative communication is key.
“Advancements in technology are enabling us to convey the message of Jesus Christ in a way that is palatable and relatable and one that comes without any form of condemnation,” Field says.
Author, speaker and pastor of Mosaic Church in LA, Erwin McManus takes the conversation up a notch. “We stand at the precipice of a revolution of creativity; the beginning of a new renaissance,” he writes in his best-selling book, “The Artisan Soul.”
We live in extraordinary days. Who would have thought Hillsong would have its own 24-hour channel, that faith-based movies would play in theatres around the world, that iconic media outlets like the New York Times would write articles about the emerging church, that passionate followers of Jesus like Korean singer, Dami Im, would represent Australia at the Eurovision Song contest; that TD Jakes would have his own chat show, or that Mark Burnett’s Bible miniseries would garner over 11.7 million viewers?
Let’s be ready, creative, faith people. The world is looking for answers, inspiration and hope.
Jesus Christ is about to take centre stage.