Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last couple of years. You have probably noticed a growing trend. People re leaving the church, tired of tradition, tired of a religion that seems to oppress rather than set free. While some may be looking for a reason to leave, others are tired of seeing a group of people refuse to live by the book that they claim to read. While there are still Millennials still in church its appears as if many have left. I personally believe that everyone worships something; if they aren’t in church, where are these people going? I personally believe that people are leaving the church and instead turning to the arts.
I don’t know if I notice it more because I’m an artist myself, but I believe that Open Mics are becoming the new church service. Tell me I’m lying. Have you ever been to one? If you have, I challenge you to close your eyes and reimagine what the event looked and sounded like. There’s a speaker up on stage speaking to the crowd, spilling their hearts and speaking truths many of us are afraid to acknowledge in our own minds. Members of the audience are crying, some standing up, fingers are snapping, and people yelling encouragement. If the artist is a featured artist from out of town, sometimes money is collected to make sure said artist makes it home. Tell me that doesn’t sound like a church service you’ve either attended or streamed? It seems to me that the arts are becoming the new church service.
In my experience, many of the artists and the listeners are anti religion in general. Millennials have a knack for questioning establishments such as education, politics, news, and of course religion. However, in that, the stage seems to be the one place that is a judgement free zone. You can say what you want to say and for the most part no one will say anything to you about it. Ideas are presented and are empathized with and even applauded. With the fact that artists have more people’s ears and attention than the politicians, the artist has a large amount of influence. For Christian artists, this an opportunity to really get in front of people and speak a message of hope and love. Some will dismiss it, a lot of people will dismiss it, but there are still some others who will receive what you say. People want hope and to be affirmed, even if that affirmation comes from an unlikely source.
The question becomes this: If many Millennials are anti religion then how can a Christian artist hope to make an impact on such an audience? I’ll get into that in an upcoming blog, but for now just know that it is possible. If Christians are needed in every facet of society, then we are needed in the arts. There are people waiting to hear the message of hope and light and love that we carry inside us. You may not get as big an applause or achieve a huge platform, but you can be a utensil used for the glory of God.