A Vision for the Arts

*Editors Note: Before he left on his summer study break, the director of the Arts team at Mecklenburg Community Church (Meck), Kristina Gray, asked Dr. White if he would tape a message for a gathering of artists they were planning later that summer. Unscripted and in a single take, he shared from his heart in a way that ended up deeply moving the arts community at Meck. We thought you would enjoy reading the transcript of what Dr. White recorded.

Kristina asked me to bring a word to you, as part of the arts team, and left it wide open for whatever I wanted to say. But really to encourage you and let you know how much I appreciate you and…so…that was an easy assignment.
 
You know, back even before Meck got started one of the aspects of the founding vision was that it would be a community of artists and that the arts would be celebrated, would be put forward, would be used.
 
There was an old, old, old song called “Why Should the Devil Have all the Good Music?” and there is a sense where the church used to be the patron of the arts. All the way through the Middle Ages and such.
 
And then somewhere along the line we kind of got screwed up and we began to give the arts back to the world. And the church got stripped of it and it became just four walls and a Bible.
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The Rise of the Nones: Understanding and Reaching the Religiously Unaffiliated

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This book could not be coming at a better time, as the "nones" - the fastest-growing religious group of our day - are certainly on the rise. Currently one in five Americans identify themselves as having no religious affiliation. Dr. White's book explores exactly who the "nones" are, what caused this dramatic shift in today's culture, and most importantly how churches can reach these people.
 
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In an era of increasing complexity and religious apathy, James Emery White has written a book that is helpful, informative, challenging, and timely. Those who care about communicating the gospel in this complex culture and think the church must regroup and re-engage should read "The Rise of the Nones."
 
Happy reading!
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