Tuesday, July 16

Outreach and the Artist by Con Campbell

What is the place of evangelism in art? This is a question many Christians have asked in the creation of art. It is certainly a question I have thought of. Campbell outlines the three ways he sees how artists can engage in outreach: Outreach With the Arts, Outreach Through the Arts, and Outreach To the Arts. He also includes chapters on other topics, such as how artists can interact with the church and. Each chapter includes an artist profile which shows how others approach their faith and the arts.

I appreciated how Campbell understands that not all artists seek the same thing through their arts. Some Christian artists display an obvious religious message through their work while others do not necessarily have a religious message but instead would rather share their faith within the artistic community. Too often artists who are Christians are pressured to make ‘Christian’ arts, even when their intended audience would not react well to it. Out of all the chapters, the one on the church and the artist is one that could benefit many congregations. There is also some overlap from this chapter with the chapter on Outreach With the Arts which shows how many venues do not correctly understand an artists’ needs.

Campbell often uses his experience as a jazz musician to support his points. While he does his best to still make his writing accessible to those who are not musicians there are still a number of the jazz examples that I found hard to relate too. Additionally, at 116 pages it feels quite brisk. While a quick and light read can be nice, the chapters flew by so fast that I only got a taste of the material. While the material present was often good it was not fully satisfying. The artist profiles also suffer from this problem. The artists are only asked a couple of questions and they brief answers provided do not give a good sense of the artist. Outreach and the Artist could be a great book to prompt further discussion, but if you are looking for a more detailed look at ministry in the arts it may leave you unfulfilled.

3/5 stars

I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 

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