For the Creative Ministry Team
Artistry and Ministry
“The church should be the most creative organization in town!” With these words Dr. Stephen Phifer expresses the conviction of his heart. For almost 40 years of pastoral and teaching ministry, Dr. Phifer has been an advocate of the arts, of arts education and arts in the ministry. He has taught music in all levels from Middle School through seminary. He is an actor and a writer as well as singer and clarinetist, composer and arranger.
He has formed arts ministries in all the churches he has served full-time.
Along the way he has learned much about being an artist in the Kingdom of God and about leading other artists. “A City on a Hill” presents a grand vision of the local church communicating the love and truth of God in creative ways. It is time for Christ-followers to start working out the dreams and visions that have come from the Holy Spirit!
You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” Matthew 5:14 NIV
In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said each believer was a light that should not be hidden under the weight of life’s burdens. He also said that the church was a collection of these individual lamps. We are a City on a Hill that cannot be hidden.
A congregation that worships God in Spirit and in Truth will be a healing force in its community. The ultimate judge of the worship life of a church is the impact of that church on the world. This is about more than the excellence of the public worship; it is primarily about the power of the Holy Spirit. The anointing to be the people of God in a lost and perverse world rests upon the people of the church as they spend time with The Father in the Secret Place, live lives of integrity, and do their work as worship unto the Lord.
A Multi-faceted Teaching
Session One: A City on a Hill
The first session of this teaching takes a challenging look at the way the church impacts the community through private and public worship and through the worship arts.
Session Two:Loose Him and Let Him Go-Releasing the Ministry of the Creative Christian
The second session takes a revealing look at the temperament of the Christian artist and the challenges facing him or her in creating their art in the context of church ministry.
Truth Expressed, Experienced, Extended: Christian Ministry through the Arts
Session three presents a structure for year-round ministry for the artists of the church and a detailed plan for producing events that focus the whole on outreach and impact the community with truth.
The Pentecostal Artist: the Role of the Holy Spirit in the Creative Process
The fourth session examines the way the Holy Spirit, “the muse of heaven,” guides and empowers the Christian artist in the creative process.
A Flexible Teaching
The order of these sessions offers flexibility. Sessions One, Two and Three are designed for the leadership team of the church. Ministry through the arts should not be seen as a departmental ministry. It should cut across all dividing lines in the congregation. The ministry must include the training of developing artists as well as ministry opportunities for those who are already trained.
Session Four can be an event just for the artists themselves, perhaps in a fellowship setting such as a dinner or other meal time. For instance, for a weekend event the schedule might be this:
- Friday Evening fellowship dinner for the artists of the church presenting The Pentecostal Artist
- Saturday morning seminar setting for leadership presenting Sessions Two and Three
- Sunday morning worship service with Session Four, A City on a Hill as the morning message.
A City on a Hill calls the entire church to live and work in the creative power of the Holy Spirit.
Companion Book for the A City on a Hill Seminar
And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with grave clothes: and his face was bound with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them,“Loose Him, and let him go.” John 11:44 KJV
Like Lazarus coming from the tomb, creative Christians, Christian artists, are back from the dead, out of the dark and into the light. However, many times they are still bound by grave clothes: attitudes, concepts, paradigms, goals, drives that are not part of the Kingdom of God. Like those standing closest to Lazarus, the role of pastoral leadership is to strip away the binding vestiges of sin and self so that the artistic believer is free to serve God! It is time for us to obey the Lord’s command to “loose him and let him go!”
The Church is called to tell the world about Jesus. Artists are gifted by the Lord in all manner of communications. It is time to bring these two things together, time to engage the communicators in the work of communicating with our world. It makes sense. It pleases God. What are we waiting on? Leadership. We are waiting for leaders who can see these things. Today’s church leaders must learn how to lead the creative Christian. We can no longer expel them because we smell on them the stench of death. That’s just the grave clothes. Like He did for us, Jesus has brought them back from death, brought them out of the dark and into the light. Like the friends of Lazarus, we must loose them and let them go.
This book is currently available for $5.00 in PDF form as a download. Order directly from the author (Make check payable to Steve Phifer and send to 1400 Laurel Branch Place, Bartow FL 33830. Be sure to include a return address.)
So, let’s talk! Contact me
- by phone: (863) 512-3671
- by snail mail: 1400 Laurel Branch Place, Bartow, FL 33830 or
- by email: firstname.lastname@example.org