Where do the arts come into church? This is the question asked by our partners, Inganji. They seek to empower and equip artists of all descriptions and explore the potential for art to communicate the gospel. In creation, we see the work of the Supreme Artist, in the words of Inganji’s Joyeux Blaise, “His mighty hand is always with us everywhere and in everything.” Furthermore, we see that the Holy Spirit was expressly given to Bezalel in the book of Exodus, for the purpose of glorifying God in building the tabernacle.
“See, I have called by name Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. And I have filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and knowledge in all kinds of craftsmanship to design artistic works in gold, silver, and bronze, to cut gemstones for settings, and to carve wood, so that he may be a master of every craft.”Exodus 31:2-4
Inganji works to raise, empower and equip artists of all kinds to use their creativity for gospel work across Burundi. They foster relationships and cooperation, and have developed a network of artists who are encouraged to pool resources and collaborate together.
A Christian artist called Peniel wanted to use his gifts, but was confused – why does God give us artistic talents? Initially, he was aware of a lack of motivation and noticed it amongst others. By attending the Inganji artistic workshop with 149 fellow artists, Peniel realised that his gift came from God and could be used to help and inspire others. The lack of motivation came from using his talents selfishly, but his enthusiasm grew as he realised he could use them to build the Church and encourage the wider community. He says, “Myself and all that is mine are for Him who redeemed us. That’s why I do everything for His glory.”