Gary Molander used to be a pastor. Now he’s an artist, using his skills in writing and film to create media for the church. Pastor. Artist. Contrary to popular belief, those are not mutually exclusive roles. You can be a pastor who is an artist and you can be an artist who is a pastor.
Gary is walking talking proof. And he talks about those two often-at-odds roles in his new book, Pursuing Christ. Creating Art.: Exploring Life at the Intersection of Faith and Creativity.
The real thrust of this book is about bringing true artistic expression back to the church. It’s about helping pastors and artists get along. It’s about helping all of us see the depth of art and how it’s not just limited to the super stylish kids with the gelled hair. It’s about seeing how art can help us tell the greatest story ever told, though not in perfectly resolved stories, but in creating emotional responses. Gary says in the book that we don’t create art for God (he doesn’t need it), but “we create art in response to God, because the world needs it.”
You couldn’t ask for a better summary of evangelism.
And that’s what this book is about. Helping us to see how art compliments the work the church is doing.
Gary honestly shares his journey, letting us see his mistakes and frustrations. Each chapter includes an introduction from a friend, including familiar voices like Scott McClellan, Katie Strandlund and Rob Thomas. The result is a pastoral heart for artists, welcoming them into the church and showing them how to use their gifts and get along with pastors who don’t always understand. It’s also an invitation for those pastors to see artists as something more.
If you’re an artist struggling in the church, you need this book. If you’re a pastor who constantly butts heads with your creative staff, you need this book.
For more, check out our interview with Gary Molander. We’re also giving away a few free copies.