InterVarsity Christian Fellowship is reigniting its fine arts ministry in an effort to reach arts students with new outlets for prayer.
The organization, which works to transform students and schools through campus ministry, has been on and off with their fine arts specific ministry for the past eight years, but they’re bringing it back this semester with a new leadership team and schedule of events that will specifically serve the fine arts community.
“Arts ministry and the whole fine arts building hasn’t had much sustained witness or ministry really ever,” said Griffith Brown, InterVarsity team leader. “But InterVarsity’s vision as a whole is to see every corner of campus reached by Jesus.”
Junior Grace Bennett and senior Tyler Sechrist both approached Brown last year in hopes of reaching the creative side of campus in the same way they reach the Greek community or the athletic community.
“Our ultimate vision is three-fold,” Bennett said. “First, it’s to share the good news of Jesus with people in the arts departments. Second, to establish a community of believers within the arts department. And third, to give a space where people can learn and have an opportunity to use their gifts and talents.”
Bennett has been attending InterVarsity events since her freshman year. Until this semester, Bennett said her work in the fine arts department had been “very casual.”
“I would intentionally build relationships with people and try to be a light for Jesus in the arts department,” Bennett said. “But in very small, quiet ways.”
Now, Bennett is hard at work to bring the mission of InterVarsity to the fine arts. Although Bennett is an English major, she has a passion for the arts because of the “beauty and color” they bring to life, she said.
“We, in the long term, are hoping to have different events in all four of the different arts — visual arts, dance, theatre, and music,” Bennett said. “This semester, we’ve got events scheduled in theatre, and dance.”
This November, the Tower Players group is performing “J.B.”, a modern slam poetry retelling of the book of Job. Bennett and Sechrist are planning to work in conjunction with the theatre department to host biblically-focused discussions about “J.B.”, according to Sechrist.
Students plan to lead creative worship dance workshops, and Bennett and Sechrist will lead a recitation of Matt Papa’s “Story of God.” Bennett also plans to pray with the cast half an hour before each show rehearsal.
“These workshops are open to anyone, whether they’re dancers or not, and if you have dance skills you can bring those and use those too,” Bennett said. “Everybody who has the capacity of movement and motion can learn how to do that kind of worship.”
Ultimately, Sechrist said he wants to see “a people who are leaders and movers in the department who can use their gifts to bring glory to the Lord.”
“I hope to see a people devoted to a public and honest love for Christ,” Sechrist said.
No matter the event, however, InterVarsity aims to unite the Christian fine arts community.
“We want to create some sort of stable community of people there who love Jesus that want to see all of that building come to know Jesus,” Brown said.