Missional Enterprise and the Arts

The Intersection of Faith, Beauty and Commerce

Quick Quiz: When is the first time in the Scriptures that a person is described as being “filled” with the Holy Spirit?

You may be surprised to discover that the first such reference is in Exodus 35, describing Bezalel:

Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze, in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft. Exodus 35:30-33 (ESV)

God fills Bezalel with His Spirit in order to work, and we should be encouraged to realize that God wants the filling of His Spirit to equip us with skill, intelligence, knowledge, and craftsmanship for the everyday activities we face in our work.

At the same time, Bezalel was an artist and craftsman. Those of us called to artistry in missional business can draw inspiration, knowing that the creation of artistic works can bring God glory.

And while many of us may be involved in businesses that seem disconnected from the world of art and beauty, all missional entrepreneurs can find guidance from learning how art and artistic thinking can inform and support our business creation and leadership.

A recent Faith Driven Entrepreneur podcast, “Art + Faith: A Theology of Making with Makoto Fujimura,” (47 minutes) explores the connections between faith, art, and entrepreneurial activity.

In the podcast, acclaimed artist Makoto Fujimura shares his own story of connecting his art and his faith in Christ, and also explains the connection between the genitive thinking that produces art and the genitive thinking central to entrepreneurial activity:

I have been trained to live thinking about abundance, faced with scarcity. That’s an entrepreneur, right? You’re facing certain limitations and challenges and you see those challenges as opportunities . . . those setbacks as a new way of thinking about how to reframe your business. That’s an artist. So two side are thinking exactly the same way.

Finally, for an inspiring example of a business expressing love to God and people as they make beautiful, high-quality leather goods, check out “Not Dead Yet” (8 minutes) from the Faith & Co. video series.

Verse(s) of the Week:

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Psalm 19:1 (ESV)

Let’s take time this week to see God’s glory declared in what he has made, and appreciate both the amazing precision and breathtaking beauty of His handiwork.

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