Jon Foreman-Why Switchfoot Won’t Sing Christian Songs

jon foremanwhyswitchfootwontsingchristiansongs

If artists are going to help others create a beautiful life (should they accept that role, among many, as part of their life’s work), then a key element of that role is engaging others in a thoughtful conversations about the role of art in our society and its institutions, including the Church.

In case you missed it, I recently shared on The Grove Center for the Arts & Media blog some important thoughts from Jon Foreman about why Switchfoot won’t be singing any Christian songs. I want to share it with you in the hope that it stimulates your thinking by pointing out many of the myths and ill-conceived notions about art produced by Christians. Amazingly, this piece was originally posted on Tim Challies blog 10 years ago in 2004.

Jon Foreman points out “the schism between the sacred and the secular in all of our modern minds. ” His words are as relevant today as they were 10 years ago. Responding to the idea that a book, a song, or a t-shirt simply can’t be Christian, Jon said,

Becoming A Thriving Artist


As you think about your creative work and walk with God, have you ever asked yourself, “What does it take to become a THRIVING artist?” How does an artist thrive personally, professionally and spiritually? It’s been a question that’s been muddling around in my mind a lot the past month. The Lord keeps impressing on my heart the word… thrive.

It’s one thing to be alive. It’s a whole other thing to thrive. In the 12 acre organic lemon and avocado grove I work and oversee, there are parts of the grove that are healthy and thriving. Lots of fruit everywhere. There are also definitely parts that are not thriving. The lower portion of the grove is susceptible to freezes in the winter, killing off our avocado trees. In other parts of the grove, we have squatty, bare, anemic-looking lemon trees that resemble Charlie Brown Christmas trees. If you want to thrive, read on…

Your Elusive Creative Genius – Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of the bestselling Eat, Pray, Love that came out a few years ago has some remarkable things to say about creativity, genius, writing and the creative life. Though I wasn’t a big fan of the book and all the accompanying merchandising that came with the movie, I do appreciate her honest search for integrating her creative and spiritual life. Read more…

Have You Read Oswald Chambers, The Artist Writer?

Have You Read Oswald Chambers, the Artist WriterFor those of you who are fans of Oswald Chambers and his classic spiritual book, My Utmost for His Highest, did you know Oswald Chambers thought his original calling from God was to be a visual artist and musician? Oswald Chambers had a deep love for God, creativity, and the arts. Though millions have read and loved My Utmost for His Highest, many do not know that Chambers studied at London’s Royal Academy of Art between 1895-1896. A gifted artist and musician, Chambers sensed God’s calling to be an ambassador for Christ in the world of art and aesthetics. To encourage you cultivate a more beautiful life in Christ, I’d like to share a few thoughts and favorite quotes from this beloved writer and artist…

The Generous Artist

Red poppyHas anyone ever accused you of or should I say ‘complemented you’ for being a generous artist? A generous person? I certainly hope so because generosity is one of the most rarely cultivated qualities I can think of. If you want to cultivate a beautiful life, nurturing generosity in your heart, mind and life is an absolutely essential practice. Generosity is the rare wild flower that blooms after all the spring grasses of good intentions have wilted under the summer heat of our selfish preoccupations.

You and I all know what it feels like to be on the receiving end of another’s generosity. Oh how good it feels to be noticed, appreciated, and gifted by a generous soul. Today, I want to encourage you to be a generous artist. If you’re not an artist, you can certainly practice the art of generosity. I also want to be generous with you.  I have a free gift, a beautiful book meant to be shared with others…

Have You Seen The Grove’s New Website?


[F]or the past eleven years, I have led a ministry called The Grove Center for the Arts & Media. I have the incredible privilege of working with a lot of creative and amazing artists: writers, filmmakers, musicians, singer-songwriters, visual artists of all kinds, poets, dancers, photographers and just about every kind of artist imaginable. The mission of The Grove is to cultivate the spiritual growth and creative work of artists. We do this through Grove Gatherings, Getaways, and Generosity.

Here on Art, Life & Faith, I haven’t told you much about The Grove because I wanted to wait until I could show you in a visually compelling way what our ministry with artists is all about. So now, ta-dah…I’d like to invite you to visit our brand new website. I’d love your thoughts and feedback. If you really like it, I’d like to ask you to consider sharing it on Facebook, Twitter, your blog…whatever social media sites you favor. Read on…

Top 10 Art, Life & Faith Blog Posts for Feb. 2013

Here are the Top 10 Art, Life & Faith blog posts for February, 2013. As I meet with artists and art leaders from across the country, I see a growing intentionality among artists to cultivate their spiritual growth and the creative gifts God has given them. As artists pursue the beauty, truth and goodness of God, the natural outflow influences their creative and imaginative gifts. I’ve seen an enthusiastic response of artists spending more time on Art, Life, & Faith watching the artist interview videos, reading and posting comments. Last month, the average time spent on the site was 21 minutes per visitor…the highest ever. Most important though, is helping you cultivate a deeper relationship with God and how to pursue excellence in your given craft…all to the glory of God. Read on…


Cultivate Your Creative Calling

If you’re an artist and you’ve been discouraged by setbacks, wondering if it’s all worth it, I want to remind you that it takes work to cultivate your creative calling. One of the pure tests of whether you’re an artist or not is questioning your creative calling in the first place. Being an artist is not a fixed and static reality like a math equation: 2 + 2 = 4. Okay, we get that. In pursuing your art form, you will face challenges, questions, hardship, financial struggle, heartache and doubt. Read on…


Creativity, Filmmaking & Mentoring (Free PDF)

What role does mentoring play in the life of an artist? How can an artist cultivate their creativity through an older, wiser mentor? How can artists improve their craft by pursuing a mentor? Whether its filmmaking, writing, music, dance, visual art, or any other art form, there are critically important links between creativity and mentoring in the life of an artist. A mentor can provide an aspiring artist the necessary wisdom and life experience to help navigate the unavoidable personal, professional, and spiritual challenges that emerge as one pursues their creative calling. Today, I want to share with you a great interview with Charlie Matz, Bub Kuns, and Ian Nelson with Veracity Colab about creativity, filmmaking and the role of mentoring from Create: Transforming Stories of Art, Life & Faith. Read on…


Question of the Week #9: What Do You Enjoy Most about Creating Art?

Welcome to the Art, Life & Faith Question of the Week #9: What do you enjoy most about creating art? As a writer, there are days when I’m not sure if I’m working or playing. I simply love to write. The same can be said for any kind of art that you truly enjoy creating. If you didn’t enjoy and actually love the process of creating, there’s a very good chance that you’d never become an artist. Read on…