The person who brings a wounded spirit into the setting of worship often finds it difficult to enter into the experience of worship. Paradoxically, it is the very act of worship that offers healing for those wounds, even though the pain may hinder the hurting Christian’s full participation in it.
The reality of the content of the gospel (the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, God’s Son, the righteousness of God whose death paid the penalty for my and your sin—1 Cor. 15; Rom. 3) does no good without connection with the giver of the gospel. And artists are specialists at creating environments wherein human creatures can connect with their creator.
I strongly believe there exists (at least) one major area of neglect by most conservative evangelical mission works — THE ETHNIC ARTS. A close evaluation of a people’s music and other art forms provides the major road maps to grasping their thought patterns, value structures, and communication norms. Though cross-cultural missionaries have for years attempted to become more sensitized to anthropological considerations, because of our generally low view (or inadequate view) of the role of the arts within our humanity or our Christianity, very few have an awareness of the need to take care to observe a people closely in these areas.