The Heart of the Artist: A Character-Building Guide for You and Your Ministry Team

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Overview

This book explores issues of character facing Christian artists who want to use their gifts more effectively in church ministry.

"I wish I had your gift!" How do you handle those words as a creative artist? When you're good at what you do, is it really humble to hem and haw in the face of praise? Between pride and self-abasement lies true humility — just one aspect of the balanced character God wants to instill in you as an actor, a musician, ...
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The Heart of the Artist: A Character-Building Guide for You and Your Ministry Team

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Overview

This book explores issues of character facing Christian artists who want to use their gifts more effectively in church ministry.

"I wish I had your gift!" How do you handle those words as a creative artist? When you're good at what you do, is it really humble to hem and haw in the face of praise? Between pride and self-abasement lies true humility — just one aspect of the balanced character God wants to instill in you as an actor, a musician, a visual artist, or other creative person involved in the ministry. He's interested in your art and your heart. The Heart of the Artist is like no other book you've read. Written for artists by an artist, this frank, knowledgeable book deals head-on with issues every person in an arts ministry faces. With passion and conviction that comes from personal experience, Rory Norland, music director for Willow Creek Community Church, addresses topics such as - Servanthood Versus Stardom - The Artist in Community - Excellence Versus Perfectionism - Jealousy and Envy - Managing Your Emotions - The Spiritual Disciplines of the Artist — The Heart of the Artist will help you gain a better understanding of yourself and your unique place in the body of Christ. You'll find wisdom and encouragement that can help you survive the challenges and reap the rich joys of a ministry in the creative arts.

Author Biography: Rory Noland is a founding member of Willow Creek Community church and has been its music director since 1984. A graduate of Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University, he has written or co-written numerous songs and worship choruses. He lives in the Chicago area with his wife and two sons.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780310224716
  • Publisher: Zondervan
  • Publication date: 6/1/1999
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 217,322
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Rory Noland is the director of Heart of the Artist Ministries, an organization dedicated to serving artists in the church (www.heartoftheartist.org). A songwriter, speaker, church leader, and consultant, Rory is also the author of three books, all published by Zondervan: The Heart of the Artist: A Character-Building Guide For You and Your Ministry Team, Thriving as an Artist in the Church: Hope and Help For You and Your Ministry Team, and The Worshiping Artist: Equipping You and Your Ministry Team to Lead Others in Worship. Rory currently serves part-time as Pastor of Worship at Harvest Bible Chapel in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, contributes regularly to Worship Leader magazine, and also leads worship for the Transforming Center, a ministry that cares for the souls of pastors and leaders. Rory graduated from the Chicago Musical College at Roosevelt University with a degree in theory and composition and served as the music director at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, I? SPANISH BIO: Rory Noland es el director de Heart of the Artist Ministries, un organizacion dedicada a los artistas en la iglesia y ayuda los equipos de artistas a dar una vuelta entre comunidades de tolerancia. Un compositor, un autor, y un hablante, Rory es un graduado de Chicago musical College a Roosevelt University y sirvio por 20 anos como un director de musica a Willow Creek Community Church en South Barrington, Illinois. Es el autor de dos libros publicado por Zondervan.
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Read an Excerpt

Preface

Selfishness, pride, perfectionism, defensiveness, jealousy, envy, emotional imbalance, and lack of discipline -- many people struggle with these character flaws, but Christians with artistic temperaments will face all these issues at various points of their lives if not throughout, simply by virtue of being artists. We don't stumble on these character issues by chance; they're part of our nature. It's what comes with being artists. I didn't consent to write this book because I had done a lot of research on character growth and thought that warranted a book. I wrote it because I've struggled with every character flaw discussed in this book. Most of what I've learned grew out of my quiet times with the Lord. I started sharing what God was doing in my life with my artistic friends at rehearsals, in my small groups, or on retreats. I sensed a kindred spirit with my fellow artists, most of whom also wanted to grow in the areas we all struggle with. I then began to share what I was learning at conferences and workshops and there too found countless others who were hungry for what God's Word has to say about growing in character as a Christian artist. Many of them would ask me to recommend further resources that spoke directly to those of us with artistic temperaments, but unfortunately there isn't much available. This book is written in response to that need.

I've been working with artists in the church for over twenty-five years now, and I've seen churches handle artists in one of two ways. We either coddle artists and put up with their shortcomings or we use and abuse artists. Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy, a biographical novel about the life of Michelangelo, has one long chapter devoted to Michelangelo's relationships with the various popes he worked for. Most of those relationships were stormy ones, and Michelangelo's experience as a church artist was extremely frustrating. As I read about all the abuse heaped upon one of my favorite artists, the thought occurred to me that this tension between the church and artists has been going on for hundreds of years. I dream of the day when the church will stop alienating artists and start nurturing artists and give them a safe place to grow and become the people God wants us to be. I wish we were more sensitive to the needs of artists. And I wish all artists loved the church and were growing in godly character and integrity.

I've come to believe that the best way to experience this material is within the context of a team or small group. You can go through this book by yourself, but the greatest benefit would be gained by going through it in a small-group setting with other like-minded artists. You could study this material with your worship band, your church choir, your drama team, your dance troupe, and so on. This material was originally intended for just those kinds of groups. That's why I included the same group discussion questions I would typically use in my workshops. Because I will often stress the importance of being accountable to someone for changes you want to make in your life, there would also be a lot of value in going through this book as part of a one-on-one discipleship or mentoring relationship with a friend or another artist.

Each chapter of the book begins with a scenario that illustrates the focus of that chapter. Although the names I used and the scenarios are fictitious, they are based on real life -- situations I've experienced during my years in the ministry.

I currently have the privilege of serving as the music director at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. I was part of the original youth group that started the church, and was hired to my current position in 1984. I might refer to my home church from time to time, but this is not a book about Willow Creek. This is a book for Christian artists. I hope you will be encouraged by this book to fulfill the calling God has for you as an artist. And I hope you will be challenged to grow into the artist God wants you to be.

I am deeply indebted to Bill Hybels, whose leadership I have sat under for most of my life and whose teaching permeates this book more than even I probably realize. I am indebted to my wife, Sue, for her encouragement and support. And I am indebted to the team of artists at Willow Creek with whom I co-labor, some of whom I have known for over two decades. It is to them that I humbly dedicate this book.

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Table of Contents

Contents
Foreword by Bill Hybels
Preface
Introduction: Those 'Artsy Types'
1. Proven Character
2. Servanthood Versus Stardom
3. The Artist in Community
4. Excellence Versus Perfectionism
5. Handling Criticism
6. Jealousy and Envy
7. Managing Your Emotions
8. Leading Artists
9. The Artist and Sin
10. The Spiritual Disciplines of the Artist
Notes
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First Chapter

Preface
Selfishness, pride, perfectionism, defensiveness, jealousy, envy, emotional imbalance, and lack of discipline --- many people struggle with these character flaws, but Christians with artistic temperaments will face all these issues at various points of their lives if not throughout, simply by virtue of being artists. We don't stumble on these character issues by chance; they're part of our nature. It's what comes with being artists. I didn't consent to write this book because I had done a lot of research on character growth and thought that warranted a book. I wrote it because I've struggled with every character flaw discussed in this book. Most of what I've learned grew out of my quiet times with the Lord. I started sharing what God was doing in my life with my artistic friends at rehearsals, in my small groups, or on retreats. I sensed a kindred spirit with my fellow artists, most of whom also wanted to grow in the areas we all struggle with. I then began to share what I was learning at conferences and workshops and there too found countless others who were hungry for what God's Word has to say about growing in character as a Christian artist. Many of them would ask me to recommend further resources that spoke directly to those of us with artistic temperaments, but unfortunately there isn't much available. This book is written in response to that need.
I've been working with artists in the church for over twenty-five years now, and I've seen churches handle artists in one of two ways. We either coddle artists and put up with their shortcomings or we use and abuse artists. Irving Stone's The Agony and the Ecstasy, a biographical novel about the life of Michelangelo, has one long chapter devoted to Michelangelo's relationships with the various popes he worked for. Most of those relationships were stormy ones, and Michelangelo's experience as a church artist was extremely frustrating. As I read about all the abuse heaped upon one of my favorite artists, the thought occurred to me that this tension between the church and artists has been going on for hundreds of years. I dream of the day when the church will stop alienating artists and start nurturing artists and give them a safe place to grow and become the people God wants us to be. I wish we were more sensitive to the needs of artists. And I wish all artists loved the church and were growing in godly character and integrity.
I've come to believe that the best way to experience this material is within the context of a team or small group. You can go through this book by yourself, but the greatest benefit would be gained by going through it in a small-group setting with other like-minded artists. You could study this material with your worship band, your church choir, your drama team, your dance troupe, and so on. This material was originally intended for just those kinds of groups. That's why I included the same group discussion questions I would typically use in my workshops. Because I will often stress the importance of being accountable to someone for changes you want to make in your life, there would also be a lot of value in going through this book as part of a one-on-one discipleship or mentoring relationship with a friend or another artist.
Each chapter of the book begins with a scenario that illustrates the focus of that chapter. Although the names I used and the scenarios are fictitious, they are based on real life --- situations I've experienced during my years in the ministry.
I currently have the privilege of serving as the music director at Willow Creek Community Church in South Barrington, Illinois. I was part of the original youth group that started the church, and was hired to my current position in 1984. I might refer to my home church from time to time, but this is not a book about Willow Creek. This is a book for Christian artists. I hope you will be encouraged by this book to fulfill the calling God has for you as an artist. And I hope you will be challenged to grow into the artist God wants you to be.
I am deeply indebted to Bill Hybels, whose leadership I have sat under for most of my life and whose teaching permeates this book more than even I probably realize. I am indebted to my wife, Sue, for her encouragement and support. And I am indebted to the team of artists at Willow Creek with whom I co-labor, some of whom I have known for over two decades. It is to them that I humbly dedicate this book.
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 12 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013

    Recommend

    This has been a great book to read with our small group. A lot of healing for me.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 20, 2012

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED for anyone in Ministry

    Awesome book with valuable lessons for anyone in Ministry, not just artists. We are about to have all of our Ministry leaders read it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2009

    This Book Is A Must to Any Worship and Arts Department

    My overview of this book is short but very purposed. I used to think that the book "Exploring Worship" was the only book a Worship Pastor which I am could use until Bro. Rory's book. What exploring worship is to your own personal relationship with God, "The Heart of the Artist" is to yourself, your family, your church, and the ultimately the world, it meets your needs on how to PRACTICALLY walk out your gifts in the erath today! get this manual!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2005

    Outstanding Resource For Christian Artists

    This is definitely a must-read for those who are struggling with being an artist and being a leader in a local church! Rory will encourage that you can do both and be successful especially in God's eyes. This book will also encourage you to live a life that pleases God so that you may be blameless while fulfilling your destiny. Great book!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2002

    Excellent Resource for Artistic Christians

    We are studying this book as a group in choir. It provides some great insights into the artistic personality and some of the challenges that artists face that perform in the Church. It is biblically based teaching that would be helpful to anyone with a melancholy personality, whether an artist or not, and whether or not they are involved in church. Well written.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 21, 2001

    A Must for Christian Artists

    The Heart of the Artist is like no other book you¿ve read. Written for artists by an artist, this frank, knowledgeable book deals head-on with issues every person in an arts ministry faces. With passion and conviction that come from personal experience, Rory Noland, music director for Willow Creek Community Church, addresses topics such as Servanthood Versus Stardom, The Artist in Community, Excellence Versus Perfectionism, Jealousy and Envy, Managing Your Emotions, and The Spiritual Disciplines of the Artist. The Heart of the Artist will help you gain a better understanding of yourself and your unique place in the body of Christ. You¿ll find wisdom and encouragement that can help you survive the challenges and reap the rich joys of a ministry in the creative arts. Many of the artists at my church have read and enjoyed this book

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2001

    A Must Read for ALL Christian Artists

    Mr. Noland pulls no punches in his straight talk about the realities of Christian artistry. The jealousies, rivalries and insecurities wich abound in any artistic group are dealt with according to the Word of God. For ALL ministry leaders: This is a must read for ministry team members.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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    Posted September 21, 2011

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    Posted December 24, 2009

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    Posted July 26, 2011

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    Posted January 9, 2010

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    Posted January 13, 2010

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