If I gave a 5-talk series on Christians and the Arts, the first theme would be:
“In the World”
The point of this talk would be to emphasize the first part of the saying “Be in the world but not of it.” As far as I can gather, these exact words do not occur in the Bible, but the principle is derived from such verses as John 17:15-16, in which Jesus says, "My prayer is not that you would take them out of the world, but that you protect them from the evil one," and II Cor 10:3, "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does."
I don't know how yours is, but my church is in no danger of being “of” the world. Far from it. On the contrary, my church is quite withdrawn from the world. We do not engage in social justice. We do not seek to meet the needs of people in our city. We are not involved in community outreach. And we certainly are not connected with the local arts scene or local intellectualism.
So my point would be to encourage Christians to get out in the world. We are commanded to do so! Be in the world! Get out there, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, go to concerts, walk through the art museum, listen to lectures, attend plays...
What's more, these two types of community involvement—in social justice or “goodness” and in the arts or “beauty”—can go beautifully together. For instance, the Allentown Symphony has an El Systema program that gets at-risk kids playing music rather than doing drugs. There are lots of other examples.
Question for you: Is your church “in the world,” or does it tend to be more isolationist? If it is in the world, how does it engage with the local arts scene?