Talk to someone even remotely engaged in today’s culture, and you’ll likely find a person well-versed in the music, movies, and accompanying gossip of our time. In many instances, the arts have become a cesspool for immorality and hopelessness. But for one man, this fact sparked a life-purpose to see the church rise up and use her God-given talents to honor Him and bring hope to a lost world.
“I have always looked at the artistic excellence of the world and seen how people’s God-given gifts are twisted to proliferate Satan’s influence in our culture,” Charis Bible College student Nathaniel Carter shared in a recent interview. “Recently I started asking myself why the church hasn’t recognized this powerful tool that’s been left on the shelf.”
Nate grew up in a Christian home surrounded by godly examples of people using their talents to honor the Giver, but much of what he saw seemed tied to religious dos and don’ts. “I grew up knowing the Word of God but rarely experiencing it. I knew the expectations of the religion I grew up in, but I had never seen the love of God displayed to me in the way I now understand it. I didn’t really know the God of the Bible—and the Holy Spirit kept confirming to me that I would find what I needed at Charis.”
Even though he had a steady job, a fine arts degree from a respected university, and a portfolio that qualified him as a professional musician and actor, Nate took Philippians 3:13-14 to heart. He decided to “forget those things which are behind and press on toward the goal” of God’s high calling for his life.
“At Charis, I discovered that nothing can trump the satisfaction of true relationship with God. It is something I can’t logically process—but I have experienced it! In my secular arts education, the concept of experiencing what you have theoretically understood is the cornerstone of the learning process, and praise God, it has become my spiritual cornerstone here.”
After Nate started attending Charis, he began recognizing needs that his previous education and experience gave him the ability to fill: “I started volunteering with the praise and worship team and the Audiovisual Department. After eight months, I was offered a part-time job. I worked faithfully with the AV department and, last October was offered a full-time position.” One of Nate’s first assignments was the month-long Christmas at Charis extravaganza. He became an integral part of the set design, production, and technical direction for each showcase. “The event really created a community within the college that gave students an avenue to use their giftings in ways many of them had never considered.” That’s what Charis is about: stirring the hearts of people to discover and use their God-given gifting to change the world.
“I’m so excited to be stepping into what God has planned for my life. I want to use my gifts to paint a picture of God from a perspective that most have never seen. We, the church, have a message worth sharing—we need to learn to do it with excellence and use every avenue God has given us to accomplish it. For me, that’s by redeeming the arts.”