If you’ve come to an Exponential conference, you’ve seen and heard Brazilian natives and church planters Lucas and Evelyn Cortazio in every main session. As part of the Exponential family, the Cortazios have led worship at our live gatherings for the last five years. In this guest post, Lucas shares his passion for reproducing artists and three vital questions to ask as leaders called to mobilize the body of Christ.
I love helping people find their way back to God! At Community Christian Church where my wife, Evelyn, and I serve, that is our mission. It is our why. I also love church planting—one our big how’s for carrying out what God has called us to do.
Five years ago, Evelyn and I helped plant a church in Boston, and we now work to equip others to do the same. We’ve seen firsthand how planting multiplies the Church. Leaders reproduce leaders, coaches reproduce coaches, and churches reproduce churches. Through reproduction and multiplication, we create momentum and movement for the mission Jesus has called us to carry out.
But my biggest passion, perhaps, is reproducing artists. Because I’m following my unique, God-given calling, nothing comes close to the same joy of pointing out someone’s potential, having countless one-on-one conversations, instructing, laughing and crying with him/her, and watching that person flourish in his/her unique life calling.
The Power of the Arts
Artists play an enormous role in moving the Jesus mission forward! For centuries, the Church has relied on artistry (through songs, dance, paintings, words, etc.) to remind us of who God is and who we are in His eyes. The arts have also equipped us to respond to all that God has done, what He is doing, and what He will do in, through and around us. Time and again, the arts have realigned our hearts and minds to the heart and mind of Christ.
Something beautiful happens when multiple voices come together to sing truth in the form of poetry mixed with melody that the saints have sung for centuries. You’ve felt that power before, moved into a deeper understanding of who God is and who you are. An artful expression has the power to reach into parts of the mind and soul that literal information simply doesn’t have. Perhaps that’s why Jesus used parables to teach His followers—instead of literal information.
The Arts—Empowered and Released
So what kind of movement would we be if we neglect the power of the arts? I don’t think any of us would disagree that worship in its various forms offers us transcendent expressions of faith that usher us into God’s presence and prepare our hearts and minds for the Spirit’s leading.
But are we as church leaders doing what we need to do to empower and unleash the artists in our midst?
Are we proactively looking for the artists both in our church and in our community, empowering them to use their gifts and follow their calling?
Are we coming alongside artists to disciple them, taking the time to build relationships and help them grow in their faith and role?
Are we intentionally reproducing artists, developing systems and processes that equip artists to identify an apprentice and reproduce themselves?
The church is a living body, and the arts are a major part of that body. Let’s not miss this! That’s why I love the conversations happening at Exponential. God is truly moving in unprecedented ways. As teachers and artists commit to planting reproducing churches, we’re seeing the shaping of a movement that is truly changing the course of God’s Church throughout the world. What a time to be alive!
In fact, I believe this may be the beginning of a global revolution filled with truth and beauty—an awakening to whom we were called to be as God’s Church. The global body of Christ comes together, learning from what God is doing in and through each other, and joining our voices to celebrate through the arts. In doing so, we remember, respond, and realign ourselves to the God who redeems and renews all things!
As leaders of God’s Church, we’re called to multiply it. What role will your artists play in this commission? Are you and your team thinking through what you need to do to reproduce artists and be ready to send out artists as you plant and multiply churches? I encourage you to come to Exponential East in Orlando and meet other leaders wrestling with these questions, as well as take part in the workshop breakouts. We can’t talk about multiplication without talking about equipping, reproducing and releasing our artists.
Brazilian natives based out of Naperville, Illinois, Lucas and Evelyn Cortazio are songwriters, church planters and worship pastors at Community Christian Church and Community Music. The couple has a DNA of multiplication and leads with a desire to reproduce the right heart posture in each artist, contributor and attendee at Community. They’re making lyrics out of their stories and melodies out of their dreams with a mission of helping people find their way back to God. Download their new music EP here.