We incorporate stage design, props, and lighting to create impressive worship environments. Every series is branded with new graphics, logos, and lingo every four weeks. We find creative ways to update traditional church terms. We sing contemporary music. The church is using a lot of theatrical and marketing tools to attract and retain church-goers.
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. At the churches where I’ve been on staff, my job has revolved around these forms of communication. The challenge to the church is when we are being creative for creativity’s sake. This causes the message to get lost in the method. We don’t need to throw out the methods; we need to be more strategic in their use.
I read an article recently that said people are used to being entertained, and so the church needs to be more entertaining. I disagree. Story-telling, stage-design, lighting, language, and music are the method. The Message is the message. The question every church communicator needs to ask before embarking on any creative journey is, “How can we convey the Good News of Christ to a
lost dying unsaved non-reli gious unchurched post-Christian postmodern not-yet-Christian world?” The method then flows out of the message.
The answers are, “In my community, people would respond best to ____________.” And then figure out, of all the possible fill-in-the-blank answers, which ones your church could do within your budget and with real impact. If that doesn’t include set decoration, then don’t do it just because every megachurch creates a new worship environment every four weeks. Because creativity for creativity’s sake is a wasted opportunity to spend time strategically considering how you can be creative for God’s sake.