Worship Leader as Designer

Sorry I missed posting on Tuesday. I was catching up after a weekend away…

My wife and I bought our first house 2 years ago. In the months leading up to closing, we were virtually addicted to HGTV’s plethora of design shows (Splash of Color and Divine Design in particular). There was always a moment where the designer dramatically pulls out a painting, sculpture, or carpet swatch and declares, “This is what I’m basing the design of this room on.” Everything else would flow out of, and around, that inspirational piece.

A few months ago, I was talking to some worship leaders from my church, and I suddenly realized that—while I generally follow a linear flow of worship—I occasionally craft worship orders from a “design/inspirational” point of view. What I mean is that there is some central theme, or song, or concept, that serves as the centerpiece (obviously, God, Jesus, and the Cross are our spiritual centerpieces; I’m speaking here from a creative/inspirational perspective). Everything then flows out of—and around—that centerpiece.

The song, or thought, or concept serves to anchor the worship order (creatively), and gives purpose to it. It may be the first song, last song, or the middle. It may be a transition; or a scripture thought.

Again, while I think we should definitely tether ourselves to a worship flow that takes people on a journey from the “street to the altar” (and then out again), I think occasionally engaging in this “design-inspired” worship planning can introduce some holistic creativity to our efforts.

Up next… Thoughts on The National Anthem and Evangelism

What Goes On…

When I moved to “the big city”, one of the first things that was so shocking to me was how visible and accessible everyone’s home life was. Walking down practically any city street, you are maybe 10 feet away from someone’s living room, and their style — nouveau frat boy to OCD modernist — was on display for everyone to see. For years, frankly, I envied the clean lines and “just so” placement of people’s living rooms, their oh-so-hip furniture and general tidiness.

Over the years, I began to form stories in my mind about what happened inside those nifty spaces. “Surely,” I reasoned, “those folks are the most hip, gentle, intelligent people on the planet; surely the clean lines of their furniture match the nifty efficiency of their lives.” I could see a married couple on the couch, looking up from their copies of The Atlantic and the New York Times to debate the spiritual ramifications of post-modern literary theory while sipping cappuccinos. I saw children getting up after only 3 gentle beeps of a clever alarm clock (probably designed in Sweden), silently but quickly eating their healthy breakfast before jaunting off to a day of classical education.

Now, I like good design. Nothing major (though I do have a subscription to this, lol), just an appreciation for what goes in my living space. After saving for years, my wife and I have finally been able to put “that” kind of furniture in our house; to have “that” kind of kitchen. Though the furniture is still arriving and being unpacked, it is neat and tidy (and some of it, in fact, I believe is designed in Sweden). In fact, our house is pretty darn comfortable to be in, and I think communicates what we like about space, about art, and about life.

But guess what?

+ Parents still oversleep in this house, and have to rush around getting ready for work;
+ Kids need to be practically shoved out of bed in the morning to get ready for school;
+ Dust accumulates everywhere practically every two minutes!
+ Dinners get overcooked;
+ Homework gets struggled through…

Part of me is a little let down: having a comfortable couch doesn’t re-make your life — but part of me also realizes that all of this probably went on behind those peoples’ doors as well.