I was sitting with a friend the other day at coffee. He and I had worked together a few years back and were catching up on life, family and work when he asked about the SALT Conference our team is putting on. He was curious about what we meant by the term “visual worship”…. so I began to share a bit of the vision with him.
He was a bit surprised that a small part of our vision is to encourage and equip the church to tell great story that isn’t narrative. I went on to explain that story can be told through narrative of course, but it can also be told through environment, atmosphere and your physical space.
You and I are storytellers.
We’re all storytellers… our medium may be unique,
but we’re all storytellers.
If you work for a church (part-time, full-time or volunteer), then you’re well aware that a good majority of people will sit in your sanctuary or spend time in your building for upwards of 20-30 minutes before anyone from the stage ever says a single thing.
What’s the story that you’re telling in that 20-30 minute window?
It doesn’t have to be a witty short film, or the skit team on stage… your environment can usher people into a narrative without saying a single word or typing anything on the screen.
It doesn’t need to be advertisements for the next gathering either… that window of time has the opportunity to engage someone’s heart and begin opening the door of imagination through which truth can be explored.
My friend and I sat and pondered some of the various ways you and I can tell story through our space, talking about texture, depth, color, music, people, scents, smells, etc. And then I had a realization.
You ARE telling a story right now with your space. You may not know it, but you’re space is conveying some sort of message… maybe it’s a message of an environment where the sick go with stark white walls and florescent, cool lighting fixtures that reminds people of a hospital. Or maybe it’s a welcoming log cabin with leather chairs, a fireplace and dark walls that welcome people into a homey environment. One appeals to me more than the other, but don’t miss the point–both are telling a story.
We’re all storytellers.
You’re probably better at narrative than I am. Your gift may be telling stories on the fly with your friends, or you may be really good at telling a story through a digital medium. However there is an opportunity to share something with your environment…
What story are you telling?