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9 Types of Creative Experiences Your Church Can Implement

9 Types of Creative Experiences Your Church Can Implement

I took my first creative roll at a church in my early twenties. From what I had seen around me growing up, I thought I knew what that job entailed: overseeing the music, managing the visuals, and creating a video from time to time.

Have you ever had one of those experiences where you think you know what you’re getting into, but things turn out to be much different? That is exactly what happened to me. Within two months, I was saying to myself, “There must be something more…some way to engage people that we’re not really thinking about.”

And I’ve spent the last decade exploring how we can move beyond the presentational and create interactive moments that help people engage with God more deeply in the context of worship. To go beyond the presentational and into the experiential.

I’ve had the honor to work with small churches of a few hundred to giant events with over 20,000 – both inside and outside the Church. Bottom line, these kinds of experiences engage people in some fresh ways. And having a list like this has helped our team vary our experiences and get out of the rut of doing the same things over and over again.

I think they’ll be helpful for you too.

The experiences are broken down into two general categories: passive and active. Passive, meaning that things are happening to the participant. And in active experiences, people are being invited to get up and participate.

Passive

Things are happening to the participants.

1. Visual Elements

Create supporting graphics, lighting, and other visual elements that work in tandem with one another.

2. Environmental

Change something in the environment to immerse people in the theme.

Change something in the environment to immerse people in the theme.

3. Happening

An inciting incident that spurs thought or reflection – an inspiring performance or unexpected experience.

4. Sensory

Engage the senses to bring meaning. Especially consider implementing touch, smell, or taste.

5. Iconic

A takeaway that allows the message and ideas to travel out with the people. Something people can reference back to throughout the week and beyond.

Active

Participants are being invited to participate.

6. Reflection

Change the rhythm of the gathering by creating space to reflect upon a question or idea. This may also involve writing something down.

Change the rhythm of the gathering by creating space to reflect upon a question or idea.

7. Social

An opportunity for people to connect in the room. More than just “what do you think about this?” Have people share stories of their experiences.

8. Homework

Give people something to do when they leave. Spur people toward doing, not just hearing.

Spur people toward doing, not just hearing.

9. Interactive

Invite people to get up out of their seats and engage in a collective art piece or a tactile metaphor.

I know these experiences will be really helpful to you and your team. I have a video that goes more in depth with these experiences here.

Also, I have two other really helpful videos and tools, all built around cultivating more creative environments. So click here, and I’ll send you the additional videos and tools.

About The Author

Cole NeSmith

Cole is the Creative Director and co-pastor of City Beautiful Church in Orlando, FL. His new book, Spiritual Innovation, helps us move from the need for control to a new level of exploration, expectation, discovery, and creativity in our faith and lives. He also creates interactive and reflective art and worship experiences through his company, Uncover The Color. He blogs at colenesmith.com and is on Twitter @ColeNeSmith.

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