Why Design Matters
The parts of the Bible that define God as Creator are of particular interest to me, because I am in a creative field. There are literally hundreds of Scriptures that refer to God as a maker and creator – in both large and small scale context.
And when God asked someone to create something, there was a thorough line of vision, organization, and detailed direction (see Exodus 25, supplies and directions for the Tabernacle just as a case in point). What I really love about these references is God is kind of the “ultimate creative director”. He doesn’t speak the solution until He is dedicated to it. There is no change of mind. It’s decisive vision. He also did the heavy lifting – personally creating the core assets and then keeping track of how the formatting was going (down to the numbers of hairs on their children’s children’s heads).
Design matters in ministry because it matters to God who crafted us in His likeness.
Kids, by nature, desire to make things, draw, and sculpt – aesthetic pursuits. We instinctively want to creative. My friends that are not professional designers or makers all seem to have a creative hole they try to fill.
Design Can Attract People to Church and to God
Designers/creatives drive and motivate everyone else in the world to make decisions. What are you going to wear this year? What is the sofa in your house going to look like? What hotel will you stay at? What jelly will you buy at the store? Design determines many of those decisions.
I hope to one day see churches bring out the best of the best of artists and designers. Look at the Sistine Chapel; when it was created, there was no compromise of quality or suppressed vision. Those murals still attract people to God’s house hundreds of years later. It was design that was resourced with finances and time that attracted the masses.
The more we design and create, the more the Creator is revealed through us. If design is compromised or suppressed, we are overlooking the very quality or attribute God gave us – what makes us unique. We are also missing the opportunity to drive/motivate someone to attend church.
Design Speaks to Those Who Are Not Listening
People will judge a church without ever experiencing it in person. A church may appear on a website or social media platform as outdated or not interesting, cheesy, or not diverse. However, a well-executed plan for design can speak volumes to someone you won’t have a chance to say anything to. Design is strategy and speaks to those who aren’t listening. It’s a fast impression, an emotion they might not be able to verbalize, but they feel it. It actually takes less than 6 seconds to communicate visually. It’s the fastest form of communication.
Design can enhance any experience, message, series brand, video, worship set, lobby encounter… It can make a teaching or series committable to memory. Name it; it’s better with strategic, beautiful design. Look at companies, who devote so many resources to creating a memorable brand experience, commercials, ads, web site design, protecting their image, social media feeds. When these things are ugly, or confusing, or malfunctioning, or absent, it’s a turn off.
Design matters because design speaks. Good design speaks good. Bad design speaks bad. Let’s reflect our great Designer and design things that speak and reflect well on our Creator. Good design matters.