An online magazine for pastors and church leaders.

Disclaimer: I have nothing against Interior Decorators. If you are one, I do not intend any malicious intent against you or your profession.

The church has gone through many phases of design. Last month, I talked about how the original church was about people and relationships. There was not a physical building associated with the church.

Shortly thereafter the church went through a phase where imagery was distinct and heavy in the church: stained glass, art work, frescos, and statues. Every form of imagery imaginable was used to cultivate worship in grandiose buildings meant to inspire your attention toward the Creator. Not only were there pictorial elements used to engage in worship, but there were also sensory elements used in the worship services: candles, responsive readings, communion, and music. These elements created an atmosphere of awe, reverence, and response.

The modern church movement swung the pendulum to the other corner. The church atmosphere became a living room environment. Interior designers wanted a comfortable environment. So the church became a living room.

Living rooms are not bad things. Living rooms are where we do life. Living rooms are a place to rest. They’re a place to kick your shoes off.

But they aren’t active. And worship is an active response to what Christ is doing in our lives.

We aren’t trying to create a great place to take a nap. We shouldn’t be looking for a way to make our spaces look “pretty.” We should look to create an atmosphere where people can engage with worship and community.

It’s not about fake plants, a little beige paint, and teal carpets. Great atmospheres are immersive. There is sight, taste, smell, touch, talk/listening.[quote]Great atmospheres are immersive.[/quote]

Your atmosphere doesn’t just start when you walk into the worship space. It starts when you get out of your car in the parking lot. What you do, what you value, and who you value should be incredibly evident in every piece of the church atmosphere. Your experience should be highly intentional ? creating a place where people feel like they’ve come to connect and have community.

Another way to look at this is to look at Apple. They are highly intentional ? not only about the design of their products ? but also the design of their product packaging. They put someone in a room with the product and discover how to improve every element of the unboxing experience. They turn every aspect of the product into an experience.

What?s in a church experience? The carpet colors? The paint on the wall? Just the worship center? The halls going into the worship center?

I’d like to propose that it is all in the mix ? what you see, taste, smell, hear, converse about, how you check in your children, the person that greets you at the door or brings you an umbrella when it rains, how the worship center is set up and lit. It isn’t just an interior decorator?s job any more. There are ambient light levels and sound levels in the halls, projection in the worship center, and spaces meant for community that all come into play.

I lived in Texas for a few years and got to experience some of the largest churches the US has to offer. Churches like Gateway, Watermark, Irving Bible Chapel, and Fellowship Church are being seriously intentional about creating spaces that create conversation, engage relationships, and take their environment beyond the fake tree.

Gateway and Fellowship have some of the most engaging children?s environments I?ve been in. Talk about a way to wow people and make them feel comfortable about leaving their kids for an hour or two. Irving Bible and Watermark have created lobby spaces that speak to what their church is about and encourage community.

There are many churches that create this experience well. And others that are trying to figure it out. But it is all relative to your community. Some churches thrive on that coffee shop feel and some actually enjoy the living room feel. Some are more artistic; and that is reflected in how they engage their community on the weekends. Still others are more traditional. It isn’t about right or wrong but being intentional about who you are.



More from this Author

31 replies on “The Death of the Interior Decorator”

Hi Denny,

I’m a church interior designer and appreciated your article.

Very well said.

Churches can offer an array of services. However I focus on their traditions, how the space(s) feel and how that sense can be improved.

Some churches could perhaps be described as living things and others as living rooms as you stated.

Churches I visit are thankfully different and it keeps my creativity/passion alive.

Again – I enjoyed your article.


Michael Smith

That comes down to approximately 32 million contractions in only one year.
Teeth must be brushed twice or higher times daily for arund
two minutes and flossed at least one time per day. Meanwhile your body wasn’t sensitized to the
bacterial and viruses that started the soreness process.

Der Artikel ist wirklich intressant. Das Thema hat mich schon sehr lange interessiert und
ich konnte hier noch einiges erg?nzendes finden. Ich bin schon sehr
gespannt, weitere Neuigkeiten zu lesen. Danke und Gr??e aus Heidelberg Marco Feindler

It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this fantastic blog!
I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS
feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this site with my Facebook
group. Talk soon!

hi!,I like your writing very so much! share we be in contact more about your article on AOL?
I require a specialist on this area to resolve my problem. Maybe that is you!
Looking ahead to peer you.

Needed to send you the very little note in order to give many thanks once again for those fantastic
guidelines you’ve shared in this case. This is tremendously generous of you to
allow unhampered all some people might have offered for an e-book to generate some money for themselves, primarily since you might
well have done it in case you decided. The suggestions also
worked to become a fantastic way to fully grasp that some people have similar dream like my very own to know the truth significantly more on the
subject of this issue. I think there are numerous more fun moments in the future for many who read carefully your site.

Colors like dark blue, black, beige, brown and grey are ideal for work, however if the surroundings inside your office isn’t that
‘official’ per se, you could even pick more dramatic colors like green and pink.

She has had more hairstyles and colours than we could ever imagine, and contains
displayed virtually every style possible to man, even making the tom boy and casual tracksuit look seem appealing.
It’s not just about selecting a pretty dress; in addition, you should make a choice which makes you fit
in yet be noticeable on the same time.

Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?

I have a blog based upon on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some
stories/information. I know my readers would enjoy your work.

If you are even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

Pretty portion of content. I simply stumbled upon your site and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact loved account
your blog posts. Any way I will be subscribing to your augment and even I fulfillment you get admission to constantly quickly.

Das ist bekannterma?en der Hit, Besten Dank!

Dies hat mir gefallen und ist ?beraus aufschlussreich.
Die Ideenfinde ich erkl?rlich. Ebendiese Eingebungen sind mir genauso durchaus durch die R?be gegangen.
Weil ich beachte, dass das auch zum Vorteil von meinen B?cherw?rmern ein fesselndes
Anliegen scheint.

Having read this I believed it was really enlightening.
I appreciate you spending some time and effort
to put this informative article together. I once again find myself
personally spending way too much time both reading and posting comments.

But so what, it was still worth it!

Please let me know if you’re looking for
a writer for your site. You have some really good articles and I feel I would be a
good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d love to
write some articles for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
Please blast me an email if interested. Kudos!

Pretty component to content. I simply stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that
I get in fact loved account your blog posts. Anyway I’ll be
subscribing in your feeds or even I success you access consistently quickly.

Thanks for a marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you
happen to be a great author.I will ensure that I bookmark
your blog and will come back in the foreseeable future.
I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great job, have a nice evening!

Amazing blog! Do you have any tips for aspiring
writers? I’m hoping to start my own site soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
Would you advise starting with a free platform like
Wordpress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m completely overwhelmed ..
Any recommendations? Bless you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More on this topic

Related Posts

The Role of a Live Video Producer

You’re more valuable when you work yourself out of as many jobs as you possibly can. Raise up leaders like a Volunteer Video Producer to help you and the team execute your Sunday worship services with excellence.

Read More »