The first century church didn’t like art all that much. In that time, it was too closely connected with their suppressors, the Roman Empire. Through the centuries, the church has, in turn, embraced the power of art, and rejected it. In 21st century America, it’s good to embrace it. Americans today are more aware of good and bad design than ever. We have grown into sophisticated consumers who are familiar with fonts and videos, colors, and photography. We know what we like and what we don’t like, even if we can’t put a finger of exactly why design or lack of it makes us feel a certain way.
1. Good design speaks to people who are not listening.
The world these days is constantly changing. There’s always a new iPhone coming out, a redesign on your favorite website, a new display at the grocery store. When things look the same, they become invisible.
By changing and refreshing your church’s design, you make the message visible in new and engaging ways. When we do the same things with the same look for years on end, old habits become old hat. Keep the message True, but use design to change the way it looks, whether it’s by changing worship order, stage design, web or print design.
2. Good design helps people receive your message
Do you learn by seeing or by hearing? Some of us are visual learners and some of us are auditory learners. And to make things more complicated, however you gather information through any of your senses, you have to process it emotionally, socially, and intellectually.
In that order.
The first step to any of that, though, is in sensing. When someone visits your church, what they see, hear, smell, taste, and touch are giving them the information they need to make a judgment on whether your church is the right one for them.
By choosing aesthetically pleasing, consistent design, whether on your website, in print, or on the screen at church, you are allowing the message of the Gospel to land easily where there are fewer barriers to it being received.
3. Good design matters to God.
God is the ultimate designer. At the end of each phase of his ultimate design project (the creation of the universe), he stood back and said, “It is good.” Not, “it’s okay,” or “I’ll do better next time,” but “It is good.” In the same way that he put care and thought into the design of the earth, we can reflect Him by putting effort into design that moves people into deep, reflective, glorifying worship.