At the Elkhart campus of Granger Community Church we have an office for Don Reynolds our Director of Creative Arts but if you go into his office you’ll soon realize that he really spends no time there. It has a desk, storage space, great windows overlooking a beautiful dogwood tree and green space – legitimate reasons for spending time there. Fortunately, we are a portable bunch with our Mac computers, iphones, and ipads…it’s a good thing. We have flexibility. We can work from anywhere and most of the time when Don is on campus, I can find him upstairs in the tech room working on creating for the weekend.
As you may or may not know, here at GCC we live in the AND world. We believe that we can be a church that is both missional (sending every believer to carry the mission of God into every sphere of life) AND attractional (a “come and see” experience that removes barriers and offers the relevant, life giving truth of Jesus to all who come to the gathering) We believe the arts matter and we believe in executing our mission with excellence.
Don is an artist, he’s a writer, he’s a creator. Hours each week are spent creating the right lighting sequence for every second of our services. The stage is arranged and rearranged for specific players or moments. Music tracks, videos all created for our time together on the weekend. Soon after I joined the Elkhart team, while still trying to get the lay of the land, Don and I were in a conversation that had to do with the amount of time and effort that goes into creating the “weekend”. His response to some of my questions resonated deeply with my own artistic bent. Don explained that “yes, we do spend a great deal of energy on the “show” because do you know that God creates a “show” for us with every sunrise and sunset, with every cotton ball cloud in the sky, every multi colored bird sitting in the branch of the pink dogwood, every blade of green grass”…do you see where this is going? Just as God’s natural creation “show” points to His glory and majesty, we’ve made a decision to invest in the artistic energy it takes to create space and experience that points to specific moments that we believe are Holy Spirit directed.
It’s easy to assume that the sun is just going to come up in the east and that the incredible hues of pinks and reds are no big deal but if we allow ourselves a moment to absorb the tremendous gift of a gorgeous sunrise, we begin to see that the “show” is drawing us in, that the Spirit of God is wooing us into closer relationship with Him. That’s why we expend the energy and time to create space and experience that are conducive to softening our hearts and opening our minds to hear with greater clarity what God may be saying to us.
See the show – carry the mission – live in the AND!