Tuesday, July 3, 2007

What's Right with the World

In mid-June I attended the Arts Conference at Willow Creek in Barrington (suburban Chicago), IL. The theme for the event was “Hallelujah, What’s Right with the World.” It was an amazing experience. Envisioning a church service that takes place in that kind of atmosphere was difficult at first, but once I realized how well organized they were and how friendly, knowledgeable and helpful the volunteers were it was easy to see how they can accomplish such a large undertaking several times a week. (The picture above is a view of their stage in their sanctuary. Remind anyone of home? Didn’t think so.)

I learned so much! Not only did I get to hear speakers like Donald Miller and Erwan McManus, but I also went to 4 different sessions taught by the head drama director from Willow Creek. I came away with a lot of good ideas for how to form, maintain, and minister to my core drama group and a lot more confidence to audition and direct the members of the group in order to insure that our performances are as high quality as possible. The main thing I came away with was the idea that “drama asks the question that the sermon will answer”. Drama should be a vehicle to prepare the congregation for the message they are about to hear. I’m excited to start working with my drama group again and try to implement some of my new ideas.

It was also really interesting to see some samples of worship sets from other churches. I saw a multicultural presentation of dance (including break dancing), song, spoken word, rap, drama, and saxophone solo from a church in L.A. Very interesting! Not something we will ever use in Greenville, but interesting. The film festival was also a highlight. To see what churches are doing with video editing, etc. was truly amazing. We really got inspired to start making some of our own videos. We are starting next week with a Sunday School promo that involves people diving into a swimming pool fully clothed. We’ll see how it goes.

Overall it was a great time of fellowship with my team, good food, and lots and lots of information. It was definitely one of the things that is right with the world.

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