From the pastor’s prayers to the people’s playground: An overview of how we plan our teaching at Westwinds (Part Three)
After the big idea is set, we start to look at the environmental aesthetic in our church and any community activity outside our church. Inside, we want to create space that rhymes with what we’re teaching, reinforcing the ideas in the messages.
We say “rhymes” because it doesn’t necessarily have to match. We plan abstract environments that capture a mood, rather than taking strong symbols and decorating our auditorium with something limited to one obvious meaning.
For example, for a series on money, another church might decorate their auditorium with dollar signs and play songs like “Money” by Pink Floyd. But we don’t want our aesthetic to be that narrow. We want to create an environment that allows people to reflect on their lives, on Jesus Christ, and—if prompted—also on money.
So instead of dollar signs, we might invite people to conduct a spiritual audit, leading them to reflect on scripture, cross-reference biblical references, and invite the Spirit to lead them in the process of change. We might decorate our walls with pictures of charity, goodness, or overall open-heartedness. We won’t strictly focus on money, but we won’t ignore it either. The idea is to try to put what’s going on behind money in our hearts.
As you can see, part four involves rhyming our message with our environment.