And this culture's language transcends just words. Across multiple media, through visuals, speaking, and writing, the quest to communicate ideas effectively has shaped who I am.
My Intersection of Creativity, Faith, and Art
I just went with my family for a trip to Disney World a couple of weeks ago. It has been a while since I’ve visited there, but I was quickly reminded of why it is such an amazing place. And as I looked around, I realized there are a lot of lessons that local churches can learn from how Disney World does things. So here are ten things that I learned that I know we can use at my own church. Maybe you can use some of these ideas at your church, too. 1. The experience begins before you enter. The front entrance to the Magic Kingdom It starts with the Disney website that you booked the trip through, or the confirmation email that comes soon after. It starts maybe with the Disney luggage tags and customized vacation planner that arrive in the mail. It starts with the road signs that you see long before you see a castle in the distance. The Disney busses that shuttle park visitors from the airport to the Disney hotels are painted with Disney motifs, and have old Disney cartoons playing on the TVs. When you get to the parks, you’ll hear music playing through artfully hidden speakers long before you’ve gone through the turnstiles. Everything everywhere communicates anticipation, welcome, and a sense that you’ve arrived someplace very special. The takeaway for my church is clear to me. People’s experience begins long before they set foot in the church. What does our website say, especially to people who have yet to experience a worship service or small group with us? How...Learn More
I’m very pleased to reveal a new logo for the church where I work, Covenant United Methodist Church in Dothan, AL. This logo redesign is the first step in a design overhaul that we’re moving towards, and I’m so excited to be a part of it. The new logo goes “live” in the next week or two, but you, fair readers, get this sneak preview! The previous logo was lacking in a number of areas, and so the task of the new design was to have a logo that had a distinct and unique graphical element that reflected who we are, as well as clean, professional, modern type. T]he name of our church is Covenant United Methodist Church, and so the idea was developed of using a wax seal as a visual metaphor. At the Last Supper, Jesus speaks of the blood of the New Covenant – a new deal being made with all of humanity, a deal sealed with nothing less than the very blood of the Son of God. It is because of this covenant, sealed in blood, that we have enormous freedom. The grace of God is undeniable, and changes everything about us. The wax seal implies a deal that is sealed, and the cross over it indicates what gives power to the covenant. The wax is naturally red, but it also echoes the color of the blood of Christ. The type is rendered in a solid, thick, serif typeface that reflects integrity and confidence. The blue color is the compliment to the red and provides ample contrast. The subhead text brings visual balance to the...Learn More
Remember The Truman Show? The Jim Carrey movie from 1998? In it, Jim Carrey’s character, Truman Burbank, is an insurance adjuster who discovers that his entire life is one big fiction, a television show that has documented his life, 24 hours a day, from the moment he was born. I remember when this movie came out, watching it in the theater, thinking, “This movie’s on to something. This movie’s not just a fun fiction to watch. This is saying something.” I’ll bet if I were to watch it today, I’d realize how prescient the movie was. Granted, MTV’s The Real World had been on the air for 6 years already, an incredible trailblazer in the genre now known as reality TV. But Survivor was still 2 years away from crowning Richard Hatch as the first winner. Truman never asked to be famous. He never asked for a TV show to document his life. The reality of today’s “reality” TV is that people willingly and eagerly submit themselves to constant scrutiny. They simply want to be known, and this is seen as an inherently good thing. A 2008 study on Narcissism and Celebrity surveyed 400 people, 200 of them celebrities. (Remember Narcissus?) The study measured 7 components of personality that relate to narcissism (Authority, Exhibitionism, Superiority, Entitlement, Exploitativeness, Self-Sufficiency, and Vanity). The results? No surprise, really. Celebrities are significantly more narcissistic than the general population. But among celebrities, women are more narcissistic than men (which is opposite of the general population). And among the types of celebrities (Comedians, Musicians, Reality TV personalities, and Actors), guess which group was the most narcissistic of...Learn More