Monday, June 30, 2008

while I am talking about graffiti artists….

If it is possible…
I’d love to have a "live" graffiti painting session going on while pastor is preaching…

that's if we could do it with our 90 minute (oos) time constraint and handle the "smellement" issue...
graffiti gospel

Got it: shout out to Bill's brain...
Got some of the technicalities of the smellement worked out. We are having an outside service in August...

imperfect church…

ongoing staging for series idea…
marked by Christ…)

Same concept of painting on floating plexiglass…
But using the tagline for XC…

imperfect church…
be safe, be real, be changed…

Either paint (guel being the artist again!) these taglines on plexiglass and/or paint them on a cloth banner. Even using mixed media…
I see a thin, long vertical (say 4’ x 25’) cloth banner, with the letters scrolling down vertically…



with the excess cloth pooling or red carpeting out across the stage perpendicularly...
then each of the “be safe”, be real”, “be changed” tags being done separately on 3’ x 5’ plexigalass, so that they could be used independently for various series.

This will also help “brand” our tagline…

marked by Christ…

this idea originated by thinking up ideas for a message called “Marked by Christ” stories of transformation found in the tattoos of believers…

LAInked live:

stage design:
Would love to have a mad skilz artist (like Guel) paint mad tight tats on thin gauged 3’ x 5’ rectangles of plexiglas…
-these would be hung at different depths and heights on the stage.
-maybe even one in washable paint on the drum cage…
-how cool would it be to actually have a live tattoo artist set up on stage…

Interactive stations/take away:
-tat stations: either/or people could go to stations and get the little cheesy rub tats
- tattoo themselves (or artist do it) with sharpies)
- or henna tattoo stations.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

entice the skeptics, challenge the lukewarm and thrill the believers...

There is an ongoing battle of how we design worship elements and who our target is I hear it being played out all over the blogsphere and at my church...

It's an ongoing battle between what I call the "holy" line of thought process vs. and designing for Philistines (skeptics)...

From the "holy" camp...

Interestingly, our church doesn't do the seeker thing. I sort of worried about it at first, but our leadership explained that "If I be lifted up, I will draw all men unto myself..." and they don't worry about the seeker thing. They got that philosophy from a reliable source, by the way...

If we design from our hearts (read what we like) then God changes those who come..

from the "designing for Philistines" point of view...

I personally strive to: design to glorify God, design to entice the skeptics, challenge the lukewarm and thrill the believers... in that order.

My question for every camp, is it working for you...
Whatever pov camp you come from...a
re people becoming followers of Christ or are you just attracting other Christians from other churches...

I'll say it, because I know some of you are thinking...

No, this isn't about designing Christian "lite" worship still have to be uncompromising in sharing God's word and truth!

To all I say, design to glorify God, design to entice the skeptics, challenge the lukewarm and thrill the believers...

Yes, it's true, BUT...Jesus hung out at the wells. If Jesus was walking around metro DC these days I know I would hear him say...the other day I was hanging out at ______ (a gay bar)

As one person said: "As a pastor it is sometimes all too easy to think that I am actually important to God’s church when the reality is God could quite easily get the job done without my help. In fact,God may be a lot more effective with me out the way which is humbling to say the least. "

why designing for Philistines...

why designing for Philistines?

I thought I had explained my thought process behind designing for Philistines and I didn't. Doh!
What happened I started blogging when it occured to me couple major running themes going on in my blog…

1. The biggest one being that:
I am a freaky designer of cutting edge and relevant (read something relevant to people after Jimmy Hendrix, Prince, the Spice Girls and after 9/11)
5S (using all 5 senses)
experiential worship elements...
I am obsessed with this concept. I spend hours and hours research, searching youtube and such.

2. AND I REALLY dislike terms like “seeker” and “lost”, unless you are referring to the t.v. show. I find them extremely condescending and churchy sounding and actually so do they.
Why Philistines? It’s all Jon - of scl fame’s fault…he’s one of my fav (and prolific) bloggers. In his post "Calling People Seekers" – he discusses what “we” Christians call “people who do not go to church”. It really resonated with what I have been feeling for a long time AND from what I hear from those wonderful “people who do not go to church”.

3. I spend a lot of time with those who hang out at the well (read: people who do not go to church), and I love them to pieces. Those are the people who I feel compelled to design for. I want them to get a chance to know this guy named Jesus.

I have tried to find an online community that is like minded and have not been able to find one, so I decided to start one.
This blog is geared to researching, designing and implementing culturally relevant elements for worship. I may be blogging for myself, then again there may be 17 more people like me out there in the blogsphere who are “seeking” this type of information.

We will see. So welcome...
this is designing for Philistines...

Saturday, June 28, 2008


Had such a blast last night (and today) at our fuze team major blow out planning session.
We are starting to plan out a major 58 week series on the life of Jesus. Sweet. All the major teams were represented. Drama, dance, multi-media, creative writing, pPod (experiential worship and stage design), teachers, worship team, producers, pastor, past and present and even a visitor from another church.
It was mad wicked fun planning with all sorts of various elements.

We started out last night by spending about three hours interspersing worship, prayer and taking turns reading through the gospel of Mark aloud. It was so much fun, and very interesting to hear different versions of the Word being spoken aloud, by a wide variety of personalities. We even had a major crack up session over the passages Mark 8:13-22.
Viqui read her passage from the Good New Bible. (Sorry, the closest I could find was the Living Bible)…

The disciples had forgotten to stock up on food before they left,
and had only one loaf of bread in the boat.
As they were crossing, Jesus said to them very solemnly,
“Beware of the yeast of King Herod and of the Pharisees.”
“What does He mean?” the disciples asked each other.
They finally decided He must be talking about their forgetting to bring bread.
Jesus realized what they were discussing and said
“No, that isn’t it at all. Can’t you understand?”…
Jesus goes on to remind them of the two miracles
He had recently performed with loves and fishes…

Now, I realize this is probably one of those “you had to have been there” moments, but the way it was read, you could just hear Jesus trying really hard to not say “duh!” We started cracking up. Literally lol!

Anyway, to make a long story short(er) we already do a lot of “spoken word” at XC; but we decided that we really needed to read major chunks of the gospels through out the series. 58 weeks…that could add up to a whole lot of God’s word straight up and unadulterated. And we all are flat out fired up about it.

I’m excited to start sharing more as we process the notes from the retreat..

legend of the dancing goats...

I didn't write this. I am not sure where I found this, or I would give credit where credit is due...
Someday I will share the story I wrote entitled "Legend of the Dancing Goats"...
Anyway here goes...
I am a pretty avid coffee consumer.
I absolutely love a cup of coffee in the morning, mid day, and sometimes in the evening, too.
I’ve been kidded a great deal about my “addiction” to coffee for years now. If you are one who gets a lot of flack for the amount of coffee you consume like me there is hope!
I came across a story awhile back which describes how coffee can aid in your pursuit of God…no really! His story goes something like this:
There was once a goatherd who noticed that his goats had become increasingly jumpy and jittery. Upon further investigation, he discovered that they were consuming a shiny red berry so he took some and brought it to the monks.
The monks then examined the berry and during their investigation, they discovered that if it was roasted it gave off an invigorating aroma. In addition, when they put the hard berries in water to cool it created a very tasty warm beverage. They then discovered that if you enjoyed this new-found delight, it provided a boost to one’s alertness.
Being astute studiers of the Scriptures, they then began to enjoy this new “gift-from-God” whenever they grew sleepy from their intense studies in the Scriptures which, in turn, allowed them to study even more of God’s Holy Word!
Okay, okay…so it may not be completely true, but it does make for great conversation…over a cup of coffee.

Friday, June 27, 2008

digitally divided generations...

I read some interesting research today on defining the "age based/generational group": Millennials.

I really liked the comment on how today's youth see "being connected" is like air. Take it away from them (ipod, cell phone, web) and they can't live.

For years, I have seen this trend developing trend and I think researchers are missing it. I see this digital split occurring across every single recent "age based/generational" grouping.

See, the greatest phenomenon that is influencing today’s generations is ""digitally enabled/enhanced media". Think: cell phones, laptops/computers, iPods, facebok, youtube, blogging, twitter, digg). This "digitally enhanced/enabled media" is re-defining the boundaries on how various social groups and generations interface with each other: on some very basic levels, i.e. general preferences in lifestyle, communication (and for us worship) environments. A new syntax (language) of interconnectivity has evolved. And this is giving rise to a "digitally divided non-generational based" bracket.

What I think is missing is, researchers continually keep trying to define everything by old paradigms: "age/generational" groups. I feel there is a huge developing paradigm shift. Researchers seem to be missing that point.

I've been call this newly evolving group GEND (Digital Generation).

For example: this "digital division" recently cropped up during our creative team for worship design last week. The fuZe team designs and implements the creative/experiential elements for worship. We were looking at how people perceive God. (this is in a series on Revelation. This specific week is God revealed in Revelation).

  • The idea we went with is God's facebook.
  • The reactions were almost equally divided across each "age/generational" group.
  • It divided out this way...
  • Three 20/30 somethings, one 40 something and one 50 something: thought it was sick and culturally relevant...
  • Four 20/30 somethings, one 40 something and one 50 something: hated it...

One of the 40 somethings even went as far as to state that facebook was an ego based popularity contest...Wow! I felt like I was fighting a losing battle. Can you imagine how misunderstood a "digitally enhanced/enabled media" skeptic would feel.

Personally I think a wise research company should hire me (since it seems to be my idea totally) to test out this theory. Talk about ground breaking...

Does anyone else get my thought process?

my first submission to Creative Chaos @

05/04/08 'Getting Eaten By Whales is Bad For Your Health"

hear it, smell it, feel it…

I have been trying to implement 5S (5 senses) experiential design into our elements.
This was an ambiance set-up for worship for May 4th. Breaking it down:

1. The tech team played a long mp3 of the ocean, waves crashing etc., in lieu of the pre-service music. (link here to hear it)…to build the feeling of being at the ocean.

2. CANCELLED: Smell of the ocean. We were going to order simmering oils andl use warming plates to heat it and oscillating fans to disperse.
We did a tremendous amount of research into this project. Ran across a lot of difficulties implementing the scent element. Going into a lot more detail in scent machines...

3. Fans used to create the wind effect.

4. We had talked about adding some machines that cast waves like images on the walls of the auditorium. Sort of like the ones used in children’s rooms; that cast images. It didn't pan out. Went with a simple ocean wave projection on the screen. (here)

5. Since the wave images aren't going well. We decided to try to "invoke wave images" like the red material in this Paula Abdul video… . First we tried taking large osilating fans and attaching blue cloth to create a flowing length of blue cloth. Need more industrial strength fans.
So we wound up standing on chairs behind the stage curtains and waving the cloths by hand. It looked way cooler than the pictures could capture.

Originally posted at CruX-the heart of the matter.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

notes to self: gcc wired...

to extrapolate from in the future...
David S. could easily do this..

Mario live...

In the game "Halo:

GCC red letters..couple this with scrolling lettered scriptures

GCC management style w/ barbie dolls lol

If we are going to go '80's let really go all out..

on prayer...


Saturday, June 21, 2008


fuZe (creative team worship design) at XC is having a retreat June 27 and 28 at the Sanctuary.

soak logo...

vicar of vibe speaks on a spirtual tsunami...

I’m starting to feel that worship planning works like developing weather patterns & I personally feel a spiiritual/worship tsunami emerging across the nation.
For several months now, our team has been pushing design elements with that acoustic feel.
Intentionally creating a worship space that is safe, authentic and breaks down the worldly barriers we all enter with.
We have all personally expressed a desire for a more profound worship experience, where we feel we are able to drop our worldly masks and follow God’s prompting during worship.
“Reveal Survey" results show that a huge majority of people at XC are hungry for a deeper more intimate worship experience. People are searching for that genuine space dedicated to worship.
I probably track 50+ various blogs, websites that deal with worship design. I am seeing more and more churches pressing for a deeper worship experience, an extended time of simply worshipping.
A desire for softer, more intimate, “be still” time with our Father.

A few thoughts:

  • Space: It’s harder to reach that space if all the house lights and stage lights are blaringly white
  • Freedom of release: People need to know that it is o.k., to react to how they are feeling, i.e. raising hands, kneeling down, lying prostrate
  • Focus: On God, not the worship team
  • Continuity: Need to provide an extended worship set; that doesn’t start and stop. Imagine taking a nice hot shower, then getting hit with cold water. When you break up the music too much, that is the effect it has on worship.
  • Music: Insure that all the music is about God (not about us), that the words praise Him and His attributes.

Are we feeling this tsunami as worship designers? Are we actively throwing off the shackles of “this is how we have always done worship”? Are we personally seeking a more intimate worship experience? Are we designing to allow others to spend more time simply worshipping? People are yearning, they want to be immersed in God. Their hearts are crying out for something that is authentic, deep rooted, intense.
Let’s not let them (or God) down.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

God's facebook page...

for the upcoming series "Revelation Reflections" the fuzion team has decided to do an element where we are going to create God's facebook page...

As we get a little closer, I'll throw the link up.

Thoughts swirling around at the moment...

His full name (God Almighty)

He will have the default non-picture question mark...

Are you a friend of God's...

Seeing if you have friends in common...

What applications would God use?

rss feed: blog links...

What would happen if you 'poked' God?

anything short of sin...

great promo, great series title...

cardboard testimony...

cardboard testimonies...

what is your cardboard testimony?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

tattooed, pierced, disenfranchised ...

God calls me...

He calls me to journey along with the skepics.

I hang out at Starbucks and become friends with the tattooed, the pierced, the disenfranchised.

The skeptic, the Muslims, the unincorporated Christians. The ones that believe there is no God, but they profess belief in pirates and flying spagetti monsters...

God has a great sense of humor..why would He call me, this little old fluffy lady to walk in this hurting world. Mine is not to ask "why?"

All I know is that He loves them and I love them and am honored to walk with them as they explore their spiritual journey.
(When I find where I first located this tat/picture, I will give credit...)

10 commandments prop/skit...

we took this image and blew it up in high res to about a 4' x4' image on multiple shhets. Cut it out. Attached it to cardboard and thin pvc sheets (for stability) and then simply stuck it on a box.
It was the main prop for the "The Ultimate 10 Commandments Cheer" which was hyterical.

To see the skit go to Cross Current messages:
scroll down to 03.30.2008 - 04.27.2008: The Best of the bible RE:Mix
click on availible messages
then 04.26.2008: Drama - The ultimate 10 Commandments Cheer
and click "watch"
I promise it is worth going through all the hassles of getting there.

disclaimer: please don't look at our website, we are in the middle of redesigning it, upto and including having our dramas and videos posted on youtube.

soak...(Part 2 - frustrations)

Soak – Fuzion Lab

Part of my frustration level is, I feel there is a definitive barrier that separates the “old team family” vs. the new blood that they have been praying for.
I teased that they have been praying for specific people and God answered by sending this new blood and they don’t know what to do with them, can’t see them or don’t trust them.
There is a definitive ‘line of trust’, where you have to prove yourself…

Interesting, last night I threw out the thought I’ve been working on concept of the fuzion creative arts
Now, understand that I am not saying I am all that…
But, you think someone from the ‘family’ (with vision and foresight) would have picked up on it and said “That’s amazing, we’ve been talking about that and you have been designing one…maybe we should include you in the process…”

Hearing what people are saying and connecting the dots…

I’m very used to lighting a fire under the established the thought process to implement ideas from underneath. I don’t care about the credit,
I also understand that they don’t know my thought process. When I say “I’ve been thinking about it…” it means that I have planned the various conference tracks, the design on the weekend and the marketing approach.

I’ll just keep pluggin’ away, throwing ideas uphill, maybe eventually I’ll be able to break through the glass ceiling.

Keep reading for the idea...

soak...(Part 3 the lab)

Soak…XC fuzion creative arts lab…
(Creative Arts Design Team Conference)

Design: to ointroduce avenues for people to explore their gifts, talents and passion by checking us out on the various creative teams. Create synergy.

Media umbrella:

Utilize 5S (5 senses), generate buzz (saturate), repeat…

branding title for event (fits the partial (water) branding of XC )
We need to increase lead time for roll-out. Currently we tend to fall into a two-four week announcement and wonder why people don’t respond.
Focused 6 month marketing plan with emphasis on at least 2 months marketing (enrollment) roll-out, to increase attendance.

XC website:
6 week introduction with video and page link for more detailed description of each team:
3 weeks out pop it up to a primary location i.e. the four screen rotation

Soak…Promo Video: Setting the stage on Saturday morning.
Each team
Add tag box.
mouse over to show name
then…mouse click and eliminate that element.
drama, graphics, Stage set, Sound, band, going though until it is an empty stage, last click (tag box lighting). Black screen, logo in conference information.

Podium marketing:
Create kick-down table display area with take-away promo (handout) cards:
Take away: Various teams will promo cards created for their teams.
Working with marketing strategy to increase awareness of their presence at XC
Add-in bulletin, one a week. Make it memorable (typically the take away or insert has a 4-6 week shelf life in people home environment)

Conference design:

Creative Writing -
Dance Team –
Drama Teaam -
Graphic arts -
Lighting -
Music –
Sound Tech-
Videography –

Include these skill sets in promo/marketing
Digital Arts; videos, graphics
Hands On: Building and designing
Worship Band
Tech Team:

9:00 training session: participate in the Saturday morning set-up, enable them to get a feel for how it is put together each week.
10:00 worship
11:45 close at eagle ridge: travel to offices (other training site)
12:00 lunch
1:00 break out session
2:00 break out session
3:00 design it
4:00 worship
5:00 close

1,000,000 followers against the use of scary churchy words...

I want to start an application group on facebook that is:
1,000,000 followers against the use of scary churchy words...
First goal: Banning the term “seeker”…

“We’d like to welcome the seeker (read: we’ve got it - you don’t get it! ha, ha, ha!)”

It is so churchy, and screams out the “us against them” mentality that so many skeptics see exists.
It is not perceived as a friendly term, but comes across as very judgmental. You should hear them talk about it, and believe me they do…
We are so wrapped up in our “Christianize culture paradigm”
We really have to be more aware of how our language is perceived.

I am so soaked in the skeptic culture, it’s almost like I have developed a mind-meld with the thought process. The term “skeptic” is a more real interpretation of the journey and not as judgmental.

After I set up this application, THEN I’m joining the “Official Facebook Petition: To BAN the inviting of friends on Applications in Facebook…

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Revelation Series

Revelation Reflections

Stage Design Over entire Revelation Series (07/27/08-08/24/08)

Stage prop – giant mirror that reflects what we see in ourselves, and morphs throughout the series to reflect various aspects we are covering in the series. (and/or several sizes of mirrors hanging through out the stage) This element is APPROVED

What I am envisioning is a large light weight circular frame. Suspended or bolted onto the pvc pipe frame?
Then taking cardboard rectangles of various sizes, painted various colors of blue, attached to the frame (I’m e-mailing the visual)

Other design elements to be added each week:
1st week: reflects what we see in ourselves (go with open frame of mirror, no interior). Dance: - (Willow) – Struggle against defeat – includes mirror dancers – Main dancer is in her struggle against mirror dancers – eventually turns to God. Song “Resurrection” – Nicol Sponberg. This element is APPROVED
2nd week: reflects God (skim or curtains w/bright light, shining out spot light maybe?)
3rd week: reflects Christ (Camera at audience and project live feed to screen (I really like this element).4th week: end times (thought: invoking cracked mirror: hanging cloth/curtains (?) painted with silver lines that look like a cracked mirror
5th week: reflects heaven (thinking…)

Friday, June 6, 2008

smell scent here...

How I wish...
I would have clicked too...
Sorry, that technology doesn't exist yet. I imagine maybe someday that application will be viable...
But here is shout out again for
and my scent research wordle...

ending religion series: banners rock!

...adding visual impact
This sermon series was entitled: Ending Religion
We were incorporating our new tag line for XC:
imperfect church: be safe, be real, be changed...

021708 “No Fakes Allowed: Are You For Real?”
022408 “Your Sins Are Welcome; Leave the Idiocy at Home”
030208 “Reality Meets Life On the Margins”
Banner backdrop: 3 sets of curtains (from ikeas), dyed pearl grey. Various tempra paint colors. Wanted it to feel grungy/sprayed painted effect.

Center panel with the large word “religion, w/ a red “no” symbol over it. Other words on the panels

Week 1: imperfect, be real, freedom, truth.

Week 2: Added the word church to imperfect. Added; be safe; breath; love; peace; Week 3 Words: Added be changed; spirit; integrity; life

Final banner pictures and picture of prop set-up for “homeless guy” vignette.


I have also been researching a thought I’ve had (for a many years now) on how to create holographic images that could be displayed mid-air, 3D, viewed from 360 degrees in the auditorium venue. Up until recently, the closest I have some up with is "pepper's ghost".
Technically way beyond my skills. but visually so intriguing. Then I saw this Kate Moss clip.
It is so tight.

Oh my gosh...all this and more is on you tube. Gotta love the internet. And actually after more research, I believe this Kate Moss effect was done with Cheoptics.
I just knew that someone should be to create this via computer technology. Can you imagine the possibilities? Just need to figure out how to have this work in worship NOW.

just for fun...

Just for Fun: Bill Nye I just knew that someone should be to create this via computer technology. Can you imagine the possibilities? Just need to figure out how to have this work in worship NOW.
With over 1 million hits on I think it is culturally relevant.
Say house on sand parable?

scent machine...

scent machine and pump in the smell of the ocean into the auditorium.
3. Fans going; to create the wind effect (thanks to Cheyenne for that idea!).

too freaky...

Brain candy for design planning...
The End is Near (and other freaky stuff)

Dragon Illusion
I want to do this dragon illusion approximately 4 foot high and set it in the middle of the stage for a discussion The End is Near (Revelation)(and other freaky stuff)
The (stand alone) message was postponed in May and now we are going to do a series in July, and I'm thinking it was a little too freaky for them...


I am so blessed to be able to serve on our Fuzion team for XC. I get to play with experiential worship design elements. One of the ways I know that I am in God's will for my life is that God explodes in my brain.
The ideas just popcorn up all the time, I dream of them, I hear them when I drive (which is hysterical because I have to find a way to transcribe them at the moment or I will forget them). One time I had to ‘write down’ 30+ ideas while driving for 45 minutes.
I spend hours searching - I see a snippet of something like
Mia Michaels or Cheoptics and then God blows it up and extrapolates it into a worship concept. It is so fun and powerful. This is such an exciting journey. I LOVE IT! I AM ON FIRE!
I dream of a place online where extrapolators would come gather, play with me, and share…
I wish I could implement more of these cool ideas…


Recently we were planning worship elements for “Jesus, lunatic or Lord”. Focusing on the miracles of Jesus. Someone suggested using a video of Criss Angel, the illusionist. I thought it was a great idea; juxtaposing Angel’s youtube video of “Criss Angel walks on water’ illusion with Jesus walking on water.

I pushed for it and it was shot down. In a world where personal perception is reality, we need to face the hard questions. Criss Angel is a freaky illusionist. Jesus did it for real. We can’t be afraid of using great real time, relatable, culturally relevant elements. I respect our design teams process, but I will continue to push the envelope. We did a Mother’s day video instead.

highpoint and pinkinc...

Sometimes I stumble across others that are also designing worship stage sets for mobile churches. And I get so excited. I have been researching a company called pinkinc. (creative fabric solutions). They have some fantastic designs. I have been trying to figure out how to create something similar. Still working on it and getting closer everyday. Then I ran across this picture from HighPoint. A big shout out to Courtney@ flicker church marketing lab (beta); for letting me share.

I'd love to design some pieces to wrap around our band. Hmmmm thinking....

God Almighy's facebook script...

God’s Facebook

[Video begins with two guys snooping in another persons cubicle in a workplace].

Pete: Jimmy! Jimmy! Get over here!

Jimmy: What is it Pete?

Pete: You know that new guy that just started working here?

Jimmy: What guy?

Pete: The guy that’s sort of mysterious and a little weird and doesn’t talk a lot.

Jimmy: Oh that guy! Yeah, what about him?

Pete: Well, that’s his stuff over there and he’s away from his desk!

Jimmy: So?

Pete: So??

Let’s go through his stuff!

Jimmy: OK!

Pete: Hey look! He’s got his Facebook page up. You wanna check it out?

Jimmy: Sure!

Pete: Updated his page 1 minute ago. [reads recent activity] “Leaving my desk for a LOOOOOOONG break…” Look at that, we’ve got some time. [sits in the chair] So who is friends with this guy?

Jimmy: Does that say, “The Almighty God and Sovereign Lord.” Weird… You don’t think that’s actually God’s Facebook page do you?

Pete: I don’t know. Let’s check it out. [clicks to God’s Facebook page] Well there’s no picture. Who are his friends?

Jimmy: [Looking at God’s friends] I don’t know any of these people? Where is the pope?

Pete: The Pope?

Jimmy: If this is really God’s Facebook page, then the pope would be here. They’re like, best friends.

Pete: Jimmy, did you ever stop to think that maybe the Pope doesn’t have time to be on Facebook.

Jimmy: That’s a good point.

Pete: That’s the problem with you Jimmy. You never think! [Jimmy appears momentarily despondent]

Pete: It looks like all of God’s friends are just random people.

Jimmy: It looks like He’s been playing word cube. 87th percent tile. That’s a pretty decent ranking.

Pete: But he’s the God of the Universe. Why not 100. Why isn’t He the best?? This is tripping me out.

Jimmy: Hey.

Pete: Yeah?

Jimmy: Should we poke him?

Pete: What?

Jimmy: You know, just a little shout out. A little wuzzup…

Pete: I don’t know if I like that idea.

Jimmy: What’s the matter. Chicken?

Pete: What?

Jimmy: You’re chicken Pete! That’s the problem with you. You’re a big ol’ CHICKEN!!

Pete: [not backing from the challenge] Ok, I’ll poke him. [Send’s God a poke] [A few seconds pass while Jimmy and Pete are waiting for something to happen but nothing is happening]

Jimmy: Nothing happened.

Pete: Yeah, this whole thing is probably a fake. Look at His wall. [Pete reads] 7 minutes ago - Focusing on mercy. 15 minutes ago - Feeling angry. 27 minutes ago - Seeing into the near future where Pete and Jimmy will blasphemously poke the Almighty God. 33 minutes ago - Just kidding guys, it’s all good.

frames and floating plexiglass...

Here is our stage for (his) new church plant Fellowship of the Hills in Tallahassee, FL. We worked hard to jump in and help them come up with something to turn this ugly middle school cafeteria into something cool.
HIS ELEMENTS:-4 spandex screens stapled around a wood frame hit with just a few par cans from the sides of the stage. -lanterns that we hung from spliced electrical wire...-the screens on the side have since been replaced with widescreen spandex frames as used on the set. They help tie everything together.

I’d love to take something like this and stagger the frames, so that some are overlapping others.

Or more…I’ve been playing with this idea:
Since we are meeting in an auditorium of a junior high school complete with standards black stage curtains:

We were designing for a message called “Marked by Christ” on tattooes…
Here’s the thought; hanging plexiglass rectangles and squares (in the 3’ x 5’ or 4’ x 6’ range) with various hand painted inkings on them. Hung vertically and horizontally. So it seems like they are floating in space.

Sadly the message got dropped.

HIS QUESTION: We have to setup and take down each week, sucky, but we make do. Does anyone have any cool stage elements that could be used with a setup tear down type stage? We are about to start a new series and need some new designs. Curious to see what kinds of stuff you all do!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


I’m constantly surfing the web looking for snippets to extrapolate into worship experiences.

I also search to finds locations that share ideas for experiential worship ideas. I found little pockets of ideas here and there. And then they stopped. I search and search. Maybe I am doomed to surfing the web simply looking for snippets.
Today’s snippet… multi-touch interface… I actually found this several weeks ago. It is a fascinating glimpse into the new future of what we will be able to with computer screens. I love it, particularly since more than a few times I have touched my laptop screen actually expecting it to do something. And this was before I saw the viedo. Since this technology isn’t available affordable, how about this…
A dancer playing against the big screen, her dance is choreographed to the (video light show) being projected onto the big screen.
Liquid waves of color and sound as she sweeps her arms over the surface.
Shimmering lines as she delicately etches the surface with her fingers.
Floods of waves as she leaps and twirls next to it.
Pulsating warm as she lays her check gently onto screen.
I can see it, hear it, feel it now...

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

not your parents flannel graph…

submitted to CreatIVe Chaos 07/03/08; go Los!
the lovely Melissa Gray-Genter w/ five foot flannel graph Jesus

Easter 2008: The idea – life sized, retro flannel graph/drama of the Resurrection story. Juxtaposed with vignette of a person’s faith journey, questioning it all.

Designed more towards the unincorporated Christian thought process. Also acknowledging that those two-times a year Christians hear the same story, over and over, and over again…

Go to (please ignore how ancient the site looks, we are re-designing) and click to watch…03.28.2008 Easter (Note: Drama Flannel Graph Memories included) Sorry we aren't able to directly link it here...

We are a creative bunch of people in our group. We gather to craft more experiential design into our worship is hysterically fun! That Friday, we were so excited. Our small flannel graph pieces had finally arrived. We carefully cut out the various figures we would need. Five figures in all. The tomb and stone, the guard, Mary, the angel and Jesus. And laid them out lovingly on the dining room table.Then off the garage to built an 8 foot by 8 foot flannel graph board. We used two 8’ x 4’ plywood panels and stretched and stapled lengths of sky blue flannel.Evidently, according the great
Wikipedia, it’s the fluffy side (on the board) placed against the fluffy side (of the characters) that provides the traction that holds the figures to the board. We were having a blast, we were slap happy as we were trying to figure out which side of the flannel was nappy (fluffy). When one gal, with her finger held in the air said,

“Wait, I’ll go get Jesus, He’ll know which side is fluffy”.

Problem solved. Jesus to the rescue.Good start, got the board done. Going to paint the green grass later that week.The following week we are blew up the flannel graph set pieces from 6 ½“ up to, oh say, about five feet (life sized, right?).Then all the sudden I realized 5’ tall angel, 8’ x 8’ background. Then we add the other life sized figures of tomb, stone, guard, Je-sus, M-a-r-y…Oh no, how in the world are we going to fit all those pieces onto the board? Literally, can we stop the presses!

Friday, we’re back at it again. We cut the blown-up/high res. figures and hot glued them to poster board, then cut all the flannel graph pieces out. In the end, we figured it all out. But, warning this is what happens when you have a bunch of creative people doing math.

It was a hysterical design element...

Always remember, God gifts the called...

Hot glue guns, cutting out rocks, creating a 5 foot flannel graph Jesus.

Now that’s what I am talking about…
(shout-out to the writers, drama team, tech team and pPod...)


The motione project of the Arts, Media and Engineering (AME) program at ASU, brings together choreographers, composers, lighting designers, and engineers for the creation of ground breaking, interactive multimedia works, new motion analysis systems and interactive technologies.

Can’t you see it, the interpretive light and laser show choreographed into and through the design of dancers.

GEN D...

It isn’t surprising, particularly to the business world, that civilization has been undergoing major changes. Particularly in the syntax of our lifestyles and communication. The current and emerging methods of the creation of thought and interpersonal relationships is having a huge impact on all levels of society. These changes are not happening linearly, but exponentially.

This is creating a divide in humankind which we haven’t been able to quantify in the general categorizations of generations which have peppered our language up until now. This is beyond boomers, busters, Gen X and Y’ers. This is beyond defining as post modern or emergent. The greatest phenomenon that is influencing today’s generation is digitally enabled/enhanced media (cell phones, computers, TV, movies).

This digitally enhanced/enabled media is re-defining the boundaries on how various social groups and generations interface with each other: on some very basic levels, i.e. general preferences in lifestyle, communication and worship environments. A new language of interactivity has evolved. And this is giving rise to a digitally divided generation bracket. This newly evolving group is GEND (Digital Generation).

How is GEND defined? The common denominator is simply people who are digitally connected. It’s a digitally enhanced/enabled media world today. You know, blue tooth technology, life in your PDA, YouTube, viral videos, itunes in an iPod shuffle. facebook, podcasts, vlogging, wiki. It’s big and it’s loud. Extreme edge is so passé. GEND spans race, culture, age and sex. Now, when you add up the populous that is defined within the parameters of GEND there emerges a paradigm shift in how we interpret and define age/generation classifications. For the parameters of this tag is not limited to age, only mindset.

Why is this important to the church? When we then combine this GEND tag with the concept of reaching the unchurched (or dechurched) we have more comprehensive picture of this emerging culture. Where is this leading?

* Learning to use whatever it takes, as long as we are uncompromising about God’s word. Our job is to bring people into the presence of God, it’s His job to meet them. Bringing them into the presence of God requires being able to ‘speak’ the same language.

* Since most GEND have been deluged with marketing of all types, up to and including gorilla marketing they are quickly able to discern when someone is trying to sell them something. Therefore it has to be authentic.

* We need to understand that the medium affects the message. For this group, gone is the day of come, sit and listen. Use of interactive digital media is important. We need to utilize various tools such as text messaging in services. We are exploring concepts such as Motione. And dreaming about holographic imaging displays in worship.

*We are to create a community where all God’s children are welcomed at the table. Particularly the unchurched, dechurched and disenfranchised. Everything is designed to be comfortable to unchurched, to speak that language.

My words may be jumbled, by the thought isn’t. We have to make that paradigm shift and re-think how we define worship.

Or we will lose a generation of "all ages".

Are you GEND?