We've all probably been there. Your church needs a graphic for Sunday's sermon, so someone on staff cranks up their Dell laptop, opens up Microsoft Word, and throws together the perfect graphic.
We don't hate on non-Apple users or Microsoft lovers by any means here — we're just painting a scenario of something we have too often had to deal with in the church world.
Graphic design, in the grand scheme of the church, is a relatively new medium that the church has been able to use for evangelical and mission efforts. The usage of graphics, videos, presentations, and more opened up many doors for the Church to tap into the uncharted territory of the Web and social media these past 10 or more years.
As we have implemented design into Church more often, something seemed to have gotten lost along the way for many churches: the art of graphic design.
Graphic design is not something that just anyone can do. Sure, anyone who knows how to operate a computer can make a design, but it takes a professional to breathe life and beauty into a design. This doesn't mean they have to have 4 years from a university under their belt to create a quality design either — they have simply developed the skills over time and through experience to know how to produce high quality and professional design.
Designers are artists. Like a classic painter, they have a canvas in front of them with billions of possibilities at a single tap of their cursor (and even smartpen). They can translate dozens of emotions and moods into a design, straight from their imagination.
Designers are not just technically advanced robots who can crank out mindless designs — they create from the creativity given to them by God.
Pro Media Fire values quality design and quality designers because we understand the monumental impact incredible church design has in the world.
Here are just a few reasons why quality church design is essential:
Being the Church is not restricted to a once a week gathering on a Sunday. So our design shouldn't be limited to the once a week gathering either! Design enables us to bring the good news into the homes of our community members and beyond. While it would be overwhelming to meet at the church building every day, design paves a path for this Good News to come to you.
Design allows our churches to communicate beyond just the 1 hour-long Sunday service. You can continue to reach your church throughout the week by sharing content that reflects on the Sunday message, references Scripture, encourages community, and more.
People interact with a high-quality design, whether they know it or not, and they know bad design when they see it. To increase reach beyond Monday through Friday, consider how you can implement superb designs on your social channels, email chain, and website.
Design is not just reserved for the time outside of our gatherings, but it is also vital for in-service! A subpar design flooding your on-stage screens can be more distracting than helping.
We never want the design elements we use in our services (our video announcements, sermon series videos, graphics, and even signage) to deter people.
Developing design for your services will depend heavily on your physical space, your production elements (such as lights and stage design), and the type of environment you want to create. When all of these elements are joined together, you can enhance your Sunday environment for the better.
Having killer graphics and stunning videos is crucial when reaching your current congregation, but it is also equally important when trying to reach beyond just believers.
Our design should stand out from the rest not because it's subpar, but because it is so high quality that you can't tell the difference between our church's design or design from a successful brand.
This isn't a popularity contest. It is merely a desire to have church design seamlessly fit into a culture that is primarily immersed in artistic expression.
When done well, our design can increase our reach and, more importantly, spread the message of Jesus. Think of bands like Relient K or Switchfoot. Their music blew up because they fit in with the punk-pop niche of the early 2000s. Their style fits seamlessly with the music of the time, but their content and lyrics truly set them apart from the rest. The best part? Many people didn't even realize they were listening to a Christian band! They were ingesting the Gospel without even really knowing it.
This is what good art has the power to do.
Quality designs come from the toiling hands of videographers, graphic designers, and artists who put work hours to bring a vision to life.
Being a designer can be a very lonely and often overlooked job in the church. You spend a lot of time alone at your computer, revising, editing, and scrapping the bad stuff. Designers can experience burnout just like any other member of a church staff. But the role they play is one that cannot be overlooked.
The role of designers on church staff is the most likely to be ignored, and often filled by someone who doesn't have the passion for it.
A significant reason quality church design is important is that the creation of this design makes designers use their God-given talents. They can use their creative eye, attention to detail, and unique artistic flair to bring life to a design.
Their job is not less-than or something that is quickly filled — it is immensely valuable to the church and vital to the quality of design.
Most importantly of all, quality church design is vital because it is the medium through which we can tell the most excellent story ever told — the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Design has given us a pathway to encapsulate the truth of grace into a sermon series. It has equipped us to tap into individuals' inner emotions through compelling video. It has enabled us to share Scripture, encouragement, exhortation, and prayer through an Instagram post.
We can tell the story of Jesus through so many different ways when we utilize quality design to do so!
What is the difference between an expert, a novice, or a wannabe when it comes to design?
We all want to engage the next generation of youth. Leveraging social media is the way to do it.