By Neil Hinders
Creativity is taking an unique thought and implementing it to produce something of value. At Greenwood Christian Church, our creative team gives their time and energy to create an environment that enhances the value of each teaching series for our students. We realize that wonder, discovery, and passion (Orange’s 3 dials) are best stimulated through an environment that engages multiple senses; thus, the teaching becomes a multi-faceted experience. Our most recent design came from XP3 Students Intersect series.
Before we start sketching out a stage design or making a list of necessary materials, our creative team will look at what we already have. We watch the series bumper, look at the graphics, and read the summary – all of which are provided by Orange. This gives our team parameters along with the context that we should stay in. Sticking to a theme that is already provided tremendously reduces the amount of time that could be spent in the brainstorming process.
After looking at the theme for the series, the team will then verbalize the concepts they have been brainstorming. For Intersect, we had the idea to create an environment that was modeled after the universe or the heavens. We wanted our backdrop to give our audience the feeling that they were looking at earth from God’s perspective. This would help us to illustrate God intersecting with our world.
For our backdrop, we ended up using sheets of black felt with glitter on it from a local craft store. This material gave off an appearance similar to that of outer space. We then added rhinestones for different textures and sizes of stars, as well as a Ping-Pong ball that a student hand-painted to look like the earth. Finally, to use as references for each message, we put a manikin and a self-constructed tent (the temple) on the sides of the stage. The best part about our finished set is that it only cost us about $70.
Creativity is born from the collaboration of a like-minded team working toward one common goal. In our partnership with Orange, our students are learning how they can contribute both collaboratively and creatively at the same time. They are able to work in tangent with what God is already doing through Orange, helping attain the goals set forth in the curriculum. Thank you Orange for the opportunity and the encouragement to use the gifts God has given us.
Four quick tips for creating an environment:
- Know your audience.
- Stick to the theme.
- Keep it simple.
Don’t do it alone!!
Neil Patrick Hinders is one of the youth pastors at Greenwood Christian Church in Greenwood, Indiana. In his role as middle school pastor and creative arts director for grades 6-12, Neil has developed a full functioning team of musicians, actors, and tech and production staff that work together to create an environment for each series/service. He and his wife, Megan, live in Indianapolis, Indiana, and are awaiting the arrival of their first child.