Creativity in church doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, sometimes the best ideas are the easiest to pull off. Take a look at this list to jump-start your own creative thinking. What ideas could you add to the list?
- Video Clips
We often use clips to start our sermons. Short clips (1-3 min) that can focus the attention of the audience can actually speed up the process of learning and transformation in a service. In a video-driven world it’s a great way to make people feel at home and get in tune with your topic. My favorite way to use video clips is to identify the value or principle I’m trying to teach and to use a video clip to illustrate the opposite. That creates just enough tension to raise attention as we get started in a message.
- Memorable Props
From a ladder to a gas mask and everything in between. People love seeing physical things that drive home the point of what we’re learning. Using visual illustrations helps the visual learners in the room to really make a connection and retain the main point of our gathering. A few of my favorite props have been a chainsaw (don’t worry, it didn’t have a chain), a shop vac, and a giant weather balloon that we popped on stage. Pro-tip: borrow, don’t buy.
- Lobby Clues
Why wait until people are inside your auditorium to start raising curiosity? You can leave clues even before that, and get people’s imagination stirring right away. Our team once set up a campsite in the lobby, which was hard to miss. Pro-tip: Use this opportunity to get someone new involved.
- Exit Song
A well-chosen, familiar song can really anchor the weekend experience in people’s hearts as they leave. Whether you’re talking about faith and you play “Jump” by Van Halen, or talking about worry and you play “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, this is a cheap, easy, and effective way to leave people thinking about what we talked about. Bonus: the next time they hear this song they’ll be reminded of what happened at church. Pro-tip: Have the memorable part of the song ready to play as soon as you dismiss the crowd.
Inexpensive & intentional handouts (take-aways) can help people carry the message home. My favorite experience with this was a fortune cookie we handed out a few years ago on a Sunday as part of a series called “Kung Fu (Fighting Your Inner Battles).” The fortune cookie had a special message printed inside to reinforce our series teaching themes. Pro-tip: Use your Greeter Team to hand out these take-aways as people enter your auditorium.
- Audience Participation
These days technology is our friend. We can have people text in their questions, tweet-on-the-spot, be part of a coordinated light show using their phones, and on and on. Encouraging people to use their phones, even in the simplest of ways can get everyone involved and take the experience to a whole new level. Recently we had people take a selfie with someone else in church. It was fun to see people talking and laughing with people they may have never otherwise connected with. Pro-tip: Keep this super simple. Make sure everyone in the crowd can participate.
What about you? What creative ideas can you share with the rest of us?