How Production Design Changed My View Of Church
Hey my name is Peter aka NUBSY and I spend my days working for Hillsong Church as a production designer working on the way our church buildings and conferences look. I thought I'd try (as succinctly as possible) to explain why I'm so passionate about what I do.
When I was thirteen years old a friend at school invited me along to our youth ministry. I remember walking into the foyer and being so blown away by the scale and splendour of the place. All I had known of church was small, derelict old buildings, half empty and cold. So for me to walk into a building full of life and noise and colour instantly blew all my preconceptions out of the water. My walls were down and I was receptive and open to what God was trying to do in my life. Lots of people ask why we would put so much time and effort into the staging, lights and design of our buildings. The answer is something I think about a lot. We are all about reaching and helping as many people as possible and we want to remove any obstacles people might have between them and God. Creating a space where people feel comfortable to come as they are is huge when your mandate is to reach the lost.
My other thought is that in the past The Church would spend hundreds of years building churches and cathedrals to glorify the creator. It's hard to walk into any of the beautiful old churches of the world and not be struck by the presence of God. For instance, Cologne Cathedral took over 600 years to finish and is over 150m tall. I remember being in Notre Dame in Paris and being overwhelmed by the scale and splendour of their worship to God, and yet Notre Dame is nothing compared to King Solomon's temple in Jerusalem on Mount Zion. At the same time though, I firmly believe that the kingdom is now within us and not in any building. But the body of Christ needs places to meet in and why not have those buildings glorify God the creator? We serve a creative God and His presence is so evident to me in a blue sky, a green field, or a white mountain. So why not meet in a creative space designed by creative people to give glory to a creative God.
I love that moment when you see something truly spectacular and a shiver runs down your spine. In that moment you know without a shadow of a doubt that God must be real and at work in His creation.
Now, thirteen years on, I get nothing but joy out of watching new people walking through our doors every weekend and having the same reaction as I did. You can watch their body language change as they realise that this thing that they have been invited to is not boring and dead, but full of life, fun and excitement. It's an incredible thing!
The fact that I get to do it alongside the most incredible team of volunteers on the planet is the icing on the cake.
Thanks heaps… nubsy
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