6. Visual Worship: Flags, Banners, Dance, Live Art. Stuff I’m not good at…

Herein lie observations that are perhaps less authoritative than some of the other chapters.  For here are things that I’m not gifted in.  So, I offer this for consideration mostly.  I know what I like.  And I do like these added visual worship expressions.  Four aspects of visual worship that contribute to and inspire a wonderful atmosphere while allowing folks to express gifts and talents that otherwise aren’t part of the musical worship experience:  Flags, banners, dance, painting.

Flags have deep relevance and meaning to the bearer, and when explained and understood by the congregation can bring a worship experience to new places and spaces.  Flags in the hands of experienced and gifted persons are beautiful to watch.  Flags in the hands of children allow them to participate in worship, where they might not comprehend the words of the songs being sung.

Flags in front of the words on the projection screen are distracting.  Flags too close to  those in the front row can actually be dangerous.

It really is best to let congregants (participants) know what the ground rules are.  Having someone in charge of the flag ministry is pretty much essential.  Let’s face it, if twenty people want to flag all together in a confined space, the results might be less than worshipful.  The flag coordinator can release people to match energy with expression and safety.

Banners:  like flags provide a wonderful visual element to augmented worship.  They aren’t flags though.  Some banners are very heavy.  Some banners are very tall.  Some banners are very wide. Whatever is portrayed on the banner, there may be folks in church who would love to know what it means to the banner creator.  This explanation is a worship experience itself.  It’s an invitation to take part in the meaning of the banner.  And, when the worship leader is truly in tune with the visual ministry and pastor, the banners used will support the music and songs chosen as well as the message and tone of the meeting.

Dance is something that I’ve personally avoided for safety reasons.  Like most forms of expression, some folks are born with it, and others….  But for those of you who ARE, it is such a wonderful expression and amplification of the worship experience.  Like music, the dance can be a presentation designed and located for the benefit of the congregation and the LORD.  Know that however, unlike singing – where most of us are at least comfortable when invited to sing along – dancing may not have that same immediate level of participation.  Even a conga line has those who do, and those who don’t.

Live art.  Oh yes!  Come and paint while we play!  Know where the liturgy is going, and there’s a wonderful opportunity for an illustrated taste of heaven.  Or, allow God’s Spirit to speak through the paintbrush (or spray can, or rollers).  And, when all’s said and done, there remains a testimony to the worship event on canvas, in clay or whatever the chosen media was.

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