Service planning at PCC is a combination of research, prayer, brainstorming, creative exploration, attention to detail, administrative follow-up and unique relationships. One day a week, we spend about three hours reviewing upcoming service ideas and plans; but we never have enough time, it seems.
So occasionally we try to build in an extended time of planning. I have come to see these moments as opportunities to work in two directions: internally, to nurture and tend to our artistic souls, and externally, focusing on what we are charged with in terms of service programming for our church community.
That's what we did today. At a mountain retreat house (thanks to the generosity of a PCC family), we spent a day immersed in creative stuff. I planned this retreat, and I was just a little bit apprehensive. When you pull together a senior pastor, an attorney, a dentist and various other folks who serve in various capacities in our weekly services, it's a little daunting to consider how they are going to react to assignments requiring markers, scissors, stickers and glue sticks.
They did pretty well. There was that one moment when someone fell asleep as we prayed and began to snore...loudly...
But overall, they did well. It was a fascinating day, with a chance to look into the minds of a very divergent group of people who were willing to explore the personal, artistic interpretation of a specific piece of scripture. There was one rebel who refused to function within the boundaries of the assignment...but that's okay. He took an artistic risk and came up with something of his own. And it was good. (You can read his take on the day here.)
I'll post a bit more about this in coming days, but for how, here's a look at the tangible creative product (you'll see the other results in upcoming services at PCC!) The assignment was to take these words and react to them with some sort of visual creation; to create an inspiration board.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord's holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge - that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.
Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever. Amen. - Ephesians 3.16-21For me, it was an incredibly moving experience. One by one, each person held up their board and offered an explanation of their thought process. "This is how I see this; this is how I feel these words."
I believe this is part of the way God works in us, how we continue to "work out our salvation with fear and trembling".
It's a beautiful thing.