3 Reasons You Should Stop Designing for Your Church

Posted by Jonathan R. Bailey on 22 April 2016

Think of designing like preaching. They don’t let just anyone get up there and start talking about the things of God. It takes time, diligence and preparation, to name a few. There is a sense of calling and passion — it’s not just a hobby. If design isn’t your calling or passion then you should stop. If you don’t want to stop, then consider growing in your hobby because here’s the kicker…your designing is saying something about Jesus. It’s a kind of preaching.

Good design is about lifting Jesus up and making Him look good. I don’t mean in a superficial way but in the same way a Pastor wants to preach a powerful and effective sermon. A lot of preparation, energy, and exhortation goes into it. There’s a honing of the craft that is evident to a listening ear. So ask yourself…”Am I bringing the same level of craftsmanship to what I’m designing?”

Here are 3 reasons to stop designing.

Comic Sans and Papyrus Don’t Need Anymore Face Time.

Stop using them. Learn the basic art of typography and why it matters in design. Understand the craftsmanship that goes into the process. Use fonts that are highly readable and beautiful. To see some beautiful fonts and learn more try Hoefler Co and to do a deeper dive try the Anatomy of Type.

Your Wells of Inspiration Have Run Dry.

Look for new places to get inspired and don’t buy into the idea that you can only source inspiration from Christians. We’ve all seen the sermon series on ‘Desperate Households’ parodying ‘Desperate Housewives’ or ‘Air Jesus’ spoofing ‘Air Jordan.’ Do we need anymore of this? The key is to let quality artists and designers challenge you to improve. Remember, God is a creator, so look at places that have the most celebrated creators. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and cross the boundary of sacred vs. secular. Have an open and generous view. Search Dribbble to find great artists doing thoughtful work.

Your Stock Photos are Cheesy.

Nix the photos of awkwardly dressed business models portraying ‘teamwork.’ And while you’re at it say NO to white Jesus. Look for something more authentic. Don’t settle for the cliché. Shoot compelling ‘everyday’ photos that capture the essence of your Christian experience. Or you can try Lightstock where you can find great collections of faith-focused, cheesy-free stock photos (Full disclosure, I am a co-founder at Lightstock).

Don’t think of design as a volunteer role in your church, ministry or non-profit. It’s not the same as getting someone to direct traffic or pass offering plates. It’s a role you should pay for. Place value on it. Honor skill. Value the aesthetic. Because when you do, it makes the heart behind the message even more beautiful. It honors craftsmanship and above all it honors the master Craftsman.


Click Here to get a free photo from Lightstock

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