I recently received a copy of the new book by Len Wilson and Jason Moore titled “Taking Flight with Creativity: Worship Design Teams that Work.” Since getting started in worship media and design I’ve followed their career and writings since they were involved with Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio. They now run Midnight Oil Productions.
Wilson and Moore have written many other books related to technical and creative aspects of worship. They are well known for their passion of using metaphor in worship to communicate truth. The book itself is built around the metaphor of the Wright brothers and their pursuit of the first sustained flight by mankind.
Of all their books, this has been their best yet. They deal less with the technical aspects of media based worship and more with how to design worship in a way that is creative and effective regardless of style. They deal with theory and make it practical through personal examples so you are not left wondering what to do next. You don’t finish the book feeling as if you’re hands are tied to a specific implementation.
The book is logically laid out. They begin by talking about the why of creative worship design as a team, and then talk about actually forming and implementing the team. The later sections are especially valuable because they write about the “intangible necessities” of functioning as a team in the body of Christ doing worship design and what to do when there are relational challenges. There are great sections dealing with leadership, not being a gatekeeper, keeping ego under control, finding consensus, brainstorming, and working for the spiritual growth of the whole church.
Some lines that really stood out to me:
– When people worship (verb) together in corporate worship (noun), transformational things happen.
– This is the power of team planning – that exponentially more ideas emerge that wouldn’t have been considered alone.
– In teams, leadership is function, not position. This means that the position of leadership means very little.
– Many teams form, but many fail. What separates those that take flight is an elusive quality called koinonia, the transformative synergy of Holy Spirit-driven team collaboration that would be impossible if attempted by any one person. Koinonia is the purpose of having teams in the first place – the experience of being a part of something great. Koinonia is truly living as the body of Christ.
– It is difficult not to get ego and identity tied up in one’s ideas and work.
– A service can be absent a strong visual metaphor but still work if there is a single main idea and everything moves toward that one idea.
This is just a small sample of the great stuff in this book. Even having been exposed to these ideas in other ways, it was a great refresher for me while also expanding my understanding of this concept. If you’ve never thought through worship design as a team, or you’ve been doing it for a while, this book would be a great investment as we work to tell and remind people of the greatest story there is.