So the conversation after the MONOTATION workshop (check out the cool new pix being added every day) was whether art could be better incorporated into a worship service and if so, how. I have lots of ideas on this topic beginning with the resounding “Yes, art can be incorporated.” As to the ‘how,’ well, it’s a process.

I don’t really want to dwell on the process, even though I have had years to think about and practice it. What I want to do is offer reflections on every day worship, provide some teaching opportunities, and maybe create a library of practical ideas that can be implemented in services or cohort meetings or gatherings or conferences with a minimal amount of effort. I understand how important that is–simplicity of ideas always makes them easier to implement. And a busy worship leader might want to do more than music, but where will the time come from? As my good friend and mentor Ken Green says, “Music isn’t magic.”

Instead of trying to redesign worship every week or squeeze something in to an event that might not otherwise fit, a first step might be to find ways to experience other art forms in our own lives. By other, I mean “other than music.” We can tend to focus so much energy on our music that we forget that we love to visit museums or pull out our cameras.

This is why I took on hosting a MONOTATION workshop. I’m no photographer (just take a look at the two sad little pictures I’ve posted on the community site and you’ll agree!). But getting out of the house with my camera and looking at the world around me with a different perspective was immensely rewarding.

So for this week I challenged myself with taking some pictures, and next week maybe I will visit the Episcopal church again to soak in the liturgy (which is very artistic to my mind) and perhaps the week after that I will LISTEN to carolers sing (instead of insisting on being a caroler myself). I want to write, I want to paint, I want to create a computer game. And if I can’t be a part of the creation of some new art, then I should be still and allow someone else’s art to inspire and uplift me.

And in that activity or passivity, I will look for the worship opportunities that are all around me.