A couple years ago I was introduced to a talented young man at a conference. Like a lot of us in this community, Don wears many hats in his responsibilities preparing for and supporting weekend services at his church. He’s a bit of a jack-of-all-trades and has a particular aptitude and curiosity for creating beauty and helping communicate through the discipline of scenic design. This I’m sure is a big part of why we were connected. Anyway, it has been great to get to know him as we get together for coffee a few times per year. In spite of being in significantly different life stages, our conversation always flows beautifully and is rich in mutual encouragement. Not only does neither of us like to settle for a mediocre cup of coffee; but we segue that thought into dialogue of our passion for preparing a quality storytelling environment for our guests.
During one of our meetings, we were discussing everything that goes into a stage design. The next day, Don emailed to ask me if I wouldn’t mind typing some of the things out so he could chew on them further. I sent him a stream of thoughts that covered what I remembered us musing about along with a few other ideas to consider... The next time we got together, he shared the document that his leadership team uses as a guide every time they plan an event. He had reworked my thoughts into a list and he was excited to share with me stories of the fruit of our coffee meetings.
I was humbled and honored to have been useful. I hadn’t really thought about it since sending the email. For him to have taken the time to separate them into bullet points and create a document from them that was used as it was really struck me. We all want to be helpful. I think that is perhaps the most common trait of production artists. Yes, we’re all a bit geeky, but mostly we want to help people. It was a real gift to me for him to thank me in the way he did.
When I started writing this post, I thought the story about my coffee with Don was simply setting up the list that I’m including. Perhaps the list is a helpful tool. If so, cool; here's the link: egwolfe.com/post/thoughts-to-remember-when-creating-a-space-for-worship
However, I realize the greater challenge comes in at least one of the following:
Realize the genius you have to offer someone else and share it. I think that far too often, we fail to realize the unconscious competency we have in our unique areas of expertise. Especially those among us who have been working in our craft for a long time have wisdom to share in how to we make the most of our situations. It is a crime to not share the ideas we have. These "simple" ideas will likely be a profound blessing.
I encourage you to seek out (or at least seize the opportunity when it presents itself) the person you can meet with to either pour into or draw insight from. We all have busy schedules; and the thought of taking an afternoon to do something that doesn't directly accomplish a task on our todo list is difficult to justify. In the short term, perhaps so; but in the bigger picture, the mutual sharpening from the new friendship will pay off in unseen dividends.
Ask the Lord to show you who you should meet with. Commit to the building the relationship. Share with a posture of open hands and receive with an open mind.