Creative endeavors require a team but there is a difference between a committee-driven process versus a collaborative process. Recently, I posted a list and some of you added your insights as well to this idea.
Here are some examples in the church today of the results with art by committee:
Blended worship: This term makes no sense to me. If you blend two perfectly good things such as an orange and fillet mignon you get something perfectly horrible. Blending means you erase the unique value of each separate item and unify it into slop. Traditional music done with an organ does not “blend” with modern worship with an electric guitar. There is no formula that will make those that enjoy these differences enjoy the combination. Not even close.
Plastic plants & beige: To create an environment that is less creative than a hospital why not paint the walls a non-color and arrange plastic plants around it? After all, the goal is to be as non-offensive as possible. Why not? The reason this is a bad idea is the assumption that being non-offensive and bland is a worthy goal. In fact, the goal of a room environment should be to move people into a space that promotes worship, if you are a church. Or, if you are painting a kids room it’s about stimulating interest–not bore.
Tepid worship songs: Upon hearing our worship industries best offerings, surely there are many gems to be mined. One particular publisher seems to be into “safe” words and phrases that you have heard before. Obviously, theology is not a suggestion. But, language is always moving and good art need not be what you have already seen or heard before. So, these songs are not great songs because they are bland. It’s as if the writers by their committees were told to play it safe. I am so glad the likes of Isaac Watts ignored the committee hundreds of years ago. We would have never sung “Our God Our Help In Ages Past” if that was the case. Do you agree with these examples as being poster children of committee-driven art? Please share your thoughts here!