Form vs. Function: Churches too?

Form and function. This is a catch phrase we hear quite often, but what exactly is it? How does this worldly concept apply to our spiritual endeavors?

Form is beauty. Function is utilization. Form is a fine lace scarf. Function is how well, or not, it keeps me warm on a cold winter day (which by the way, we’re getting quite a few of here in Wisconsin).

Many argue which is holds greater value, but, in reality, they are of equal importance and dependent upon one another. This is especially true in visual communications. We need an attractive newsletter to capture the viewer’s attention. We need functional words to maintain that attention and convey our message.

Many also argue that we don’t, and shouldn’t, need such “entertainment.” It’s God and his word that work in our hearts, right? Of course, this is true. But it’s also true that God gave us creativity, intelligence and reasoning. He instructs us to use them to his glory.

In Biblical times Jesus used parables—earthly similes—as tools to convey his heavenly message. He did this because our intelligent minds are also clouded by our own sinful feebleness. Visual communications can also be tools—important tools—for spreading the saving gospel of Christ.

If God created humans to appreciate beauty, then our communications must be well-designed and appealing. If God created us to be intelligent, then our words must be well-crafted and comprehensible. These are tools for getting Christ’s message through to our feeble minds. So, yes, form and function certainly do apply to church communications.

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