A friend contacted me to ask if I had designed any worship visuals around the theme of missions—more specifically, the Great Commission of Matthew 28:16–20: “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations . . .”. I’m sure I had done something at some point, but I couldn’t find a thing. Well then, that time is now.

Without promising anything—nor obligating my friend to use what I came up with—I asked for photos of his church (for context) and of what they’ve done with visuals in the recent past (for appropriate style). The photos he sent confirmed what he’d told me about their visuals “leaning toward the more artistic—maybe abstracted suggestions rather than a concrete portrayal of the theme.”

Go or Going?

Always up for clever uses of typography, I was thinking of working with the word “go,” to which he responded a day later, “In the original Greek, the word translated as ‘Go’ in this verse is actually in participle form, ‘Going.’ So the notion is not so much a command to go but, as we are going, we are to spread the word.” Who knew? This changed everything, including the design I was working out in my mind.

Everyday Wear

A day or two after the shift in my thinking, our daughter, a person who sews for a living—sewists, they call themselves—brought home a piece of fabric found while preparing for the move of the sewing business she’s involved in. It was a large, quilt-like rectangle made from squares of varying shades of denim.

This gave me an idea for my project. What better way to represent the idea of discipling as we are going about our business than with blue denim, the kind of fabric most of us wear in one setting or another?

Ask church members to bring in square-cut pieces of denim to be sewn together for the base. The size and number of the squares will depend on the space you’re designing for. Then, depending on what materials or skills you have, create arrows pointing in all directions using either appliquéd fabric, paper stencils with fabric paint, or freehand paint. For my design, I used the same basic pattern and applied it in two contrasting colors. Finish your creation by adding the Scripture reference to the bottom in case anyone needs a reminder of what this visual is all about: each of us walks a different path day to day, but we are all given the same assignment of making disciples wherever we go—or are going.

P.S. In the last issue, I asked you what you were doing with light in your worship space. Debra Komodore responded with this comment: “In our sanctuary we have a very similar situation with a neutral color so we can adapt it for our needs. I used inexpensive disco lighting ordered on Amazon from China. It comes on a roll with double-sided tape, which I stuck on either side of the cross (hidden) and behind the whole cross section to backlight the area on the sides. This inexpensive light tape can change to many colors and is controlled with a handheld device.” During Lent, the lights were purple, on 24/7 with the cross in the shadow. On Easter morning, the cross was lit from the front, and purple changed to green.

Curious about what this looks like? Check out the photos at reformedworship.org/article/december-2019/going.



Dean Heetderks is a member of Covenant Christian Reformed Church in Cutlerville, Michigan, and art director of Reformed Worship. Show and tell him about your experiences at dean.heetderks@gmail.com.

Reformed Worship 134 © December 2019, Calvin Institute of Christian Worship. Used by permission.