SALT believes in empowering creatives to use various elements to tell great stories. These don’t have to be stories with a written narrative or a script per say, but something that invites people into something powerful. One example is letting your set design tell a story. That’s exactly what we did last year at #SALT13.

Over the course of the event, we let our set design tell the story.
You can see pictures here.

Act 1 - The Story of the SALT Nashville Set Design

The first night we had a celebration around creation. God is the ultimate creator and therefore since we were made in His image, we therefore create out of that “imago dei.” Don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t some hippie-like celebration of nature and beauty, this was an all out party knowing we are created by Him and for Him, and as creators we are called to use technology to help people see clearer.

Act 2 - The Story of the SALT Nashville Set Design

The next morning, nothing seemed out of the ordinary, until the end of the message. Pastor Cole NeSmith poured out his heart on the challenges of being an artist and/or creative and how the tension to want to control everything and being fully surrendered to God’s will for our lives and ministry is an interesting balance. At the very end of his keynote, he made this statement:

There will be this moment where we are really willing to let go of everything, and see God do something powerful as we align ourselves with His spirit and what God is doing. And all of our plans crash to the ground and He lifts us back up to a place of Power and Glory as we bring the kingdom like never before

He was exploring the idea of the FALL of man and how God allows things to come crashing down in our lives to happen so He can swoop in and pick us up in the mess we’ve created. As Cole made that statement, he literally tore the entire set to pieces in front of us all. We left this moment with tension. Conflict.

Act 3 - The Story of the SALT Nashville Set Design

The day went on and everyone poured back into the auditorium that night to a room that was entirely dark, not a single thing on the walls aside from black fabric. Everything was focused on the middle of the room where there stood an 18′ tall cross. No lights, just candles around the stage. No projection. No Lighting. No stage design. Just the cross.

This picture played a small role in helping us understand that God took all the mess of the fall and placed them together in a beautiful cross.
Broken. Bruised. Beaten.
To remind us that he loves us, more than anything in the entire world. Our friend Nathan LaGrange laid it all on the table as he asked us to contemplate a question that wrecked his entire world a few years ago:

“Am I more interested in planning the ONE hour of the week every week or spending time with The ONE who called me to this life of grace in the first place?”

We sat in silence. Visually and literally, to realize that God was asking us to come back to the cross. Redeemed.

Act 4 - The Story of the SALT Nashville Set Design

The last morning you walked in to find the cross had been taken down, and the room had a giant white canvas covering the entire back of the stage. The room seemed completely opposite from the previous evening. There was lots of  light, blank white walls and a sense of “new beginnings.” However this was the ending session.

Gary Molander and Jeremy Cowart helped us understand the simple idea that we were born to create. Not create because we want to create, but that we were born to create out of the story that God has taken us on.

WE have a blank canvas, if you will, in front of our lives and in our local churches that are begging us to create something beautiful out of the encounter we have week in and week out with the cross. As Gary Molander put it:

Friends, We don’t create for God, He does not need it. We create in response to God, because the world needs it.

So we allowed the set of SALT Nashville to tell a story. What does this look like for you?

This is one of the reasons we so badly want you to come experience SALT with us this year. It’s a completely different story, and we may not use the set to tell the story this time, but we will tell a story. There will be an opportunity for you to experience something that may use creativity, visuals, media and art in a way to contagiously and simply impact the lives of those in your local community.

SALT is a conference where you can gain new insights and ideas on how to do things in your local Churches, while at the same time being filled up spiritually and creativity as an artist, leader or technician individually.