I have been involved in compiling a prayer book for my church. We want to use it starting during Lent (I know, thinking ahead!) to have the church start praying together. I have been focusing on our mission statement and choosing scripture that resonates with the hearbeat of our church. After laying the foundation of scripture I'll write short prayers that direct and guide the community through praying about cultivating love, truth and compassion. While I have enjoyed this creative process, it is not without some difficulty.
Most of the time I create for myself and then share with others. It is a process of moving from the deep stirrings of my mind or heart and creating an artifact that I then share (if I think it is good enough for other eyes to see).
This project is the opposite. I'm standing on the outside, creating something for a whole group of people. Eventually, this project will stir my mind and heart as I pray along with others.
There's something to be said for creating something you are going to participate in yourself. It removes you from the situation somewhat. In his book The Art of Curating Worship, Mark Pierson describes how it is hard for someone who curates a worship service to actually participate in worship during the service, because the focus is on how well it functions within the community and not on participation.
That's something I will have to tackle as I participate in something I am creating for others. I hope I'll be able to participate in something I created without seeing all of the errors or misunderstandings or things that are left to be desired.
Have you created something for a community?
Were you able to use the artifact you created?
How were you able to separate your role as creator from your new role of reader/viewer/listener?