I stumbled into graphic design. To be honest, I still don’t know what I’m doing here. Am I limited to logos and branding, or am I doing fliers and web sites, too? Do I want to focus on only projects connected to my faith, or should I cast a wider net? Is this an eventual full-time business, or a side hustle?
What I do know
I still don’t know the answers to those questions, but I have reached a more general conclusion: we can make things to the glory of God. More specifically, we can do design to the glory of God.
When I say design in this context, I’m thinking particularly – but not exclusively – of graphic design. My experiences – working for non-profits, leading youth ministry, and blogging – have taught me that design is more than what we do with markers and paper or mouses and screens. We design organizations, ministries, and programs. We design the structures of our families, churches, and communities. When we intentionally build these things for beauty and functionality, we are designing.
There’s a degree to which all these things naturally testify to the glory of God. We learn in John 1:3 that all created things – including us and the things we create – were created by and through Jesus. We learn in Colossians 1:16, that creation is not just made by Jesus, but also for Jesus. In Romans, Paul tells us that God has revealed Himself thorough His creation. So, all design – from the Jordan Jumpman to the new Comcast Tower – is a reflection of the glory of God.
Glorify God by Design
This is great, but we can go a step beyond this inevitable glory-showing. Those of us who know, love, and belong to Jesus can be intentional about working in a way that brings him glory. This can be done through the quality of our work and the integrity and diligence with which we work. The Bible admonishes us to do all things to the glory of God. This should be our constant goal. We should to complete projects on time and deal honestly with clients. We shouldn’t steal stock photos. Even when completing non-religious work – like designing a menu for a local restaurant – we can be intentional about glorifying God.
What if we take this even farther? We can use our skills and resources to proclaim the gospel. Graphic artists can illustrate gospel truth through digital art. Coders can develop applications that make teaching biblical truth easier for children’s ministry workers. YouTubers can produce videos that carry the gospel beyond the four walls of the church. We can create smartphone wallpapers that remind our brothers and sisters how the gospel impacts even the seemingly mundane parts of life.
As I look back on my own experiences, I can see how I unwittingly put this approach into practice. As a youth minister, it wasn’t enough to simply have the right information and ideas. I found ways to build structures and design print and digital material to lead to greater success. This may have taken the form of a punchy flier, a carefully laid-out volunteer handbook, or an intentionally planned sermon series.
Making things with intention is a gift from God, and one that we should use to glorify him. So, in all that you do, whether branding or web design or coding or product development, do it all to the glory of God!
What are some other ways that Christian artists and designers can use their work to bring glory to God, in both religious and non-religious work? Leave your thoughts in the comment section.
Want to see an example of my faith overflowing into my practice of my design skills? Check out this wallpaper I designed for my phone.