Creatives: Better Together?

creatives

Right in the middle of church planting, that’s where you find me. Just weeks away from launching a new church in Toms River, New Jersey. Along with everything else I’ve learned and experienced through this time I’ve noticed a lack of resources and conversation when it comes to creative meetings. While there are some amazing resources for the individual creative ( The Creative Pastor and CRTV Church are awesome), I’m referring specifically about Creative Teams and how they work. Whether in a business context or within the church, the idea of Creative Teams has been getting more traction lately. Let’s talk about it.

For our church a Creative Team is made up of individuals who meet as needed to go over BIG PICTURE ideas, not the nitty gritty details. We hear what the Pastor will be preaching on and spend some time thinking about the overall theme, how we can create a series around the major theme, the visual artwork that accompanies it, and one major wow moment that will happen in that series. If someone can’t remember exactly what the Pastor said, but they can remember one “wow” experience, use that to jog their memory.

Who is on the team?

Lead Pastor, Worship & Weekend Experience Leader, Communications Leader (also happens to be our Production Leader), and two church volunteers. One of the church volunteers is a constant team member, the other spot we rotate out each meeting and add someone different. Find people who aren’t afraid to share ideas and who aren’t easily offended when their idea isn’t used.

When does the team meet?

We are trying to be a season ahead of schedule. For example, we met in January to discuss Easter and a sermon series happening in May. Each major holiday gets its own meeting and so does each series. Based on this concept, you only need to meet as many times as your Pastor changes his series. For some churches it could be 5-6 times a year, for others more like 9-10.

Why a Creative Team?

This part can get real personal to each church or organization. Acknowledging that each place is different I will move on to some basic reasons that I think can relate to everyone.

  1. Visuals: Seriously. Each day our communication is done more through pictures and emojis than we probably realize. If a post doesn’t have a picture attached to it, does anyone read it? I don’t know but it’s worth thinking about. We share images to reflect how we are feeling, what we are experiencing, and of course what we’re eating. Taking some time to think about the artwork that may accompany your teaching is time not wasted.
  2. Stories: Stories help us learn and remember. Throughout the Bible we see parables and sharing of stories to help the people listening really understand what Jesus was trying to teach them. When working on a Creative Team you are helping to ultimately create a story with the goal that your church will leave not only remembering what it is they learned, but be able to apply it to their lives and share it with others.
  3. God: He is the ultimate Creator. God created everything…. everything. It’s in His nature to create, to allow new things to bloom and to remove things that are no longer needed. He could have chosen to leave everything one way, never having them change, but He didn’t.
  4. Fun: Church should be fun.

 

Have you tried Creative Teams at your church or organization? How’d it go? Can you do this without a team? Who is on your team? Share in the comments.

Upcoming: How we run Creative Meetings. Games/Brain warm-ups we play. What is a WOW moment? Subscribe to be one of the first notified when new content comes out.

 

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Technological Love… Pulling the Emotion out of Dating and Swiping Life Away

I never experienced the online dating life. I missed it. At 21 I became a wife and a mother, so while I experienced a brand new type of life many of my peers have spent years figuring out how to date when the days of actually making real conversation with a person in front of you is a lost art. Alex puts a great perspective on this issue in his new post. Check it out and let me know, how’s it going for you?

No longer active

I’m going to take a brave leap here… This one’s for my “bees” …my “flames”….. My “minglers” …my “harmonizers” the people who have given the online dating world a shot, and just can’t find what they think they’re looking for …. I think I can write to this because recently in my life there are a lot of people who have come out of the woodwork feeling like they are in the same situation I have been in. The truth is… I’m exhausted. I don’t want to date. I don’t care to partake in the meaningless sweet nothings shared back and forth for a few minutes before I’m on to the next one. What I’m trying to say is the arthritis in my tinder finger is really getting to me… That last part was a total joke. Honestly, I will be the first to tell you that lately, the one…

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I found my NEW Normal and it is a moving target…….

Check out this new blog site from Lynn! Her story is real, authentic, and encouraging.

Resume Of A Mother

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Normal…..this is one thing that many people strive to be….then some of us like to say that we like to be a little different. I am sure you heard the term growing up….”that is not normal”. So who defines “normal”? Somewhere along the way “normal” was defined as we were growing up and this is probably the pattern of life that you thought you would be following. I never knew what it would mean to have to find a new normal for my life. I grew up in a family of five and the most challenging thing growing up with 2 sisters was waiting in line for the bathroom. Life growing up seemed very normal for me.

We had families who lived down the street that we would say as kids…..” that is the family that is not normal”. I have no idea really why we said that other than…

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Patriotic Infused Worship

The commentary shared can be seen as audacious but if you really read the words and heart behind what he is saying you can’t really argue it. It by no means lessens the sacrifice individuals have made to protect their countries but it does open the discussion that the church is a place without geographical boundaries. Why do we act as if to being a Christian means to be a patriot for America and nowhere else?

We do this without even realizing it. We do it when we become missionaries and try to force other cultures to “do church” the way the Americans do it. To sing American worship songs. To read bibles in English. I could go on but I won’t.

Sam Dowty

I am a part of a few online collectives of worship leaders and tech directors through Facebook and other social media.  These groups are there to ask questions of each other and challenge each other for the purpose of spiritual growth.  Recently a question was asked about utilizing patriotic music and themes within the context of a worship service.  For myself this is a issue that hits very close to home with the things I have been struggling with recently.  Before I get into the meat of this issue I do want to give a bit of a disclaimer.  In no way am I trying to demean the sacrifice of those who died for the purpose of protecting those whom they loved.  I am simply trying to relate our patriotic thought with our kingdom work and how they could or should intertwine.

For myself, I have always struggled seeing an…

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Prepping for the Promise

prepping

When I was in college down at Florida Atlantic University I was horrible at studying. By horrible I mean I never did it. Actual studying consists of consuming and reviewing new knowledge over increments of time. Who has time for that?! I was incredible at cramming everything in the night before and sometimes even the day of. I would try to figure out the most important ideas, grab better notes from someone else in the library, and ultimately fake my way through it. If passing college classes is what I had to do to prepare for my future, I was amazingly bad at it.

For most of us preparation equals stress. In all areas of our lives we need to prepare; work, school, parenthood, leadership, ministry, coaching, marriage, etc. In all those areas stress can get added to our preparation. We are uncertain of the outcome and some of us force ourselves to cram in every nugget of information  [insert the What to Expect When You’re Expecting book here] while others get so overwhelmed that they throw their hands up and cash out.

I’ve been reading my way through the She Reads Truth reading plan for the Bible in a Year, which means I’ve spent a lot of time lately in Old Testament books like Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, etc. [For the non-Bible readers, these are the books with all of the commands and instructions, and pretty much no one jumps there for a good daily inspirational reading.] In these books we see the Israelite people get constant instruction from God regarding how they are to worship Him, celebrate, cleanse themselves, basically live, etc. In the same books, over and over again we see the Israelites mess up, breaking God’s commands.

The people of Israel were so stuck in their current situation (wandering around the wilderness) they couldn’t see that in the midst of it, God was preparing them for the promise. The promise in this case was land, a special place for the people to call their own. In these books God doesn’t say “If you make it to the land do this….”, He says “When you get there….” God knew the plan and promise He had for His people. He also knew they weren’t ready yet to receive it and would need some prepping along the way.

Is He prepping you along the way right now?

Sooner than later I will be taking the biggest and riskiest step in faith I have ever taken; leaving my established home church and helping launch a church plant in Toms River, NJ where I will be leading worship. Terrifying. Exciting. Unqualified. Sufficient. The mix of emotions is intense and real. My pattern of “cramming for exams” will not work in this situation. However, I have been given a promise. It is written that those who take delight (follow, love, trust, walk with) in the Lord will be given the desires of their hearts. That’s a promise. Never in a million years when I walked around aimlessly with the promise out of sight did I think God was preparing me for such a role. I can rest in the assurance that if God has promised it, He will be in it, and He will help to prepare me for the promise He has given.

The desires of our hearts vary, as do our life circumstances, but can you take a moment to look back and see how God has been shaping you for your future? The shaping is not easy, it can be painful and messy. It can be extremely long (think 40 years in the wilderness long).  It is through both the victories and trials that God prepares us for His plan, His promises, His Kingdom building work [all night coffee cram session not needed].