This is the first of five posts in a series on Creative Planning Teams.
I’ve been a proponent for creative team planning meetings since I was first exposed to them in the secular television production world. In the church world, however, we’ve been slow to realize the benefits of this kind of team approach to planning weekend experiences. I think a pastor’s hesitation to embrace creative team planning may stem from several things:
Fear of losing creative control
Fear of not being able to plan at the last minute
Fear of staff/volunteers not doing their part on a critical task
Fear of giving up control of their sermon planning schedule
Fear of being too structured by over planning
F.E.A.R.: Failure to Equip, Authorize and Release.
Some of those are potentially legitimate fears, but I think all of those reasons can be eliminated if pastors are truly open to considering the possibility of a team approach.
For the church creatives and worship arts folks, planning makes their jobs a whole lot easier when they’re trying to make a seamless weekend experience come together. Quality content content generally takes time, so the more time they have, the better they can create and orchestrate unique content that fits the exact context of the message and helps to reinforce the theme/metaphor.
In order to allay some of the fears about creative team planning, I believe it’s important to show pastors that creative planning doesn’t have to be about a chaotic environment of random ideas and little productive effort. Here’s the basic structure I teach on how to have productive creative meetings:
Picking the team
Controlling the meeting
When and where?
Expanding go-to resources
I employ a variation on Edward De Bono’s “Six Thinking Hats” and work from the premise that everyone in the meeting will be a contributor to the weekend experience. De Bono’s method works well in a corporate environment, but I’ve tweaked it to help work in the unique context of a church. Furthermore, I recommend involving additional personnel (staff and/or volunteers) to the assigned tasks that come from the meeting’s creative input rather than keeping it limited to the team (Ephesians 4, five-fold ministry in action).
Over the next few days, I’ll expand on my practical implementation of creative team planning. I hope that in the process your church will benefit from this process! Share your comment below or connect with me on Facebook or Twitter with your ideas or questions.
Anthony Coppedge is a church technology consultant, speaker, and author with experience identifying strategies, building scalable systems and processes, and focusing efforts to stay true to the vision and DNA of an organization. He has served on staff at three mega churches and worked in the church management software and audio/visual industry.
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