This past week, I had the opportunity to speak about Leading Creative Teams at the Group KidMin Conference in Chicago. I thought it’d be good to post a summary of that session along with the Prezi that accompanied it.
THEOLOGY OF CREATIVITY:
When we read Scripture, many things are apparent. God is love. God is full of grace. And God is Creative. It is simply part of who God is. As we bear His image, it’s part of us as well. Creativity is not just something we do with paint and brushes, music and dance, stage and screen.
Creativity is about solving problems in a way that glorifies God.
BUILDING A CREATIVE TEAM:
Building a creative team does not begin with people in your church or a creative project. Rather, building a creative team begins with us. Who we are, our strengths and passions, will determine how we lead. In fact, one can effectively lead a team only when one knows their own strengths and leads from them.
Sometimes building a creative team means that we need to hire above us. We maybe a great creative person with ideas galore, but if we can’t organize them in a way that gets the job done, we fail. We may need to enlist someone to organize the projects in order for us to complete them.
Play to your strengths, and hire your weaknesses.
With that said, a creative team is comprised of several positions. Ideally, these should each be different people, but I understand that that is not always possible. As long as the tasks from these roles are covered, you will be on your way towards creating great productions.
Executive Producer: someone has to call the shots from start to finish, project manage the event and keep all the details organized, someone with a vision for the overall goal of the event
Director: someone to breathe live into your scripts, acquire actors and lead them in presenting the material, coordinates all the prop needs and finds a way to get them,
Technical Coordinator: organizes all the audio/visual needs for the event, gathers them and puts them into the right presentation software, gathers any necessary volunteers to run sound, etc.
Music Coordinator: someone to help choose music for worship, create and choreograph motions for the songs, select music transitions between stage elements, and find volunteers to help lead music and do motions
Talent: actors, singers, dancers, hosts, storytellers, musicians, etc.
You may discover that you may need some additional roles including the following:
Video production: Do you want to use any media? Will you video these yourself of find videos that work?
Purchasers: Very often the Executive Producer or Director will purchase everything, but it could be that your Kidmin has a person who does the shopping. You may want to centralize purchasing as much as possible just to be organized.
USING A CREATIVE TEAM:
We discussed a few points in this section including leading team meeting and brainstorming techniques, both of which deserve posts of their own.
I wrote about Meetings in a blog series a year ago. Here is where I talked about the importance of having an agenda.
Overall, all the brainstorming and meeting that you’ll do with a creative team will lead to one thing: creating a production that kids and families will love. To do that, you should ask yourself three questions:
1. What’s the Big Idea?
This is the point, and why you’re getting people to come to your event. I like to think of the Big Idea in terms of story. What are the stories that I want to hear in the hallways and emails after the event? I program and plan to that end in mind.
2. How will they remember the Big Idea?
Create a bottom line: a six – eight word sentence that clearly summarizes the point of the event. This bottom line is what will help a parent throughout the week. You can have a great Sunday experience, but if you don’t give parents anything to help them on Wednesday, you’ve failed.
3. What creative elements will make this pop?
Think about how you’re going present the material. Will you use a video, a drama, a special song, or worship? There are so many options available to churches these days, so you need to keep to design principles in mind:
Just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. In other words, only do what is absolutely necessary to the event. Going overboard doesn’t always help because…
Less is more. More is counter-productive. Too many elements may actually work against you. Kids may remember the exciting stage elements more than the bottom line.
CARING FOR A CREATIVE TEAM:
When the organization recognizes the person and not simply the task they accomplish, people feel valued and will work with passion towards the goal.
Creating a Culture that Recognizes Creativity:
Make the Work Matter – make sure your team always knows why they’re doing what they’re doing.
Nurture Passion – create an environment where creatives can be creative. This sounds obvious, but it’s easy for organizations to stifle creativity.
Value Renewal – make sure that your schedule is such that people can find adequate rest and rejuvenation after crazy seasons of ministry
Meet People’s Needs – know your team and what they need to survive, know their family life and what’s happening outside of work, know their boundaries and breaking points and stay away from them
We had so much fun in the workshop. I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. What you add to this discussion?