One of the first things I realized when I got my first project with a church for their creative strategy was this: Many churches don’t have a creative team in place. You know the saying “Teamwork makes the dream work”? Well, that’s the truth. I want to provide for you 5 reasons why you as a pastor, leader, or creative should think about creating a team solely focused on creativity and what that entails.
1. The Pastor is trying to be the creative director, pastor, marketing head, and everything else all in one.
I’ll never forget when my father looked at me and said, “I need your help”. My home church is a small church of about 100 people. We’re in the growth phase but about 3 years ago, my Father pushed me out to be in charge of the creative strategy for the congregation. We have some amazing marketing experts within our church who I work with to help with the graphics, social media, and more. However, what my father recognized was that delegation is the cousin of success. Many pastors are taking on jobs that are not theirs. It’s not that you aren’t great at what you do. It’s the fact that you won’t have time to effectively lead because you are trying to juggle five other titles. Having a creative team is amazing. My father simply lets the creatives in the church what’s coming up and what he envisions. Our job is to make it come to life. Those who serve in the creative field get to cultivate our giftings that we have been assigned to. Your creatives within your church can’t grow if they aren’t actively involved and in position.
2. Your church’s “look” isn’t cohesive.
When there isn’t a solidified common theme in your church’s branding, you have a huge problem. When the flyer from last month looks like it came from a different church due to the flyer for this month, something is not adding up. Churches should have a brand guide. There should be common fonts, colors, and design layouts that your creative team sticks to. Over time, your creative team should flow as one team understanding the voice and the vision of the pastor and the church. When you don’t have a team, it’s hard to get that flow in motion. I’ve also churches allow different ministries within to create their own promotional materials. So for instance, the youth ministry makes their own flyers and promo work and so does the senior citizen ministry. It may work but the question boils down to one thing. Is it effective? Have one team in charge of the entire church’s marketing, social media, branding, web presence, and visual identity. When we have “centers” for each important group, then you won’t have to worry if “so and so” will get the job done. Just bring requests to the team and let the team handle them from there.
3. It helps cut down on costs.
Churches waste so much money on outsourcing projects that their volunteer teams could have handled. Even churches who have full staff, hiring a team of creatives will cost lower in the long run because of the number of projects and designs that need to be handled. Also, it’s more than just a price point. Having someone within the organization who can be the “Creative Pastor” or Director and then work with a team of creatives helps with delegation and responsibility. For my home church, our costs only go to external promotion like billboards, marketing materials, and yearly web hosting fees. That’s it. We do all of our own social media, web design, photography, and other creative jobs from within the church.
4. You will help cultivate the giftings of your in-church creatives.
Serving in my home church helped me realize my calling. It’s a place to serve and cultivate your talents while also winning souls. It’s a form of ministry just like any other position. Every time I work on the website or create graphics, it’s more than just “fun”. I know that everything I do is helping my local church. Many people in church are not as involved as they should be. Find creatives within your church who desire to help. Give them small tasks and then build up from there. Don’t place them where they don’t want to be. People want to feel used and also in a place that fits who they are and their character. Also, listen for whatever issues they bring up. I was training a church staff in Maryland and one volunteer voiced issues with their social media platform. Guess where I planted him? The social media team! He was passionate about it because he wanted to bring a solution to a problem he saw. He wasn’t a social media marketing expert. However, the church that brought me in hired me for training. I trained him and he learned how to be effective in his ideas. He went from being someone with wanting to help to being an agent of change. He also recognized that he had gifts and abilities that he didn’t know was there. That’s the beauty of serving.
5. Creativity is vital to church growth.
I can’t tell you how many pastors I have to convince to establish a creative team at their church. Strategy is essential to a healthy church culture and the growth that comes out of that. Here’s a simple example of how a creative team can help. I recommend pastors breaking up their sermons into series that last 1-2 months MAX. You may be on a certain topic but break up that topic into “series”. Go to your creative team and tell them the name you have for the sermon. If you don’t have a title, give your team a brief synopsis. What the creative team will do for you is come up with the artwork, promotion material, and more to promote that upcoming sermon series. What else does a creative team do? They help operate your social media and they do more than just post random scripture quotes. They will begin to expand the church’s reach via social media and promote the church’s voice and vision to potential visitors. They will build engagement by using strategy. They may not know or have all the tools. However, through proper training, sending them to conferences & workshops, and letting them practice in their giftings, your church will benefit from having a creative team.
I will touch on the structure and job roles that creative teams can look to include in an upcoming post. Until then, stay tuned! Have any questions about this blog post? Comment below & I’ll be sure to respond!