SALT is exploring the idea of Creative Meetings for your team, so we asked 3 people in our community to give us their insight on how they like to conduct a creative meeting. Honestly we have done Creative Meetings several different ways and there isn’t a “right” way to do them. This topic is relative to what people you have access to and what you are hoping to accomplish.
We start this series with our friend and SALT alumni, Stephen Brewster. Stephen has worked as a Creative Director and offers his services in leadership, coaching etc. to churches around the country. *update read Part 2 in the series on Creative Meetings
It’s Monday morning and the usual crowd strolls for your next creative meeting. You know how it goes: the pastor walks the five of you through the ins and outs of the upcoming series or event then asks for your best ideas in planning the creative elements.
You all agree this time the look and feel needs to be fresh and new. But after ten minutes, every one is glued to their Google browser, settling for clever “cultural” ideas to replicate.
A general list is formed, complete with a few predictably odd suggestions and a handful of concepts used in the past, and then it’s onto production. The meeting adjourns and everyone walks away unsure of how “creative” it all turned out to be.
You’re probably wondering how I know this – it’s because I did it this way for too many years! Here are three ways to put the creativity back into your creative meeting:
Speak with your pastor ahead of time.
Let him or her brief you with the critical information for the series or event so that his or her heavy voice won’t interfere with the creative flow of the meeting.
Conduct the creative meeting.
Invite 20-40 people to gather an abundance of ideas. Divide and conquer into teams of five and give each group the complete freedom to brainstorm around the most important elements (title, sub-title, music, video, look, marketing, how do we involve other ministries, how do we create parking lot/lobby experiences?).
Let this be a fun, low stakes exercise. No idea is a bad idea! Be sure to especially focus on the creative elements that seem to be lacking most. This meeting should take about 90 minutes.
Refine and simplify.
Gather a group of 3-5 of you and filter through all of the amazing ideas from the meeting. Filter the best concepts down to 2-3 pitches for your pastor. You will start with more content than you know what to do with but end up with better results than you could’ve imagined. You can even invite your pastor into this process if he/she or you prefers. Ultimately, this is where you solidify what to pitch or create for the upcoming series or event.
Shoot for this process to happen the first week after you launch the previous series. For example, if series X started on Sunday, that following Monday, meet with your pastor about series Y; conduct the creative meeting for series Y that Wednesday; refine and simplify for series Y that Thursday. This allows for at least 3 weeks of production time.
Save yourself the headache and don’t try to jam three meetings into one. Don’t even think of it as a meeting – allow creativity to be a process. This way you’ll gather those fresh ideas you hoped for, reach more people and influence culture.
If I can help you at ALL with this process, reach out to me. [email protected] or on IG: @B_rewster.