5 Questions To Inspire Creative Team Collaboration


Inspire_Creative_TeamHave you ever sat in a worship service planning meeting and felt like you were sitting in the middle of a war zone? The ideas people are at odds with the operations people. The creatives feel like the executors are an obstacle, and the executors feel like the creatives are unrealistic and irresponsible. The creatives think anything is possible, and thetechnical team members don’t understand why the creatives can’t see the reality of the church’s resources.

I’ve sat in these types of church staff meetings, and it’s not fun. Sometimes the tension can be cut with a knife.

It can seem like every week as we plan our weekend experience there are the teams who create the content and dream up the big ideas and then there are the teams that carry out these ideas. They can feel like opposing forces battling it out through the week to cross the finish line of Sunday afternoon.

I have sat in meetings as the creative person pitching dreams to the team only to have them shot down by someone who has ten reasons why the idea is doomed to fail, seemingly impossible, or cannot be carried out for a variety of reasons. Sometimes this happens even before the idea is affirmed as a good and valid one.

On the opposing side, I have seen technical artists feel rejected when pitching projects and upgrade improvements for the weekend experience because the pastor or creative types refuse to hear the practical needs of the organization or will not take the time to understand the technical world.

When these crucial parts of our church staff are at odds, our team isn’t living up to its potential and isn’t allowing its individual team members to carry out the fullness of the gifts God has given them.

There is a better way. A way so powerful that it creates a safe place for every church staff member to submit his or her most precious, innovative, fragile, and unformed ideas. I’ve actually seen and experienced its existence. The teamwork, community and collaboration that is formed is inspiring, even magical. The sum of the team’s efforts is greater than the parts alone.

The true definition of synergy, according to the Greek word synergia, is “working together.” And so it should be with our teams. If your team struggles with unity during the creative process, contemplate the following questions together:

1. What if the technical artists worked to intentionally offer up ideas in service planning meetings?

2. What would happen if an idea that is too big to carry out was scaled to a workable scope?

3. What would it look like for pastors, worship leaders, and creative directors to intentionally enter the technical artists’ world? Even acts as simple as helping wrap cables after the service or move gear on stage for tear down can help non-technical staff members understand the tech world on a deeper level.

4. How could our teams work together to achieve more than what is currently possible?

5. How valued would everyone feel when we enter the world of another and offer to carry his or her burden together?

The responsibility for creating compelling spaces for people to connect with God in powerful ways is not solely the job of the pastor, creative director, or technical artist. It only happens when every team member works together to co-labor toward one greater purpose. May we reflect the glorious synergy of God as we seek to draw a broken world unto Him.

What advice do you have for church staff teams that aren't experiencing the synergy that they could?