6 Essential Roles For Your Creative Arts Team
As a church grows, it can be challenging to discern the roles between the creative arts programming and technical teams. Many of the responsibilities seem to overlap and the skill sets and competencies can be very similar. So how do you discover which creative or worship team roles are needed for your church and what type of person best meets your church's needs? It’s important to first define the roles and responsibilities in order to discover where you should start.
Consider the following six positions below as a launching pad for your church staffing process as you determine what your next creative team hire needs to be.
1. Worship Leader/Pastor
The best Worship Leaders and Worship Pastors not only lead the music programming over the weekend, but also develop and train others to do the same. They should be skilled at recruiting new musicians and vocalists and able to promote healthy and engaging team dynamics. A healthy mix of administrative gifts and creativity is required in order to be successful as a Worship Leader or Worship Pastor. The best and most highly sought after leaders are able to build rapport with the congregation through their excellent communication skills, being both authentic and pastoral in nature.
The following is a suggested list of the basic responsibilities of a Worship Leader/Pastor:
- Lead all band and vocal rehearsals
- Recruit and develop musicians (both technically and spiritually)
- Schedule all weekend teams including all volunteer or paid musicians and vocalists (some churches include technical team scheduling in this role as well)
- Lead worship at all weekend gatherings and special events
- Plan all elements of the weekend services and series (for example: song selection, video selection, scripture readings, etc.)
- Create music charts and tracks as needed
- Write or arrange songs for corporate worship
“For many young people choosing a church, worship leaders have become a more important factor than preachers. Mediocre preaching may be tolerated, but an inept worship leader can sink things fast.” (Gordon MacDonald, To Find A Worship Leader, Leadership Journal, Spring 2002)
2. Creative Arts Director/Pastor
The successful Creative Arts Director or Creatve Arts Pastor knows how to manage the ever-dynamic creative planning process. He or she is administratively and strategically minded, yet can function comfortably in the "right brain" or creative space. Unlike their counterparts, Creative Arts Pastors often are not the person on the platform leading worship regularly. They have the capacity to devote their full attention to the weekend experience in order to maintain smooth and excellent execution as well as healthy team environments.
The following is a suggested list of the basic responsibilities of a Creative Arts Pastor or Creative Director:
- Manage creative team staff (including but not limited to Worship Leaders/Pastors, technical staff, video content creators, and possible communications staff)
- Responsible for the programming and content of all services, series, and events (including song selection, video selection, video creation, scripture readings, all graphics and backgrounds on the video screens, and other creative elements such as dance, drama, etc.)
- Coordinate with global staff such as Communications Director, Graphics Designer, Teaching Pastors, and/or First Impressions (greeters, ushers, etc), for weekend service execution and continuity
- Act as the point person for all events such as Easter, Christmas, baptisms, and other special church-wide celebrations
3. Music Director
The Music Director role requires an expert musician who can work together with a Worship Leader/Pastor to accomplish the weekend music experience. The most skilled Music Directors are highly professional, well-networked, and able to create music arrangements for a variety of instruments in a variety of settings. This unique role is often seen in larger church environments as a compliment to the Worship Leader. The Music Director typically does not lead worship in most organizations unless they are a skilled vocalist as well as a professional musician.
The following is a suggested list of the basic responsibilities of a Music Director:
- Lead band rehearsals
- Create music charts and tracks to equip the band and vocal teams
- Create all chord charts and arrangements as needed
- Recruit and develop instrumentalists (technically and spiritually)
- Schedule all paid and contract musicians
4. Technical Director
The Technical Director oversees all things related to executing a successful technical weekend experience (audio, lighting, video, staging, etc.). In some churches, the Technical Director also schedules and develops all of the volunteers in each designated area, while in larger church environments, the individual Video Director or Lighting Director may schedule their own teams.
The church Technical Director is usually seen as a jack-of-all-trades but is often the master of just one. He or she needs to be able to speak the necessary technical language (A/V/L) to each specialist so that the vision and needs of the service are expressed. As challenges arise, the successful Technical Director will often troubleshoot, make repairs, or delegate to his/her team as necessary to remedy the situation immediately.
The following is a suggested list of the basic responsibilities of a Technical Director:
- Be a contributing member to all weekend service planning and evaluation meetings
- Maintain and monitor the condition of all the equipment (audio, lighting, stage, video, rigging) and arrange repairs as needed
- Recruit and develop volunteer teams for audio, lighting, video, and stage
- Supervise and assist with the set and any construction projects
- Possess a working knowledge of stage management
- Serve as a liaison between Worship Arts and other ministries needing A/V/L assistance
- Often oversee staff roles in the individual technical areas such as audio, video, lighting, stage, broadcast, etc.
5. Live/Broadcast Video Director
If you have ever seen a live Video Director in action, it’s similar to watching air traffic control in progress. A successful Live Video Director should be able to monitor multiple screens and watch the switcher all at once. Live Video Directors have experience with a variety of cameras (handheld, stationary, robotic) and also numerous types of screens (front projection, rear projection, environmental, LED, etc.) The successful Live Video Director is a unique blend of technical acumen with creativity. This niche role is typically only required in larger churches with multiple campuses that broadcast their services or have online campuses that need this type of video support.
6. Video Editor
A Video Editor is someone who takes video that has been captured and fits it all together to create something beautiful and compelling. In many ways, Video Editors are storytellers, It is both art and technical skill combined. Many church Video Editors are also well-trained at shooting film and a very valuable part of the overall video creation process. Successful editors are usually well-versed in the following basic editing software: Adobe Creative Suites, Adobe Premiere, Adobe After Effects, Final Cut, and iMovie. Often, churches hire Video Editors on a contract basis until their budget can support a full-time Video staff member. Churches or ministries who are more content-heavy may need to bring content support in-house sooner than later, so if this is the case for your church, it's wise to begin budgeting for this type of role as soon as possible.
As your church and creative team grows and you are determining the future needs of your creative staff, we hope these insights help you determine the role needed and the best fit for that role.
Which type of creative arts team member will your church benefit from next?
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