Monthly Archives: September 2010

creatively speaking…

we are compelled to give, go, sacrifice, grow and by his love

my creative process. what does it look like?

well… first of all, there are more than one processes… for sure. that being said, i’m going to share a few ways that i like to start planning something. and inevitably, i’ll spin out on some other stuff that will hopefully somehow connect back…

usually a creative process starts with a problem…

somebody wants to communicate something very specific, and needs to find the most efficient and worthwhile method. they come to me for help. (sometimes i’m the somebody that wants to communicate something… so i don’t have to go far)

1. identify the message/problem/desired outcome

2. identify the audience (women? children? college athletes? etc)

3. consider how that audience likes to receive information. (digitally? print? video?)

4. take your brain to that place (for example, if i’m planning a children’s show, i think about the shows kids are already watching, i break down the characters they like and dont like, i read blogs and watch shows, i talk to kids in my demographic, i ask them questions and keep their comments handy)…. some people would call this RESEARCH… but that doesnt’ sound as fun as “take your brain to that place”… so.

5. record your ideas – this may be on index cards, post it notes, a notepad (i like to have lots of notepads around, so i can keep ideas for one concept in one place that is mobile, tactile, and accessible when i’m sitting around but may not have my computer.

6. find people to work with that are not joy-killers. don’t allow negativism to infiltrate into your creative process. (i’ll be honest, occasionally i’m the one that can be that person – bringing too much realism into the beginning of the process, pointing out the impossibilities instead of the possibilities)

*one of my favorite things in life is a brainstorming session… preferably open ended time-wise. i love to share ideas and thoughts with other people. i love to get the instant feedback that comes from working with a team. i love feeling like i’m not an island and that i’m not the only one that thinks the product is good. i like having an alliance of creatives that can back up the work together.

this is one example of one way to approach many things…

what are you creative process tips and tricks?

i witnessed a miracle yesterday…

you wouldn’t believe me unless you saw it… but something insane happened in little treehouse yesterday…

little treehouse is a place where kinder and 1st graders come to worship God in a multi-media worship experience. a host welcomes them and guides them through the time. a praise team comes to bring the truths of the bible through song, a puppet(s) teach lessons through applications and videos help round out the experience… something for everyone. it’s all written,  planned, staged, prepped for, prayed about, ..

sometimes, they come just for an experience.

apparently, there are days when you are in kindergarten or first grade and you hear music, you are apt to lose your mind. yesterday started out as one of these days.

when this happens… you don’t want to listen to the adults around you. oft times you do what you want to do (because lets face it … most of them are still run by the sin nature)… alas… it can get hairy (wow, that’s an old lady word) but let me tell you, it can get hairy in there.

THEN… amidst the chaos –

there was peace… and listening… and worshipping… WHAT?!!!!

only moments before it happened, there was a havoc being wreaked (is it allowed to say it like that?!).

mayhem abounded… cats and dogs living together… it was hysteria.

then we brought in the boundaries, we guided the kids to stay in their seats, but raise their hearts and voices. we helped them with guidelines that they could manage… then the praise team began to lead them in HERE I AM TO WORSHIP… and HOLY COW!!!!! the holy spirit was clearly there. their little minds and bodies stilled while they sang in sweet and tender voices this beautiful song. it was truly a miracle. no less than the parting of the red sea… i’m just saying!!! God was hanging out in treehouse this weekend… and we are grateful.

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Go Vols! Wait, what?!

finding volunteers is hard work.
finding great volunteers is harder work.
keeping great volunteers is heart work.

Practically speaking, it’s good to look for people that are interested in your particular area. You can ascertain this by doing surveys, posting information and sending messages out to your population alerting them to the opportunities of service in your area of ministry. Or…. you can get really intentional about finding the best people for you servant leadership opportunities.

some places you’ve probably already thought to look:
•people that are already serving somewhere else (but this could get you in trouble with your partners in ministry, if you hijack their people)
•people with an interest in your age group (i.e. middle school kid=middle school parent volunteer)
•people that you talk to every day
•your friends on facebook

places you may have not thought to look:

•people that your friends know, but you don’t. i had a conversation yesterday with a volunteer who is “taking a break”. she said not to make her feel guilty. i said that i dont want her to feel guilty, i want her to help me find more people that want to serve. i enlisted her to recreate herself. i gave her a way to make a change without skulking out with her head hung low.

•people that do what you are looking for in their professional lives (i.e. if you need a coordinator, a project manager would be an ideal candidate, even though they might not think they are equipped; if you need an actor, ask around and find out who starred in their schools’ productions)

•linked-in – linked-in is a networking tool for business people, essentially, however, it gives you an opportunity to read the resumes of the people you locate. this is a great way to find out what people are good at. ( I have a volunteer who owns a concrete company, this tells me that the next time i have a building project, this guy or people that he knows will have the skill sets and the abilities required to pull it off)

•senior adult ministry – these are people that have experienced life and have seen what works and doesn’t. in many cases that have been captains of industry or home ec afficianados. dont miss this valuable volunteer resource (and more than just for greeting)

some criteria for identifying a great volunteer:
•they are on time
•they are faithful to fulfill their commitments
•they truly find joy in the serving
•they do not grumble
•they do not create division or strife
•they are well meaning and supportive of leadership and programming (if they are not supportive, you do not need them, they will tear your ministry down)
•they are respectful of the authority God has placed on you as a leader and submit to that leadership
•they bring energy and love to the spaces they infiltrate.

some criteria for identifying a great leader:
•you are on time
•you are faithful to uphold your commitments (you deliver things on time to volunteers)
•you find joy in serving alongside other Christ-followers
•you do not grumble
•you do not create division or strife
•you are worthy of volunteer support and a good steward of their time.
•you carry the authority that God has given you with great humility.
•you bring energy and love to the spaces you infiltrate.

to keep great volunteers you have to show them you love them. you have to help them make the best of their talents. you have to give them a chance at success. you have to encourage and communicate with them. you have to love them. you know what makes you feel loved, figure out what makes them feel loved and do it.

if you do this, they will be there with you through it all.

constantly be looking for ways to duplicate yourself and train your volunteer servant leaders to do the same.

never forget, we carry an eternal message. we are charged with the task of sharing the greatest story ever told. we are allowed to be part of someone’s path to eternity. never forget that its about pointing others to Christ.

middle treehouse long hollow

volunteers rock the treehouse!!

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