One of my primary roles on Staff is to mediate or facilitate the Programming Team and their meetings. So what exactly is this?
Simply – we design the Sunday morning gatherings. But it is also a bit more than this. We also debrief the gatherings afterwards each week. We also have large scale brainstorming sessions in what we currently call Creative Meetings series by series. We also tweek and alter the service the week-of. We strategically choose what songs we wish to sing as a congregation – or not sing. We also delve into the technology of all these things – always on the hunt for the latest thing that may help in the creative teaching & worship we seek to have here. We are usually working about 1 month ahead of the current date – so I am currently putting things into place for the June 23rd services as we are coming to the May 26th weekend.
The people who are in this meeting varies slightly between the weekly 1hr 45 min meeting and the series by series 2 hr meeting. The weekly players are me (trying to hold it all together and move it along without too many bunny trails or spending too long on any one topic-idea) our Lead Pastor: Dave Ralph, my Admin Assistant: Sue Ralph, our Visual Communications person: Pauline Whyte, our Technology Manager: Jacob Moore, our Video Production Intern: Lloyd vanOnen.
We add these others when we do Creative Meetings— Student Min. Teaching & Leadership Pastor: Matt Naismith, Student Min. Creative Arts Pastor: Justin Sytsma, the current Artist In Resident: Nick Law (2012-13) and any other individual I think fitting to invite to these meetings. Sometime various volunteer Worship Leaders are invited – sometimes other Staff are invited. The key is to keep these meetings full of ideas – and ideas come from people who aren’t afraid to share and can “spring board” from idea to idea easily – not getting bruised when their ideas aren’t used.
All in all it is a super fun experience to lead and facilitate a meeting of creatives and administrative types to design our gatherings week after week. It is also tough work and requires lots of prep and lots of “flex” in the moment.
Above all else we rely on the Holy Spirit to guide our planning and creative-ness by seeking Him first in all we do. When I am sitting in my office Monday morning choosing songs – it isn’t just me choosing songs I LIKE – but I am really thinking and praying about what works for this series – for the teaching idea that Dave is trying to bring forward in that service. Each person in our team puts that amount of through and prayer into the aspects they work on – and then we all come together to see what we can do = leaving out the weaker ideas or content to work towards what we hope is the best, most prayerfully considered and inspired gatherings for our church week after week. God doesn’t want us to merely show up and say “OK God, do something”. Rather God, expects us – entrusts us – with the task and responsibility of doing our best so that we can create an environment that God will work through – by His Spirit -through our worship – to transform people in their hearts. We can’t transform anything on our own – only God can. We are merely setting the table, inviting the guests and preparing the food. We allow God to use us to transform others – and often – transform ourselves in the process.
I could go on about this – but I will cut it off here. Thanks for reading. Does your church have a similar “planning process” or do you work in a different way? Leave a comment – let me know.
Blessings on your week.