The Creative Planning Meeting. We’ve talked about “who” should come, we’ve talked about “what” the general content could/should be. Now it’s time to hit “when.” What’s working well for us at the moment is a two-hour meeting held every couple of weeks. Until recently, our Planning Team met every week. However, it seemed like there often wasn’t enough that had changed in a one-week span of time to really be able to stoke the “big idea” engines of the team members. New challenges are critical to keep creative types in the game. Two hours generally gives us enough time to hit multiple issues.
Sometimes it’s necessary to have additional meetings. If your church or group has a major event coming up – Christmas Eve, for example – it may require a special meeting (possibly with some additional or different team members, depending on the needs of the event). It may also be necessary to call together subgroups of the team from time to time to address specific issues – for example, I usually meet with the communications team folks before we launch into any extended series to make sure that we’re solid on the look/feel/vibe for the series. I probably meet most often behind the scenes with the techies to make sure that all of the details are ready to roll. Many times these “mini-meetings” are just to make sure that we all have a shared understanding of what will be happening.
Every once in awhile, it’s great to get input from a big group. We call our entire tech and worship teams together a couple of times a year, and it’s been very worthwhile to for their ideas and opinions on specific topics. This year, for example, I asked the entire worship team to look for cool new “off the beaten path” songs or arrangements for Christmas – within a couple of days, I had an inbox full of e-mails chock full of a bunch of ideas, including some that the actual Planning Team would have never come up with. Even more importantly, it helped the team to gain additional ownership in what’s coming up at church – and that’s a good thing!