Archives For fellowship church

How to Build a Creative Arts Culture

Kent Shaffer —  March 9, 2012

Taylor Barriger, Whitney George, & Pace Hartfield at Seeds Conference

At Seeds Conference 2012, Taylor Barriger of Camino de Vida (Lima, Peru), Whitney George of Church on the Move (Tulsa, OK), and Pace Hartfield of Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) discussed how to build a creative arts culture.

Re: Struggles with Multi-Site
Pace: Each campus is resourced differently. The main campus has more lights and action compared to other campuses. But what we try to create are environments that fit each campus.

Re: Excellence on Budget Issues
Taylor: Creativity thrives on limitations. I love Bobby Gruenewald’s quote that “Media is a money hole. You have all you need today to do what you need to do.” So we have kids run our cameras sometimes because they are the most skilled at it. So we took on a mindset of “No limitations.”

Re: Is your band paid staff?
Taylor: No, because we don’t have the budget, and it wasn’t a possibility. We’ve grown our talent. Good musicians are attracted to good music.
Pace: No, our musicians aren’t paid anymore, but they were 3 years ago. We transitioned because no other volunteer was paid.
Whit: We no longer pay our musicians either. We realized it was an honor to serve, and we didn’t want a culture where people expected money every time they served.

Re: How do you get people to be excited about what you do?
Whit: The people’s excitement level will never exceed that of the leader. The people in the audience will never be more excited than the people on the stage.

Re: How do you stay creative with an older creative pastor?
Whit: Your pastor doesn’t necessarily limit your creativity. He may just shift and direct your creativity to look a different way. Creativity doesn’t have to be lights and stage design.
Pace: If you are getting kick back from your pastor, try giving him 3 options instead of one.
Taylor: Sometimes older pastors might not know what is possible, so constantly share what is possible with them.

Re: What if you pastor has a buffet mentality but expects gourmet creativity results?
Whit: Sometimes pastors don’t know how much time and effort it takes to pull things off.
Pace: On the rare occasions when you do have more time, show the pastor what can be done.
Taylor: The leader of the creative team must fight to create buffer between the pastor and the designers.

Special thanks to Skylark Audio Video for covering my travel expenses so that I can live blog the conference for you. They love churches and are currently offering free AVL consulting.

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar

Ed Young Jr on 18 Lessons in 20 Years

Kent Shaffer —  March 8, 2012

Ed Young Jr at Seeds Conference

At Seeds Conference 2012, Ed Young Jr of Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) discussed 18 leadership lessons he has learned from 20 years as a pastor.

Whether you are a big church or small church, I (Ed) believe that these principles are transferable. Things are things I have come to know through observation, failure, and success.

As a leader, I believe that we should have healthy fear in our lives.

  1. A leader should fear God.
  2. A leader should create fear in others.

18 Leadership Shots from Gospel Bill’s Saloon

  1. Draft impact players.
    One of the most important skills as a leader is to have discernment. Draft people who are influencers. Draft yes men and women (i.e., people who are yielded and encouragers). Look at the spouse of your impact players. You better go spouse hunting because they are one. How do these people spell relational relief. Check out Facebook. Check references.
  2. Develop double vision.
    If you have a church of 20 people, pastor like it is 40. If you have 200 people, pastor like it is 400.
  3. Change.
    Change > Conflict > Growth = the spin cycle of success. If you aren’t careful as a leader, you can get as a contemporary church become as predictable as a traditional church.
  4. Build a big shallow end in your church.
    You better have a place where you can rapidly plug in new attendees and new Christ-followers. The church grows from the outside-in. Start reaching people, and make a big place for them.
  5. Put on your shades.
    The vision should be so bright, so hot that people have to wear shades. Make people feel and know the vision of your church. Don’t assume that people know the vision. Talk about the vision. People don’t give to need; they give to vision.
  6. Las Vegas
    Las Vegas has nothing to say, but they know how to say it. We have everything to say but don’t know how to say it. Most of us do a horrible job in promoting. We should be the best promoters in the world.
  7. Consult other leaders before you consult the consultant.
    Talk to people ho are in the game and not the consultants.
  8. Pay now or pay later.
    You have to pay your people well. If you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. What is well? I have no idea, but you’ll know if you ask questions. Put money in the hands of people that you know will be generous and bring the tithe. Where your treasure is, so your heart is. If you are going to err on the side of a poverty mentality or prosperity mentality, err on being generous.
  9. Have a good HATtitude.
    What kind of hat do you wear? If you can’t put on the hat of enforcing the rules, you are doing something wrong. Sometimes you need the vision hat. Sometimes you need the corporate hat.
  10. Deal regularly and rapidly with staff infection.
    When you see a shark on your staff – deal with it. If you have to sit down with a staff member and motivate them more than twice, you don’t need them around you.
  11. Watch the leaves.
    People will leave your church. Don’t tell me how many people are coming to your church; tell me how many people are leaving your church. If you are doing the right things, people will leave. Even a third of the angels left heaven.
  12. Become childish.
    One of the most important things in the church is your children’s ministry. Put your best energy, best time, best money, and best volunteers with the children.
  13. Pick up special deliveries.
    Pyramid your church with special days (big events). It must have a meaning behind it and not just gimmicks.
  14. Tweak out!
    Create a climate of critiques. Small tweaks take you to giant peaks.
  15. Investigate what you delegate.
    People don’t do what you expect; they do what you inspect.
  16. To go out, you have to get under.
    I have to get under the things that God has placed over me so that I can get over the things that God has placed under me. This is about authority issues. It is about honor.
  17. The message is the main thing.
    Worship elements, videos, and other things are important, but the message is the main thing.
  18. Become a rescuer.
    Church is about souls. We do all of this because people need the Lord Jesus Christ. We are rescuers.

Special thanks to Skylark Audio Video for covering my travel expenses so that I can live blog the conference for you. They love churches and are currently offering free AVL consulting.

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar

How to Build & Lead a Creative Arts Team

Kent Shaffer —  March 4, 2011

Whitney George at Seeds Conference

At Seeds Conference, Whitney George of Church on the Move (Tulsa, OK), Pace Hartfield of Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX), and Marty Taylor of Northland, A Church Distributed (Orlando, FL) gave a behind the scenes discussion of how they lead their creative arts teams.

WG: It is not so much about what you do as who you are. What are the personalities like that make up your creative team? Those personalities will shape your art.

MT: Each week, we focus on some specific attribute of God and we connect that attribute to some type of call & response for the church to act on that week.

MT: We don’t ever buy anything just because it’s cool. We buy something because it will help the message.

WG: You don’t do all the lights for the sake of lights. You do it to create environments for worship. God did the same for us when He created a beautiful environment for us to worship in.

PH: And sometimes creating the environment means turning the technology off. Sometimes that is most powerful.

WG: It is about using it in the right way. You always want to keep at the heart of what you are doing, “What am I trying to say?”

WG: When we opened our new auditorium, we asked, “What is the appropriate response?” We thought up a lot of crazy ideas but decided that the appropriate response to launching a new auditorium is worship.

MT: We find out 6 weeks out what a weekend will be and start planning.

PH: We plan 10 weeks to a week out, and sometimes start planning 6 months in advance. We start with whomever will be teaching. Ed Young Jr. will do a mind dump and journaling, and the create planning team will read it all. Then we meet as a group to talk it out. We leave more on the cutting room floor then in the final sermon.

PH: To as best you can, match the leadership style of your pastor. When your pastor feels that support, he will trust you more.

WG: I have to remember that God didn’t call me to run Church on the Move. He called me to serve Church on the Move. You have to make sure that mindset is aligned if you want to be creative.

WG: One of the main things about collaboration is that when start going up, you will see the fruits of that, the disjointedness, showing up on stage. The tech guys and the media guys and the worship guys need to be able to speak into the lives and process of everyone around them.

WG: During rehearsals, we have someone always watching it who is not doing it. That kind of feedback in the time you are putting it together is critical to a great worship environment.

PH: We always have to keep one hand free to adjust for what God wants. You have to be careful to never spiritualize your laziness. Don’t do things on the fly. God is in the details.

MT: I think the approach is greatly affected by how you view the video and the lighting and everything. If you look at the lighting as just another tool, as another worship leader, then it helps to evaluate if it is working together.

WG: Stop thinking of worship as one thing and lighting as one thing and production guys as one thing. They are all one thing together. They are all communication.

WG: Honor and serve. Start honoring the sound man. He is as much of the process as the person on stage. Serving them means respecting their process and putting yourself in their shoes. That relationship is essential.

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar

Ed Young Jr. on 11 Statements for Creative Change

Kent Shaffer —  March 2, 2011

Ed Young Jr. at Seeds Conference

At Seeds Conference, Ed Young Jr. of Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) discussed 11 statements for creative change.

Anytime there is change, there is creativity. Creativity and change are inseparably linked. When you change, often it is an innovation or something different.

I believe that God is cheering to us, “You’ve got it! Now use it!”

Some of us deny having the ability to be creative, but that is not true. God made us unique. And He wants us to be who He planned for us to be individually and collectively.

Here are some creative statements that God has brought forward in Ed Young Jr’s life and in the leadership culture at Fellowship Church.

#1 – You be you.

In every area, be yourself. Do not try to be like any other minister. Do not try to be like any other church.

#2 – Work for the weekend.

The weekend is the most important thing we do in the church. So goes the week, so goes the weekend. So goes the weekend, so goes the week. If you make the weekend the thing, most people show up on the weekend, and you can connect with them there. Creativity is stopping something and starting something else. Why should the church be boring? It shouldn’t. So the weekend is where you can be creative. So often the small tweaks will take you to the giant peaks.

#3 – Have a seat at the table.

At the head of the table is the pastor with the food. The first chair is for people who do not know Christ. If your church is doing what it is supposed to do, then 1/3 of the church should be lost. Chair 2 is baby Christians (another 1/3). The third chair should be mature followers of Christ who share and serve (the last 1/3).

#4 – Sign up for group therapy.

Creativity is best done in a group. Everyone is a creative genius, so in a group, there is no telling what creative thing will come up. Critique while you are planning. Critique while you create. Play idea ping pong. You will not believe the ideas that go back and forth.

#5 – Get your “ask” in gear.

Always seek knowledge. Some are afraid to ask questions because of insecurity. Don’t be afraid. When you talk, there is a rhythm. You need to talk then ask then listen. We ask two questions in our creative process: (1) What if? and (2) What is? Delegation without investigation is an abomination. What if? plans the thing. But What is? investigates the thing. Also ask, “Who am I reaching?”

#6 – Hire “yes” men and “yes” women.

“Y” stands for yielded to God. “E” stands for encouraging. “S” stands for strong. The with you’s help you. The for you’s cheer for you. And the use you’s make you think they are with you, but they really use you and abuse you. When you let God take care of haters, He will take you to a whole ‘nutha level.

#7 – Get on the stairmaster.

Everytime you ask the right people the right questions to get the right answers, you will ask a lot of the wrong people, too. So you are always climbing. You are always moving.

#8 – Become a creative criminal.

Steal ideas unashamedly. Rip them off. Of course, make them your own. God gave you eyes… plagiarize.

#9 – Surf the wave.

Fade awaves are the waves that hit the coastline of our conscious and then fade away. Try to harness your creative ideas. Build in rest periods during the day.

#10 – Go through labor and delivery.

You’ve got conception (getting the idea). You’ve got pregnancy (incubate the idea). You’ve got to give birth. The reason many churches die and lose their creativity is they forget about the lost person.

#11 – Join the comedy club.

The majority of our creative ideas come out of laughter. You have to build in blocks of time to laugh and create. And if laughter doesn’t work, argue! Debate it out if necessary.

You’ve got creativity. Now use it!

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar

How to Have a Worship Service like Fellowship Church

Kent Shaffer —  April 26, 2008

Back in January, I highlighted a short video of the 2007 Christmas service at Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX). Today, Pace Hartfield uploaded even better videos of the Christmas service as well as a glimpse of how Fellowship Church designed the creative elements.

The Christmas Service

The Creative Video

How They Made the Creative Video

For more details about Fellowship Church’s production process, read Pace’s full explanation on his blog.

36 Sermon Series Graphics from Fellowship Church

Kent Shaffer —  April 18, 2008

This article is brought to you by Open Church:

Open Church - Free Church Resources

Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX) has been a pioneer in sermon branding for years. Not only are their sermon titles and messages creative, but their sermon series graphics are also a great source of inspiration. Here are 36 well-designed sermon series graphics Fellowship Church has created over the past several years. Enjoy!

(1) Wholly Holy & (2) The Big D

(3) Betrayal & (4) Right Christmas

(5) Flavor & (6) Off the Chain

(7) There & (8) The House

(9) Re-Thinking Jesus & (10) iGod

(11) Check Up & (12) Doors

(13) Best Seat in the House & (14) Larger Than Life

(15) The Divine & (16) Comfortable

(17) If the Shoe Fits & (18) Sexual Revolution

(19) Rutbuster & (20) The Me in Mommy

(21) Cantaloupe & (22) Lessons from Hell

(23) Good N’ Angry & (24) Pronoun

(25) White Noise & (26) Love Affair

(27) Authority Issues & (28) Thread

(29) Night Shift & (30) Retro

(31) Multiple Choice & (32) Just Lust

(33) The Games We Play & (34) Forget About It

(35) Crispus Cremus & (36) Praying for Keeps

If you want to be a great graphic designer, study great graphic design. If you want to be a creative preacher, study creative preaching. What you put in comes out.

Easter 2008 at Fellowship Church

Kent Shaffer —  April 8, 2008

Pace Hartfield, the worship and creative pastor at Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX), posted a video of their Easter 2008 service. The projection screens display some great usage of motion graphics.

Be sure to regularly check out Pace Hartfield’s blog for the latest on Fellowship Church’s worship.