Follow the Leader

Leading a creative team in the church is often an interesting place to be. As creatives, we are asked to create elements that will enhance worship encounters, promote activities within the church or reach those outside the four walls. 

We must do this while following the vision of the church leaders above us. 

Ninety-nine percent of the time, we have no problem following the leader's vision.

But what about that one percent of the time?

As the creative team pushes boundaries with design ideas and elements, it is inevitable that we will not always see eye-to-eye with the pastor or leader above us. Sometimes, we just can't agree on how something should look. 

How do we respond in this situation?

Leverage trust

How much trust does your leader have in you and your team? Do they fully believe you have their and the church's best interests in mind? Can they be confident you would not do anything to harm the church? If you feel there is a high level of trust to work with, it is okay to leverage that trust in order to sell why your idea would work. Explain why that photo or color palette was chosen. Clearly articulate why this type of video editing will work with this promo. 

If there is a level of trust, your leader will listen and respond in kind. Sometimes, by clearly explaining why you came up with the ideas you came up with, your pastor or leader will come to like the idea. Sometimes, however, your leader may still want changes.

What happens then?

Listen Intently

After you have pitched your reasons for design, it is time to listen to your leader's point of view. And really listen. Sometimes, if it appears our idea is getting tossed to the wayside, we can close off, pout or get defensive. Instead, openly accept the reasons your pastor or leader is giving. You may not agree with all the reasons, but, if there is a level of trust, it should work both ways. We have to believe that those above us have the church's best interests in mind as well. And, sometimes, they might understand a situation better than we do. 

If we will show that we are actively listening, and learn why this project didn't turn out the way expected, it will help us in the future. By listening, we can understand how to approach a project next time. What is our pastor looking for? How do these ideas better back the vision of the church? We can learn these things simply by listening. 

In the end, above all else, what must be do?

Follow the Leader

Once both sides have shared their opinions and a final decision has been made, that must be it: A final decision. We can't return to our office and sulk. We need to get back to work. We can't harbor hurt feeling or resentment. We must follow our leaders. 

Sometimes it doesn't work out the way we want. Sometimes, a perfectly good project gets turned in to a mess (in our opinion), but that cannot dictate how we respect and follow the leadership that is before us. We have to follow the vision of our leaders as the vision moves the church forward.

If we get to a point where we feel we cannot follow the leader whole-heartedly, it may be time to have a conversation with him or her....but that can be saved for a later post.

What else can you add to this conversation? How have you found to be the best way to work with your pastor or leader? Please comment below!