I met a lot of really smart and creative people at our Communications Workshop last week. Professionals in 100 people churches to $20 million organizations are asking the same questions. On the big scale, one of the most common questions is "How do we move from a decentralized communications process (everybody doing their own thing) to a centralized process (everybody speaking with one voice)."
There's a lot of easy win steps you can take to get there that I'll revisit in a future post, but one way is to make series planning an all-church process. We didn't get here overnight, but now it's basically an all skate. Different departments pull off different parts of the process, but all the parts are collaborating... eliminating duplicate efforts... rowing the boat in the same direction... recognizing the strength of the team.
Short story summary?
- The senior management team defines the series big idea & talking points.
- The communications team develops the theme, graphics and content for print & online promotional support. They also coordinate the information systems that help teams facilitate series next steps (resources, events, groups, etc.).
- The creative arts team develops platform programming and media elements.
- The first impressions team develops an environment outside the auditorium that compliments the series theme and prepares guest services teams for children check-in and next steps out of the series.
There's a ton of overlap, but there is no turf war. Each department owns their part and is responsible to git-r-done, but does it in an integrated, collaborative process. The communication team shares graphics with the creative arts team. The first impression team shares volunteers with the information systems team for check-in. The senior management team is weighing in on the theme and creative to protect the integrity of the teaching pastor's message. The creative arts team shares arts elements with the communications team to put on the web. And, so on...
Here's a couple of the tools we use to streamline the process.
Big Idea Worksheet
This really kicks off the process. The SMT shares this with all the teams as a compass for all the ministry activity that surrounds the series.
Series Planning Process
This is a general snapshot of the to-do list and timeline for series development.