The best results come when the whole team participates in a brainstorming session, with the pastor acting as the moderator. Using a whiteboard, for recording ideas, is helpful. There are no wrong ideas at this point. The whole object is just to get things down in writing.
Brainstorming sessions generate seeds
I’ve been in so many brainstorming sessions where this happens. We’re all tossing ideas around and then, out of the mess, comes an idea unrelated to any other ideas but ends up being the right one. All because a person said something generating the seed of the final idea.
Practice makes perfect.
The first few times may feel awkward and everyone may wonder what the point is. However, after a few times it feels natural and you won’t want to do it any other way.
Here are two tips for the first time.
- Bring food to the table. For some reason people drop their guard when they’re breaking bread with others. It’s a great way to bring up the comfort level.
- Do the planning meetings are far ahead as possible. At least a month if not longer. The farther out, the more relaxed the group and the more that will get accomplished. No one likes being under the pressure of last minute planning sessions. Don’t cheat the congregation out of a transparent worship experience and short-change God by not doing your best.
Once you get the genesis of the idea, remember it’s never set in stone. Change can be good and even though an idea may initially have sounded good, make sure everyone is encouraged (has the respected freedom) to suggest changes. This doesn’t mean on the Saturday before service it’s okay to totally change everything around! But, as you build upon the idea, continue refining it and always referring back to the main point of the message/service.
There’s an old saying among project managers that states, “Plan the work, work the plan”. It is apropos for our situation at church. If you don’t plan the work then you can’t work the plan. If you plan the work but don’t follow the plan it won’t work right. A plan is a step-by-step guide to achieve the goal. If you don’t have one you’ll never achieve the goal.
You might be reading all of this and thinking that planning every part of the church service leaves no room for God to work. PLEASE read this article which tackles that very subject.
Next up, Organizing the elements of the plan.