A Church Communications Self-Assessment

What does your current church creative arts and communications ministry look like? To improve your situation, discover what’s going on.

By communications and creative arts, I am talking about your church’s efforts to communicate the gospel with clarity and beauty. This includes your worship and sermon series planning and development, your videos, your print material, your website, your social media – anything outside of the human voice that you use to share the story of Jesus.

In my conversations with church creatives, I find frustrated people, demoralized at a lack of appreciation for their work. But pastors are equally as frustrated. Dysfunction in the creative process is a top five complaint I hear from both church leaders and creatives. As one pastor wrote me, “My top priority right now is getting the right people in the room, with enough content and enough time to dream and accomplish the creative vision.”

MEDIOCRE OR POOR CHURCH CREATIVE ARTS AND COMMUNICATIONS IS A COMPLEX PROBLEM.

Some of the problem is tactical, like where or when to meet and who should be in the room. These decisions are important, but I think there’s something even more important. Creating an environment where creativity flourishes and creative people want to be requires more than just changing a few methods such as the day you meet or who’s in the room.

Some of the problem is strategic, like how far ahead to meet and what sorts of questions to ask in the planning process. But having a plan isn’t sufficient, either.

Some of the problem is systemic, such as the continued influence of models of knowing and being based on print culture, which has several qualities that are antithetical to creativity.

TO UNDERSTAND THE PROBLEM, TAKE THIS SELF-ASSESSMENT.

The first step to fixing your church creative arts and communications ministry is to understand what’s going on.

Take this brief survey to self-evaluate your situation.

Now, add up your total score. Give Big Problems you are having a “5”- Applies all of the time; for things that are Not an Issue give a “1” – Does not apply at all.

So the best you can get is a score of 8, and the worst is a score of 40. Are you over 15? 20? If so, you have some issues to resolve.

The answer to these problems is what would lead you to what I am calling a “church like Pixar” – a church whose creative and storytelling prowess made them appealing to people of all ages.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Len Wilson

Len Wilson

Christ follower. Storyteller. Strategist. Writer. Creative Director at St Andrew. Tickle monster. Author, Think Like a Five Year Old (Abingdon).

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Recent Comments
In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 
"While I understand the intent behind this phrase" Expound please. What do you understand to be the intent behind that phrase?
 
— Ken
 
Thank you for this article! I'm the pastor of a small church. My gifting is in teaching and we are known for aiding Christians in becoming Biblically literate. Visitor's often comment on God's presence being very real in our services. But we just don't seem to be growing. I have some soul-searching, etc. to do and this article provides some solid ground from which to proceed. Thank you again.
 
— Jonathan Schultheis
 

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