A Few Ingredients For Building Creative Teams
Volunteers are the life blood of churches. Every week, volunteers help us bring to life the experiences that speak into the lives of people looking for hope.
As we lead the charge for creativity in the church, there is a pressure to make sure we’re putting together the best possible creative team to help craft these experiences. Ideally, we would all love to be able to just go out and hire 20 of the most amazing artists in the world and figure that our problems would be solved, but that’s just not a reality.
So, what are some of the important traits we should be looking for in people as we build a creative team?
- Diversity – Make sure we’re pulling people from different backgrounds. This brings different lenses that can help add new voices to our conversations and creative process.
- It does not matter the job – Don’t be enamored with “creatives” based on their job. An accountant may be a more creative thinker than a musician. Look for people who will add to the mix by what they bring and who they are . . . not what they do.
- Challenges the status quo – THIS IS A MUST. People who are not afraid to shake things up.
- May not know what is acceptable – People who may or may not know what is acceptable in church or your organization will challenge the way you create and process.
- Self-motivated – Someone who is self motivated is not going to waste time or energy.
- Takes risks – Risk-takers make creative meetings more fun. They want to try things that have never been done.
- Traveled – People who are traveled bring unique experiences to the table.
- Carry The DNA – DNA and knowing the organization is sometimes the most important trait. People who carry the DNA care a lot about the organization and will help protect the things that matter.
- Flexible – We don’t want people who can’t be flexible. Creativity is organic – it changes. When it does, people have to be able to change with it . . . sometimes on the fly. People who are rigid struggle with this aspect of the creative process.
- Reflective – People who will process through ideas, thoughts, songs, etc.
- Recognizes patterns and knows when to blow them up.
- Contributes without dominating – Nothing is more frustrating for the rest of the group than the guy who thinks only their ideas matter. We want people with the confidence to contribute, but the humility to let others go first.
- Committed to learning – Without continued learning, there is nothing new.
- Understands the tension of Data vs. Instincts – Both matter, but don’t always exist at the same time.
- Embrace the collaborative – We’ve got to have people who want to work with other people.
- Resilient – Because artists get attached to their ideas and leave a bit of themselves on every idea, it’s important to have resilient people who are able to bounce back from negative moments.
- Hustler – Hustle is about how we approach our work. We want to have people on our team that want to hustle.
- Can find a competitive edge – Creative teams live in the public. Our success and our failures are played out weekly on stage, song, video, and print. Everything we do is a chance to create a win or experience a loss. Competitive people hate to lose.
- We probably won’t find all these traits in one person, but we might find one, two, or five of them in someone and realize they have a passion to help us make what we do better. Get that person on your team as fast as possible.
What traits do you look for in creative team members (volunteer or employee)?
Stephen Brewster is the Creative Arts Pastor at Cross Point Community Church. Passionate about creativity, leadership, church and how those live together. Dad and husband. Follow Stephen on Twitter at @b_rewster.