T he problem is, there’s much more to do in a church communications and media environment than there is time to do it. So if you’re going to properly staff a creative team, in both paid and volunteer roles, then you need to be able to think about the situation in terms of job functions, not job positions. What are the essential church creative jobs for effective communications and media teams?
First, think of all possible church creative jobs.
This is one of the first things you should evaluate when you begin leading a team.
- List every possible role
- Consider how much time is ideally devoted to each role
- Write up descriptions for each role
Second, discover the gifts and talents on your existing team.
What are the strengths and weaknesses of the people on your team, both paid and volunteer? What gifts do they have? Are they in a good fit for their current role? If not, what other gifts and talents do they have that aren’t currently being used?
Interview each of your team members and learn what they do that they like, what they do that they don’t like, and what they wish they were doing.
Third, take an assessment test together.
A tool that has helped me do this assessment is StrengthsFinders 2.0. It helped me consider my own gifts and talents a few years ago, and make some changes in how I was choosing to spend my time.
When I arrived at St. Andrew, everyone on my team got a copy of the book and took the test. We learned several great things about one another – what we like, what we don’t like.
For example, we learned that our graphic designer Diana is a Maximizer. This means she loves doing the extra stuff that takes a project from good to great. She likes systems and processes that are already in place, rather than building them, so that she can focus on maximizing her time and talents. After we rebuilt our church bulletin, for example, she has gradually improved the design of the bulletin for each new sermon series. With the tool in place, and the workflow that sends information to the team in place, she has steadily improved the quality of the bulletin to the point where they are now weekly works of art.
Fourth, make changes to your church creative jobs in order to put each person in a position to succeed.
When I arrived, I learned our recently hired social media coordinator Chris Derrett has a sports journalism background that includes both writing and photography. He wasn’t really bringing either gift to the church. So we re-assigned some of his job to begin to be the writer for all ads for the church, and often the photographer that captures events as well. So now, Chris generates much of the content for the church, and he loves his role.
Fifth, advocate to fill holes with new hires.
Once we had our team in place and an idea of what we were lacking, I began to make pitches for the need to hire additional people. And because I had done the strategic planning work, I was able to not just make the pitch on the basis of my own feelings, but on a more objective and credible analysis of the needs of the department in relation to our current capacity. That pitch led to the hire of a second full-time designer this year, and will hopefully lead to the hire of a full -time technical support specialist and a part-time project manager in 2018.
More than just addressing these needs, this work hopefully leads to a long-term (5-year plus) plan for staffing and personnel. My goal is to be thinking years ahead in terms of what the church might need. while of course trying to stay flexible with a constantly innovating marketplace.
The full list of possible church creative jobs.
- Creative director
- Project/traffic manager
- Marketing Coordinator
- Traffic / Production Coordinator
- Art Director
- Graphic Designer(s) – layout & image manipulation for print (CMYK) and screen (RGB)
- Pre-press specialist and/or press operator
- Producer / Director
- Director of Photography
- Video Editor
- Motion graphics designer
- Lighting and set designer
- Field audio specialists
- Set crew
- Video engineer
- Line producer
- Event Producer
- Event Director
- Technical Director
- Camera Operators (2+)
- Front of House – Audio 1
- Crew, Liaison – Audio 2
- Monitor Mix – Audio 3
- Lighting Director
- IT / Telecommunications Director
- Website Content Manager
- Website Designer
- Developers – front-end and back-end for web, mobile and other platforms
- Social Media Curator