Planning Ahead for 2008

In my role in the past as an arts leader, December was such a crazy time because not only were we dealing with the staggering responsibility of Christmas services, but we were also finalizing the budget for the upcoming year. Not all churches follow the January-December calendar as their fiscal year, but ours does, requiring us to make decisions about our future needs at a huge crunch time. For any of you currently dealing with budget questions, I want to urge you to be an advocate for as much training and development as you can get approved for the sake of your staff and volunteer artists. Often, those are the areas where the budget most gets trimmed, because we can’t seem to make everything work. This is so unfortunate, because we end up not building into the very people who can be so much more effective and inspired if we give them the gift of further training and transforming experiences.

Without apology, I ask you to consider budgeting for our June Arts Conference to be held June 11-13. We are in the stage of finalizing our plans for this event, to be called Arise. For two and a half days, church artists and teachers/communicators will gather to sharpen our vision, renew our resolve, undergird our values, and develop our skills. And to me, the very best part, is the sense of building a community of men and women who truly understand one another and can help one another soar.

If you live anywhere near Southern California or Seattle, I also want to urge you to consider coming to one of the regional events we are hosting. These highly affordable events include two parts (you can choose to attend one or two days):

The Leaders Table – this event is designed for worship and arts leaders who have overall responsibility for the arts ministry at your church. I will be leading a coaching day where twenty or less leaders come together around a table and talk about our challenges. This day will be highly interactive, and we promise to wrestle with the issues that each leader most needs to address.

The Green Room – This event is intentionally scheduled on a Saturday to make it easier for volunteers in your arts ministry to attend. We will be exploring the overall vision and core values of what we are trying to accomplish on Sunday mornings in our churches. This day will offer you the chance to bring as many people from your music, technical, drama, dance, video, and visual arts teams as you possibly can. Our goal is to provide a day when you can be refreshed and unified as a team.

February 1 and 2: in Seattle at Timberlake Christian Fellowship
February 8 and 9: in Costa Mesa, California at Rock Harbor

The new year is just around the corner. I hope you will make plans now to build into the artists and leaders on your team, and find creative ways to help them reach their fullest potential. Do whatever you can to carve out budget money or raise funds another way. Training is a huge language of love for your staff and volunteers! I hope to see you either in Seattle or Costa Mesa in February - or Chicago in June.

1 comment:

markle said...

I've attended the Arts Conference a couple of times, and I've always come away with great ideas and organizational strategies. It's been well worth it for me and my team members.

I agree that it's so vital to pour resources into PEOPLE, not just materials or buildings. I think we don't do enough of that.

Related to that, and planning for 2008, I have a question: how have you dealt with an ever expanding church body and ever expanding pools of artists? Each year, our church is growing by the hundreds. Our team has tried each year to incorporate new artists, while still including the 'old faithfuls.'

This year, I think we have some issues with people not feeling we are being 'loyal' to them, because we are including other artists, and they may get a little less 'time' than they used to (they are still in key positions). Any helpful suggestions? We talk about apprenticing and mentoring quite a bit, and the leaders are modeling it.