“Do slides on Sundays”, they said. “It will be fun”, they said.  

What they didn’t tell me when I first joined a church communication team was that I would have to learn a new program (the famous ProPresenter) and I would be waiting on the lead pastor to send me notes that would only arrive on Saturday night.

I joyfully served this way for many years.

I did.

Creativity is something that flows when I am under pressure (what makes me a great candidate for procrastination), however my Saturday night creations made me question one basic idea: why in the world were we waiting until the last minute?

Back then, I didn’t want to question my pastor’s ability to prepare his sermons on time because I was not a pastor. I did not know what it entailed. And for many years I would point to the Holy Spirit as the cause of last minute edits to the sermon. 

I didn’t know it could have been done differently until I saw it done differently. At my current church we seem to have time to put a monthly magazine together before a new series is out. There seems to be time for walls to be painted, videos to be recorded, connection cards to be designed and printed before weeks in advance.

So, what is the difference?

Planning, you say.

In my experience, planning wasn’t the issue on church #1 but communication between leadership and the creative team.

Even if specific pieces of scripture change the night before there are many elements that are defined in advance that should allow a creative to have time to put these pieces together with enough time.

We just need to get them out of our pastors’ brains.

Very rarely will a pastor come up with an idea for a sermon series just a few days before it is to be preached. Because, guess what? They have to prepare for it!

Our pastors may not come to us with what we need, but we can go to them.

Start with a series brief questionnaire. 

A series brief questionnaire will give your pastor a guideline that is easy to follow and provide you, the church communicator, information you otherwise would have to guess.

So, #churchcomm, let’s end the guessing game and get our Saturdays back.

Here are some questions to get you started:

- SERIES NAME

- START DATE

- HOW MANY WEEKS IN THE SERIES?

- MAIN CONCEPT (IN ONE SENTENCE, PLEASE)

- RELATED SCRIPTURES OR BOOK OF THE BIBLE

- WHAT LED YOU TO START THIS SERIES?

- WHAT MOOD DO YOU ENVISION FOR THE GRAPHICS?
- MAIN ACTION YOU WOULD WANT ATTENDEES TO TAKE

- ANY IMAGE OR WORD YOU HAVE IN MIND FOR THE SERIES?

- OTHER NOTES

What would you add to the list? Share below!