A few weeks ago, Abingdon Press sent me this book to read. First of all, I was pretty jazzed that they would send me the book; apparently I meet the criteria of being a well-known enough blog now--which is really cool. I was also excited because I love to read, and I'm always game for a free book.
While not every book I read bears mention in this blog, this one does. The reason is simple; it's a good book worthy of your time. The full title of the book is Taking Flight With Creativity: Worship Design Teams that Work. It's an appropriate title because the authors, Len Wilson and Jason Moore (founders of Midnight Oil Productions) do an excellent job of describing exactly how a worship design team should be structured, what they should do and what they should not do. They leave plenty of room for customizing the process to work in your church while still giving useful guidelines for getting started.
Here are a few quotes I found interesting:
People in our time still listen best when spoken to in a familiar language. That language changes over time, and those in ministry must change with it.
Teams that work allow empowerment, because creative people won't hang around an environment where they are told, explicitly or implicitly, what to do.
Good communication and plenty of lead time on major changes will ease the pressure and frustration felt by the tech director.
It is of the utmost importance to remember that what we do in worship design teams is possibly the most important thing we'll do in life.
The authors use the metaphor of the first flight at Kitty Hawk as a vehicle for moving the book forward. It's a stretch at times, but a useful metaphor nonetheless. The first section of the book, "Are we meant to fly? Discovering a strategic approach to worship," talks about the need for a design team in the first place. This is one area where a lot of churches need to grow.
The second section, "Building the areoplane: Putting the worship design team together," outlines the cast of characters you'll need for a good design team. Most the people you'd expect should be there, pastor, worship leader, tech director, but there are a few surprises.
The third section, "Taking flight: Achieving Koinonia," walks the reader through the process a creative team should take. From first becoming a small group to the weekly decision list and brainstorming, the authors take the reader behind into the planning room and let us observe.
The book wraps up with a final section on the maintenance and troubleshooting of a design team.
Having been on several design teams, I was very encouraged by this book. I could see many areas were we've done things well, and some areas where we need to improve. If you don't currently have a worship design team at your church, or do but it's not functioning well, give this book a read. It's not long, and you could easily finish it in a few evenings if you were motivated. Most importantly, it's well-written and engaging, traits that are often missing in books in this category.