What creative teams can learn from Apple…

I personally have a great interest in creative planning teams.  Specifically within the church environment, where a team meets and helps plan every aspect of a corporate worship experience. They focus on the entire environment, from the songs to the talk to the videos to the overall mood they want to convey to best communicate the truth of Jesus.  I think it’s interesting how these teams work together and the great things they come up with.

Macrumors had a post today on Apple’s design process that I thought was very interesting (you know I’m an Apple freak) and I thought there might be some applicable principles church creative teams could use.  Here is one of these principles, with my thoughts about how this might apply to the church creative team:

Speaking of Apple’s design approach in coming up with their products, they have “PAIRED DESIGN MEETINGS.”  These are two separate design meetings.  One is for free thinking (“go crazy”) without worries about any technical constraints, while the other meeting addresses implementation and practical considerations.  Both of these meetings continue throughout product development.
Hmm.  As many of you know, I used to be a worship pastor and met weekly with a team like this.  How many of you have been in a creative planning meeting and someone keeps squashing all the ideas?  How many of you have had an idea outside of the box that you were afraid to bring up because you knew it would get squashed before the team had an idea to dream a bit?  I have many times in various environments.
I think the concept of having 2 separate meetings is an excellent idea.  On a weekly basis this could look like this: Monday (or whatever day you start working on that week) have the free thinking meeting.  Nothing is off-limits.  Allow your team to dream.  “I’ve had this idea for a series” or “I have this idea for an interesting visual for the stage” or statements like that could be listed on a whiteboard and discussed by the team.  The goal would not be to finalize anything, but rather to dream a bit and think outside the box.  A “what-if” meeting of sorts. The first half could be ideas regarding anything (new series, set design, video ideas, etc), and the second half could be dreaming about the current series/weekend/upcoming series.  Someone would be responsible for copying and organizing everything that was shared and written on the whiteboard.
The next day (or perhaps later the same day) the practical/technical meeting would involve many of the same people, but the list of ideas would be distributed and some specific decisions regarding the current week/series/etc would be made.
What do you think about this?  What can we learn from Apple’s design process that will help those trying to use creative planning as a tool to tell others about Jesus?  I love the power of teams, and I love Apple, and I love Jesus.  If we could somehow marry all of those things…

Wow, it’s been awhile!

Hey friends!

I’ve gotten some e-mails asking where in the world I’ve been the last few weeks. 
Well, I’ve been super busy and have just not had time for the blogosphere.  I’m sorry about that, and will try to be back on now.  
Busy times, but great times!
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Posted by on March 13, 2008 in random stuff


I’m tired and going to bed!

4 chapters of a Hermeneutics textbook, 1.5 on another, a newcomer’s dinner, still reading.  

Mid-term tomorrow night.  3 services at church.  Sunday night prayer/worship gathering.
I’m tired and going to bed… 🙂
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Posted by on February 10, 2008 in random stuff


Starbucks can get you thrown in jail.

I read this article today, and found out that you can get thrown in jail for sitting in Starbucks with someone of the opposite sex you aren’t married to.

apparently an American woman was sitting in a Starbucks in Saudi Arabia (who would have thought there was a Starbucks in Saudi???) with a co-worker when their office electricity went out. Some religious police (apparently there are thousands who wander looking for violations of dress code, conduct, etc) confronted and arrested her for it. She was released the next day.

Sometimes I feel in a very minor sense like she must have felt. That there are thousands of religious police out there (misguided believers) who are judging me and everyone else for what we wear, say, listen to, do, etc. Thank God that Jesus accepts us for who we are. He shows us grace by the very act of paving the way for us to have a relationship with God. I was one of those religious police once, always looking for what people were doing wrong, rather than what they were doing right. It saddens me to think that, had I left the convicting part to the Holy Spirit, and focused on building the Kingdom of God, I could have had much more influence. Now, before you e-mail me or comment saying “we should point out truth”, I say, I agree. But that can ONLY be done in community. Only when I’ve invested enough in someone’s life to earn credibility to speak God’s truth to them, not my own opinionated garble.

I can tell you this: I will be a little nervous the next few times I go to Starbucks! And if by some freak chance I ever find myself sitting in a Starbucks in Saudi Arabia, I will erect a small fence around my table so that no woman other than my wife can sit next to me!!

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Posted by on February 7, 2008 in random stuff, starbucks


What Chance Do You Have of Surviving a Zombie Apocalypse?

Give it a shot and see how well you’d do!



Posted by on February 3, 2008 in random stuff


Test of the emergency blogging system

Hey all

I’m trying to find a tool that will allow me to organize my blog posts, save drafts, and post new blogs to my Blogger account, all within this software. Macjournal does this but I’m not too stoked about it’s interface/features, Journler seems like the perfect thing but it won’t post to Blogger, etc.

This is a test from Ecto. Does anyone have any other ideas of mac software to use for blogging to Blogger? Here are the things I’d like to be able to do…

  • see a list of all of my blog posts
  • be able to write a new blog and quickly and easily post it
  • add pics or html code (like for YouTube) easily
  • look cool

What do you use? What should I use? Will this even work??


Pop Goes The Church #1

I’m previewing a new book that Tim Stevens is writing called Pop Goes The Church.  I actually will finish it by the end of the day tomorrow.  It’s gripping me and although it disturbs me where we are as a society, he does an excellent job of laying a foundation for the reality of influence popular culture has on each succeeding generation.  This isn’t just another “sell out and bring pop culture into the church- it’s the only way to reach people” book, it’s an honest assessment of language, of “cultural exegesis”, as Kevin Vanhoozer might say.  Tim seems to really marry a passion for what the local church can be with a desire to truly understand the language he must speak to help those far from Christ take their next step towards Christ.  It’s a powerful combination that I believe will impact many many people.  I’m already being challenged to grab every opportunity I can to help my team  grasp the concepts in this book, wrestle with them, and implement!

There are so many quotes I’d love to share with you, but you’ll have to wait and read the book.  I will say that this is one of those books that I believe is a must-read for any pastor, lay leader, or simply someone who wants to share about Jesus with their friends.  I’ll be giving a more complete review soon, but for now, right now, stop and put this book on your “gotta get as soon as it comes out” list!
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Posted by on January 30, 2008 in books, ministry, random stuff