Dillan Howell

video Align, Inspire and Motivate Your Team

Align, Inspire and Motivate Your Team

An often overlooked aspect of church services is the pre-service huddle. This is vital for team alignment, inspiration, and motivation. Hold a pre-service huddle before your service, discuss the event’s purpose, share stats and pray together. Thank your team members and make them feel heard and valued. This is also a time to make sure everyone is ready for the service, aligning hearts and minds for whats to come. Alignment and Preparation A pre-service huddle is key for aligning your team. This moment is about making sure everyone is on the same page and that they understand their role and are ready to execute the plan well. Alignment and preparation lead to an excellent service. Make sure everyone understands their role and the plan for the service. Acknowledgment and Encouragement The pre-service huddle gives you a chance as the leader to thank your team members. Do this publicly and notice individual contributions. Honor those who came prepared for the event. Not only does this motivate your team but it also fosters a sense of belonging and appreciation. Public acknowledgement and appreciation of team members builds relationships. Motivation and encouragement can be done through recognition of individual efforts. Spiritual and Mental Readiness In addition to the logistical and community aspects of a pre-service huddle, this time is also for spiritual preparation. This gives time for your team to refocus, to take a breath, and to pray before the event. Foster a spiritual and mental time of preparation for your team. Prayer and reflection are vital to do before any service starts.


video Lay It All Out

Lay It All Out

The first creative meeting is the beginning of the process for planning services and events at your church. Pick the right voices to be a part of those meetings, and focus on creating a team atmosphere. Start with a clear vision and invite diverse views. Everyone on your team will have an opinion, so craft a space for raw debate. The point that cannot be stressed enough is to involve the Holy Spirit in your planning meetings. Select the Right Team Members Your first step in a creative meeting is to choose those who will participate. Choose a group of people who will have diverse perspectives and ideas. Whether it’s volunteers, interns, or other staff members, the goal is to gather a group that brings excitement, vision, and new ideas. Have a diverse team composition. Excitement and vision spark ideas, these are key to creativity. Foster Collaboration and Openness Welcoming and considering all ideas is crucial. However, it’s important to communicate that while everyone has a voice, not everyone has final say. This understanding should encourage participation. You shouldn’t be attached to the outcome, but rather the process of healthy debate and collective decision-making. Encourage openness to all ideas while also managing expectations. Debate is important, when done constructively. Communicate Vision and Statistics Starting your meeting with a reminder of past successes is motivating. It can also be motivating to remind the group of the impact your services have had on people’s live. Use past statistics or stories about baptisms to set a positive tone for the meeting. Use past successes to inspire and motivate the team. Statistics have a big impact, they help communicate the service’s potential. Involve the Holy Spirit in Planning The guidance of the Holy Spirit ensures that your team’s work matches your church’s mission and vision. Worship and prayer should be key parts of your planning stages to help seek direction for your service or event. This also helps foster unity among your team. Spiritual guidance is significant in creative planning. Worship and prayer are foundational.


video Come Prepared for Rehearsal

Come Prepared for Rehearsal

Rehearsal processes look different for every church. The general idea, however, is that a rehearsal is not your time to practice. Preparation cannot be stressed enough to make rehearsals efficient and meaningful. Practice and learning parts should be done alone, whereas rehearsal is the time for your team to come together, forming a cohesive service. Rehearsal isn’t Your Time to Practice Rehearsals are the time where your team should fine-tune and sync their efforts. It should be expected that team members arrive with their roles and their parts dialed in and well-practiced. Your team should arrive ready to work together on the ‘final-presentation.’ Rehearsals focus on time as a team for coordinating a cohesive service. Prepare personally before rehearsals, and come equipped with well-maintained equipment. Preparation and Resourcing Good rehearsals need thorough preparation, but they also need the right resources provided to your team prior to the rehearsal occurring. This means that you need to make sure everyone has what they need before Sunday morning. These materials include song arrangements, technical cues etc… and when you do this you will see that this minimizes questions and uncertainties to let you focus on refinement during rehearsals. Ensure that all team members are well-resources and inform them ahead of time. Minimize the need for questions and practice during rehearsals with a well-equipped team. Blocking and Scheduling for Efficiency Adding blocking and a schedule to rehearsals can greatly improve their efficiency. Honor each other’s time and focus on what needs to be done, rather than downtime. Use blocking to focus on specific parts of the event at one time. Schedules help your rehearsal be efficient to respect volunteers’ time. Create an Atmosphere of Worship and Preparation The goal of rehearsals is to foster an environment of true worship, echoing what would typically be seen during service. This requires preparation and effective execution. Your rehearsal should feel like the real event, with a worshipful atmosphere before the service starts. Rehearsals should copy the intensity and feel of the real service. Foster an environment where worship starts before the service.


video Execute the Vision (The Grind)

Execute the Vision (The Grind)

The busiest part of service planning is what is often referred to as “the grind.” This is the crucial phase when you see your plans carried out. While it’s important to lock everything in and get the work done, you and your team should be mindful of your health. Avoid burnout and help ensure event success by communicating the why behind serving. Maintain Personal Health and Focus ‘The Grind’ is characterized by intense work, where the risk of burnout is high. The most important thing in this phase is to stay healthy with exercise, good food, and enough sleep. It’s crucial to resist the urge to neglect these aspects with the pressing demands of preparing for services. Shift your focus to the spiritual impact on your church community, rather than the tasks. Personal health is key to lasting energy and focus. Efficiently Execute Tasks During the grind, it’s all about going from “unchecked” to “checked.” This plan needs careful delegation and clear communication. Precise logistics are key to ensuring that all of your team members feel ready for the final execution of your service or event. Transition tasks from planning to execution and therefore completion. Delegation and logistics are crucial for managing tasks. Handle Logistics with Precision Logistics can be very complex, or fairly simple depending on the size of your service and church. Whether it’s technical needs or team care, each detail should be planned and done well. When you focus on the small details and do them well, you avoid distractions during services. Event logistics can be complex or simple, either way they are incredibly important. Plan each detail with care to ensure a smooth execution.


video Create a Vision, Manage Details Later

Create a Vision, Manage Details Later

Dillan Howell and Jeff Sandstrom explore what all goes in to planning church events and the numerous steps it takes to get there. They discuss effective brainstorming strategies for you and your team to implement that help foster creativity. Your approach should encourage and embrace all ideas, without limitations. The goal is to be innovative and improve your experiences weekly. Ideate and Plan The first step in your creative planning meetings should to begin something new. Welcome all new ideas. This is key, especially for events that happen every year like Easter and Christmas. Your goal should be to present these familiar stories in fresh ways. Think outside the box. Recognize recurring events as opportunities for creativity. Avoid reusing old ideas. Strive for new ones in storytelling. Zoom Out for a Broader Perspective Before you can get into the specifics, it’s important to take a step back. The creative process is like a funnel. It moves from a very broad idea to detailed execution. This broader view helps to prevent you from getting caught up in the details too soon. You should let the creative core of the idea fully form and grow. See the process as moving from broad ideas to specific actions. Prioritize creative essence over logistical details, initially. Foster a Creative Environment The environment you plan in ultimately effects the level of creativity in the room. A lively, inspiring atmosphere can help ideas flow. Encourage participation and add elements like music to energize your team. Choose a stimulating environment for brainstorming sessions. Use music and engaging settings to enhance creativity. Celebrate Success and Reflect After your service or event has ended, it’s important that you celebrate the wins with your team. At the same time, be sure to reflect on the process. This reflection will help your team see the hard work that was put in and provide insights for future services. The goal is for your team to continue to improve and grow. Celebrate the team’s achievements and work post-service. Think about the process to gain insights and make your services better.


video Who’s in Charge?

Who’s in Charge?

he execution phase follows the conception phase. This phase determines who’s in charge of what, how things are going to happen, and what the actionable steps are to get the required work done. Specific roles are key, whether it’s set designers or volunteer coordinators - your team is better when everyone knows who’s in charge of what. Establish the Division of Labor After you’ve defined the vision for your service, the next step is to assign tasks to team members. This phase is about making sure that the right people have the right tasks that play into their strengths. A division of labor is important for executing small or complex services. Delegate tasks to those who’s strengths best suit the task. Leveraging Volunteer Resources We all know that volunteers are the lifeline of our churches, no matter the size. Identifying a volunteer’s strengths is crucial for managing your resources well. Volunteers help ensure that all tasks are covered and that the event runs smoothly. Volunteer coordinators are a great position to have to help organize manpower. Utilize Tools for Planning In the detailed planning stage, whiteboards and spreadsheets are vital tools. Outline the workflow for your church and set deadlines for tasks to be completed. These tools also help communicate the division of tasks among your team. Organizational tools are key to help manage the event planning process. Visual aids can help track progress and delegate tasks. Build Community through Projects Delegating tasks helps with the practical parts of planning services or events. It also helps foster community and involvement within your church. Involving volunteers and community members can create strong connections that draw more people into your church’s ministry. Involving volunteers in church projects builds communi