5 Tools Church Designers Need: Teamwork

5 Tools Church Designers Need: Teamwork

April 19, 2010 by

This is part six in a six-part series exploring the tools graphic designers who work for churches need to succeed. You can go back and start with part one.

You have all the tools necessary to be an effective designer—you’re confident, determined, communicate clearly and have healthy boundaries. But you forgot one very important thing. Perhaps the most important tool of all: Teamwork.

Maybe you’re the only one in your “department” or maybe you’re a volunteer, but regardless of the situation within your church, there are more hands at work in communicating the gospel than just you. In many ways your job is to communicate the vision of your senior pastor (which is ultimately, hopefully, God’s vision). Communicating that message is a team effort, and thus you have to use all your tools to work together as a team.

The amount of work you do with others (in a team) varies greatly from church to church, but you never work alone. Teamwork doesn’t mean just doing what someone tells you or waiting for everyone to agree. It doesn’t mean singing around a campfire (unless that helps you, which is perfectly OK). The greatest designers, with prestigious clients and award-winning work, seek the input of others to help sharpen and shape their designs.

Teamwork is about respect and honor. Each member of a team deserves the respect and honor to be listened to. The respect and honor to be allowed to add input. The respect and honor to be a part of the process. This doesn’t mean your role is less important, but if you’ve cultivated the other tools, your role will be respected and given the proper weight into the decision making process. Without your team, or more precisely, without making an effort to be a part of your team, your ideas will miss the mark and not be well received.

The most important aspect for your work as a designer with and for a church is that your communications have eternal implications. That isn’t to say that design will bring someone to Christ (though you can’t handicap what God can do), but how you present this message has everything to do with the message of Christ. It should be taken seriously. Never expect more from your church than what you expect from yourself—excellence, clarity and community.

Post By:

Paul Armstrong

Paul Armstrong is a photographer, a designer, a husband, a father, a writer, a reader, a wandered, a daydreamer, a procrastinator, a stone thrower, a collaborator, a consumer, a follower and seeker. Paul has over 15 years of experience in the graphic design, web development and programming; 9 of which have been operating his own studio, Wiseacre Design.
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4 Responses to “5 Tools Church Designers Need: Teamwork”

  • Stephen
    April 19, 2010

    Dude, totally true. It is so tempting to get annoyed when others don’t see our “vision” and either go rogue or angrily just do what we’re told with no real passion. I’ve been there for sure. A huge part of design has to be playing well with others. Often we’re at fault for not communicating our idea well or not listening to others effectively.

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  • bondChristian
    April 19, 2010

    I love the point about teamwork being based on respect and honor. That’s what it’s all about. Otherwise, it’s not teamwork – it’s micromanaging.
    -Marshall Jones Jr.

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  • Nathan Keen
    April 19, 2010

    It’s interesting Marshall that you pick up on ‘micromanaging’. I think you’ve got to add to teamwork being about trust.
    If there’s no trust, either one person has to do more than their fair share (can’t trust others to do it properly), or nothing gets done (too much work for them).
    Even in churches this happens where the leader feels that they need to step in and do this and that (micromanage) and suddenly it’s not your design/work/creativity it’s all theirs!
    -Nathan Keen

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  • Chris Busch
    April 21, 2010

    Good point about trust Nathan. I’ve also noticed that respect, honor and trust seem to grow best in a seedbed of humility. Yielding to one another. Preferring one another. Most difficult but most necessary for leaders.

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