Creative Process

Authored by Collin Stoddard on November 14, 2017

A major accomplishment for my assistant, Emily, and myself has been developing our creative process. In a complex organization like Wooddale┬ádissipating the right information at the right time has been one of our biggest challenges as a creative department. The even bigger challenge was that we couldn’t stop traffic during road construction! The weekend deadlines just kept coming. No matter the industry, we all wish we could push “pause” on the inflow while we figure out the outflow. I will let Emily guest-post on her perspective of developing and owning the creative process of a complex multi-site, but here’s the gist of it.

Thankfully our senior pastor (Dale) has basic idea of series set almost a year in advance but we’ve found that this process initiates the formation of specific ideas and keeps us on track. Even though it feels forced sometimes, we’ve found this keeps us aligned and executing sooner in the game. Through scheduling the meetings, initiating the conversations and letting Dale process early enough in the game, we’ve made major modifications like canceling a series, or changing the direction of a series altogether from going through these steps.

8 Weeks out: “Brain Dump” meeting with senior pastor, campus pastors, communication director, graphic designer, creative arts pastor (me) and my assistant. (Emily). Listen and ask questions, give feedback to senior pastor on the idea and let him kick around any ideas, or creative concepts he has. Major player have an opportunity to speak into the idea from the beginning.

7 Weeks out: “Internal Collaboration”. ┬áSpecific invitees dependent on the series gather to ┬ábrainstorm bumper concepts, relevant testimonies within the congregation, songs, worship leader moments. Tech, student ministries, campus worship leaders primarily. From this meeting I generate a Creative Brief containing options and best ideas that is sent to senior pastor.

6 Weeks: “Pitch”. Communications Director, Graphic Designer, Creative Arts Pastor (me) and Emily meet in person with Dale for him to respond to the ideas and final direction is decided.

5 Weeks: “Touch Point”. Final idea is brought to the larger team, campus pastors, campus worship leaders, tech arts and we start delegating and project management begins.

4 Weeks: “Final Touch Point” Project updates: confirming final artwork before it gets sent out, revisions on scripts, scheduling talent as needed.

3 Weeks: Creative process brought into our our weekly programming where the previous and next three weeks of weekends are discussed and we discuss the series and creative projects within context of the weekend: Service flow, video placement, hand-outs, take-aways, etc.

2 Weeks: Almost every detail is confirmed, final edits on videos, service flow is adjusted depending on any service personnel, final announcements, anything that needs addressed with campus pastor and the congregatio, responses to current events, final service item times are confirmed.

1 Week: Last discussion and touch point before the weekend, rarely is anything changed. More often than not we’re proofing final videos at this meeting as they are the longest to complete within the creative process.

For holidays this is spread out into meetings throughout the year, but follows the same basic structure.

Here’s a Creative Brief and final promo video of a series called Tug of War.

Creative Brief for Tug of War




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