Creative Team Understaffed?
As we continue on in the “Great Resignation” we’re seeing lots of changes in church staff. One of those specifically being in Creative teams + departments. As a creative team at TEG, we personally have witnessed this watching the influx of freelancers due to church employees leaving staff.
This is not to discredit the challenges in every ministry during the year 2020, however, there seemed to be additional pressure we are tending to forget that was forcefully placed on the creative departments of churches. The panic texts to the Social Media manager to keep the entire congregation updated on last-minute changes. The late-night emails or meeting with the communications team for another change in the plan. The spiritual pressure (but more realistically the pressure to perform) was placed on the worship team to keep an online audience engaged while looking into a dark and empty room filled with a few cameras. The production team had to transform into a TV broadcast team learning new filming skills and audio mixing for televisions and iPhone streaming rather than for a live audience.
All of that piled up over the course of the past 2 years. Some left in the middle of the pandemic as they saw other higher-paying opportunities in the marketplace that were paying triple or quadruple because everyone all of a sudden needed creative on their team who could crank out content at all of hours of the day. Other team members felt the guilt trip and have “stayed in line” but now that the big fight is over and things seem to be settling back down the trauma of change is getting to them and they feel the confidence to leave.
3 hard questions we have to ask churches we partner with are:
- How did you honestly handle the pandemic with your team?
- Are there things you need to apologize for?
- What does this team need to keep moving forward?
We keep thinking “the pandemic was 2 years ago” but the repercussions of it have lingered throughout those 2 years. Have you taken the time to evaluate how you handled leading during such a trying time? As the lead pastor of your staff or a leader of a ministry sat down with your creative team and thanked them for the sacrifices they made during 2020-2021? Have you taken them to lunch, given them an extra day off, or simply written them a note to let them know you saw the extra mile they served?
Are there things you need to apologize for? Because it’s not too late. We all had tough conversations during some panic. We had short replies or snippy actions. We all had moments we could have requested for assets to the creative team in a nicer tone or spent more time thanking the people who served on those late nights. Humility in leadership is an extremely important trait we need to visibly see in leaders we work with. Acknowledging and apologizing, yes even 2 years later, is extremely important.
And lastly, what does this team need to keep moving forward? With so much change, this team probably has some pretty good ideas on what they need to keep pressing forward for this new season. Sometimes as leaders, we want to solve all the problems for them, however, have you taken the time to hear the production leader out? How about the graphic designer? Or the music director? Listening and taking their feedback into consideration as you are looking for the next creative players to join your team is so important. Maybe it’s as simple as a few days off – maybe it’s outsourcing the next sermon series or simply planning out your series a bit farther in advance so they don’t continue to have PTSD from rushed last-minute changes. 👀Or maybe it’s finally making room in the budget to not just give a bonus, but match the going rate for a creative position in the marketplace.
We all want to feel valued, and it all starts with a conversation and honesty.
TEG has had the honor to partner with a few churches recently going through a transition in their communications, marketing, and creative team. Sometimes you have somebody who is high capacity but at the end of the day, the team is still understaffed. We like to come alongside this team during a difficult season and evaluate, support and train your team for 6-12 months while you get back on your feet.
Our heart is not to take Churches on as clients for years at a time. We truly do believe the local church is the hope of the world, and we want to do whatever it takes to support you and your team to become a healthy team again.
If you find yourself looking for creative support during this season, TEG would love to walk alongside your team as you rebuild your creative team.