I’ve been helping out as a Communications Consultant at DUMC for the last four months and it’s been eye-opening to see how much creative opportunity there is. A church can do so much through great design and great copy to get the word out well.
However, it is quite a challenge to get volunteers on board to work together for specific design goals. More often than not, a project is farmed off to a volunteer who has design knowledge, they take the brief, go home and work on it… solo! When done, they email the file back, and it gets printed. I can imagine it’s not the most exciting of environments to work in.
Understanding how the younger generation works, and what makes them excited, I put forward a suggestion to organise a monthly evening for creativity to be unleashed. I want designers, photographers, videographers, brand experts, creative directors, flash animators, writers, etc… to come together and dream. Then, go and unleash their creativity.
The evening that I’ve now organised is called Available 4 Jesus, or A4J. It is a media mingle of sorts that will allow people to bounce off each others creativity and achieve greatness for Christ. Our objectives are:
ONE. Foster a creative environment that is fun.
TWO. Allow everyone to give suggestions on how DUMC can improve from a creative standpoint.
THREE. List several projects that people can volunteer for.
FOUR. Learn from one another.
FIVE. Work on those projects collaboratively during the 3-hour window. Anything not completed can be worked on another time.
At present, we have several projects to work on – monthly video announcements, video stories of beneficiaries from our yearly Anniversary Gift Weekend, managing social media for DUMC (Twitter & Facebook), a new concept for our print and online publications and lastly, standardisation of the DUMC brand identity.
To fire up the creativity, we need to provide good coffee, snacks, stationery, flipchart paper (hopefully some day, it’ll be a dedicated space with ideapaint!) and whiteboards. The A4J concept stems from an understanding of creative people who
1. Bounce ideas with likeminded individuals.
2. Need to have their work celebrated. Pats on the back are so, so important.
3. Like liberty (within reason) to express themselves.
4. Have an opportunity to see their work exhibited.
5. Draw ideas on napkins or love doodling in their idle time.
6. Crave good coffee and snacks.