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Preachers and Creatives Working Together with Lee Coate

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Thanks so much for joining us for this week’s unSeminary podcast. We have a return guest this week: Lee Coate, executive pastor from The Crossing Church in Las Vegas.

Lee is with us today to talk about the The Crossing Church’s weekend services and how the creatives and teaching pastors work together to communicate the truth of the Gospel in impactful and creative ways each weekend. He gives advice on how you can take these strategies and apply them to the processes at your church as well.

  • The weekend experience is the primary piston. // At the Crossing, they use a “Great Commission Engine,” which has become a part of their language over the last few years. It is the idea that there are four key components that drive them: what people will experience when the come in, getting people into the community, helping them discover where they can missionally serve and use their gifts, and focusing on the one who is not here yet. The weekend experience is the primary piston. This doesn’t mean it is more important than the other components, but if it is not performing at its best, the others won’t either.
  • Draw people in with the weekend experience. // People will find your church because of what you do on the weekend. At the Crossing, they’ve made the decision to create a 65 minute experience each week that will resonate with people even after they leave the building. Create your weekend experience to be something that will stay with your visitors once they’re gone and make them want to come back again the next week.
  • Find the process that fits. // When it comes to communicating creatively during the weekend service, every church has a different process based on the personality and interest of the communicator. Some churches may have a lead communicator who is all in and drives the creativity. The creative team then executes on the ideas that the leader wants. A second type of team has a lead communicator who is bought-in. They aren’t fully engaged in the process and don’t lead it, but they support it and expect to buy into it at some point. The third type is checked out, where the creative team and the lead communicator are happy to have each other around, but they each do their own thing. And then lastly there is all out, in which the lead communicator may not be happy to have an extra video or other elements taking up time in the service. At the Crossing, they work on a bought-in process where the lead pastor is not in the room with the creative programming team during their messy, chaotic planning process. Lee found early on that process was the best method for all of them involved. Your creative team needs to find a process that works best for you and your lead communicator.
  • Ebb and flow. // The process you work with now doesn’t have to remain the same all year long. There can be an ebb and flow that may change with holidays, or the lead communicator may have an idea that he wants to develop for a certain series. That may lead to him working more closely with the creative team for a short while to see this idea come to fruition.
  • 2-4-6 Programming. // Creative people can have a reputation of working without planning, throwing things together spontaneously at the last minute. But working in a structured format is what allows you to turn things around quickly or add in a new idea at the last minute. The creative team at the Crossing meets weekly to discuss creative elements for upcoming weekends (up to 6 weeks out) using a 2-4-6 Programming process. One and two weeks out are “green” weeks and they spend a small percentage of time talking about any tweaks that need to happen, the flow, or anything else they haven’t thought through. Three and four weeks out are considered “yellow” and they discuss the content here in more detail, beginning to nail down ideas. Five and six weeks out are “red” and there is some rough discussion about these. When they meet the next week, each item will shift one week forward so there is always discussion about what’s coming up a few weeks away. You can download an example of the 2-4-6 Programming Handout here.

You can learn more about The Crossing Church at www.thecrossinglv.com and thecrossingcreative.com or contact Lee at [email protected]. Learn about the Creative Cohort at coachnxt.com

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Rich Birch
Rich Birch is one of the early multi-site church pioneers in North America. He led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 5,000+ people in 18 locations. In addition, he served on the leadership team of Connexus Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. He has also been a part of the lead team at Liquid Church - a 5 location multisite church serving the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. Liquid is known for it’s innovative approach to outreach and community impact. Rich is passionate about helping churches reach more people, more quickly through excellent execution.His latest book Church Growth Flywheel: 5 Practical Systems to Drive Growth at Your Church is an Amazon bestseller and is design to help your church reach more people in your community.