Tag Archive - rick calcutt


November’s Top 5 Posts on Helping Churches Make Vision Real

Thank you! You made these the most popular posts on “Helping Churches Make Vision Real,” during the month of November!

#1 5 Reasons we Started from Scratch with our Website

At Sun Valley we recently just completed a ground up redesign and launch of our website. Here are 5 reasons why we did, and you might want to as well.

#2 Measure What Matters

As churches are in the middle of evaluating 2012 and planning for 2013 there are a 4 critical principles about measurement that we need to keep in mind.

#3 Join me at Ignite 2013

Ignite 2013 is right around the corner and early bird pricing ends in just a month! Ignite is intentionally designed for Church Planters, Planting Teams and Pastors who want to explore planting daughter churches or launching multi-site congregations.

#4 Soul Care and the Leader

We’ve all heard the statistics. And what the statistics are telling us is that beneath the surface of appearances, a majority of pastors are hurting and discouraged. Do a quick Google search on “pastor burnout” and you’ll easily find the following statistics and more! But are we supposed to do about it?

#5 The Blame Game

Catch my interview with Rick Calcutt about his new book “The Blame Game.” It’s a great resource for developing a clear creative process at your church!

Posted in Leadership


Winner Winner Chicken Dinner!

I’m excited to announce that Mike Wilson has won my latest give away of Rick Calcutt’s new book “The Blame Game.” Click here to check out my interview with Rick about his new book and get your own copy! It’s a great resource for building and improving the creative process at your church!

Like free stuff? From time to time I give away free resources from people and organizations that I believe in. If you are interested in being eligible to win these resources all you have to do is sign up to receive my blog posts directly to your email inbox. Winners are always randomly selected from the subscribers list! You can subscribe here if you’d like!

Posted in Creative Arts


The Blame Game

I recently caught up with Rick Calcutt to talk about his new book, “The Blame Game.” This book is a great resource for you if you’re trying to improve your weekend worship services, the creative process, or the relationship between your Pastor and Creatives.

It recently released on iBook, Amazon, and Nook! Click any of those links to get your hands on a copy and check out the interview below.

I’m giving away a free copy of “The Blame Game” to one of my readers! Just sign up here and I’ll let everyone know the winner next week!



Paul: Multiple times in this book you elude to what you call, “The Creative Process.” Doesn’t creativity just “happen” when you gather a group of creative individuals together? Can you actually plan for creativity?

Rick: “The Creative Process” is the system that a truly creative environment thrives on. It does so by normalizing, simplifying, and qualifying the creative workflow. This is essential because when the “day to day” and “week to week” tasks become creative habits, the creative team is allowed to focus more on their skill and passion. In the book I call those on the creative team (worship leader, video & audio techs, etc) Creatives. It is true that creativity happens naturally, but it is also a fact that you can plan for creativity. Creatives create, but a strong creative process gives structure and timeline that permits multiple Creatives, a creative team, to sync their creative schedules, efforts, and skills. The creative process found in “The Blame Game” equips the individual Creative and the creative team. It provides them adequate time for creation; clear schedules that remove confusion about deadlines; innovative possibilities that stimulate creative collaboration. Everyone’s happy. The Creatives get a great environment for creation. The Pastor, staff and church community receive impactful, inspiring, and clear worship experiences.

Paul: When most people hear churches talk about “Creative Arts” they automatically start thinking, “this is just a conversation for mega-churches.” But you assert that the principles in this book apply, “regardless of the size of your church”. How are the concepts in this book helpful to “normal” churches like the one I grew up in?

Continue Reading…

Posted in Creative Arts, Leadership


4 steps to effective evaluation

Much has been written about the process of evaluation. In fact, some people make a pretty good living off of evaluation and the piles of data that it can produce. Because ministry doesn’t move in slow motion, I don’t always have the time to dig into everything as deep as I may like so I’m always looking for clear, simple, and functional tools for effective evaluation. Below are four simple steps you can use to evaluate just about anything, including a weekend service, an event, a meeting or even a team member.

Step #1: Celebrate

Celebration is often overlooked when it comes to the evaluation process. Our tendency is to dive into what didn’t go right and what can be improved upon. However it’s just as important to know what went right, as it is to know what went wrong.  After all, if you want it to go right again you’ve got to identify what went well, because what gets celebrated gets repeated.

Step #2: Correct

We don’t grow without correction. But correction can range anywhere on the scale from “minor improvements” to something was a “complete failure.” During this part of the process it’s important to be as candid as possible in measuring what happened against what you actually set out to accomplish. You can’t speak “ministerially” when participating in evaluation and get anywhere. Great evaluation is hard to come by without a culture of openness, safety, and candor.

Step #3: Clarify

What was confusing and needs clarification? Maybe you had an incredibly creative element planned into your weekend worship service. It was a great idea but it didn’t fit where you put it and it came off feeling awkward or worse, didn’t align with the message. Maybe communication was confusing in a meeting and it resulted in people walking out with competing agendas. What is the one message, action, or idea that you are trying to align everything to and clearly articulate?

Step #4: Create

This is the one all of the creatives were waiting for. At some point in the process you’ve got to ask yourself, “Was there anything missing?” Is there something that needs to be created and built to make whatever it is you’re evaluating more effective? This is where you’ve come full circle in the evaluative process. You’ve gotten on the solution side of things and you’re now working on implementing the next thing that’s going to be evaluated.

This article first appeared as a guest post I wrote for Creative Junket a Creative Arts Blog run by Rick Calcutt.

Posted in Creative Arts, Leadership


the blame game

Anyone who has watched an episode of Donald Trump’s “The Apprentice” has witnessed how the “boardroom” explodes when an initiative fails. Team members rarely choose to take responsibility for their actions and, instead, they resort to pinning the blame on a convenient scapegoat. What results is executive-level combat in which the candidates sell each other out in a bid to survive.

You can find the same less publicized bickering and back-biting in churches all across America.

When a church engages in the Blame Game, it is often because the creative process has failed. But unlike the Apprentice, church leaders must go on working together. And what is it stake is more than a job at Trump Enterprises; it’s often the well-being of our ministry and our community’s ability to live out its mission.

The creative process falters for a number of reasons. Sometimes the church rushes into creativity without being thoughtful about roles or infrastructure to support it. Other times, communication channels are unclear, creatives are micro-managed and relationships become strained.

Too many times, when our church’s journey to be creative takes a downward turn, we resort to finger-pointing. Fault is often assigned to the wrong things and the wrong people.

During my 25 years as a leader in the creative ministry, I have found the following issues to be at the heart of the Blame Game:

Continue Reading…

Posted in Creative Arts