This is part six in a six-part series exploring the tools graphic designers who work for churches need to succeed. You can go back and start with part one.
You have all the tools necessary to be an effective designer—you’re confident, determined, communicate clearly and have healthy boundaries. But you forgot one very important thing. Perhaps the most important tool of all: Teamwork.
Maybe you’re the only one in your “department” or maybe you’re a volunteer, but regardless of the situation within your church, there are more hands at work in communicating the gospel than just you. In many ways your job is to communicate the vision of your senior pastor (which is ultimately, hopefully, God’s vision). Communicating that message is a team effort, and thus you have to use all your tools to work together as a team.
The amount of work you do with others (in a team) varies greatly from church to church, but you never work alone. Teamwork doesn’t mean just doing what someone tells you or waiting for everyone to agree. It doesn’t mean singing around a campfire (unless that helps you, which is perfectly OK). The greatest designers, with prestigious clients and award-winning work, seek the input of others to help sharpen and shape their designs.
Teamwork is about respect and honor. Each member of a team deserves the respect and honor to be listened to. The respect and honor to be allowed to add input. The respect and honor to be a part of the process. This doesn’t mean your role is less important, but if you’ve cultivated the other tools, your role will be respected and given the proper weight into the decision making process. Without your team, or more precisely, without making an effort to be a part of your team, your ideas will miss the mark and not be well received.
The most important aspect for your work as a designer with and for a church is that your communications have eternal implications. That isn’t to say that design will bring someone to Christ (though you can’t handicap what God can do), but how you present this message has everything to do with the message of Christ. It should be taken seriously. Never expect more from your church than what you expect from yourself—excellence, clarity and community.