Developing A Theme – Vicki Millar
As the Creative Arts Coordinator here at LIFE, it’s my job to create/source content for our Easter and Christmas productions. I also coordinate many of the logistics, collaborating with our wider team. I recently spoke to our college students about developing a theme – hope you find it helpful!
- Initial brief
We always start with the directives we’ve been given from up-line. For example, my brief for the first Easter production I created was for a contemporary multi-media presentation, bringing the good news of Jesus to people who don’t normally go to church. You also need to be clear on what we call ‘the Why behind the What’. Why are we doing this? Who are we doing it for, and what is the bottom line we want to communicate? Identifying this really helps to keep focus during development.
- Ideas from the secret place
After I know the outlines of what we’re working towards, I go to the secret place and just spend time with God. I talk the project through with Him, and ask what He would like to do here. After all, it’s His kingdom we’re building, and He is the best one to guide us in that! Usually God will give me a few core ideas that I feel He wants us to build around, and I’ll continue in conversation with Him throughout the development process. I love the concept of ‘co-labouring with Christ’, that the things we create for His glory are in partnership with Him, and the Holy Spirit helps me so much as I work!
- Input from others
Getting input from key people, both up-lines and your implementation team, is so important. It takes courage and humility to ask for feedback on your ideas, but I’ve learned that it makes the final product SO much stronger. In a team that’s unified and focused, everyone is invested in the final product, and we all just want to make it as powerful as it can be.
- Increase and expansion
From here, it’s basically a matter of taking those initial outlines and ideas, and getting down to the details of what they will look like and how they will work. Brick by brick, we build the wall. Dream, plan, research, Google! My experience is that it takes a LOT of working and reworking, draft after draft, to get across what you’re trying to get across in the best possible way. If you go in knowing you’ll need to make change after change after change, it helps prepare you for when it happens!
After you have the best material, it becomes about communicating that to your teams for implementation. We’ve found that for our productions, what works best is having one central script document that includes ALL the music cues, lighting, audio, video etc. That way we’re all on the same page, knowing where we’re heading, having done all we can to create a powerful product that impacts peoples lives for Jesus.
All the best! If you’d like any more info or advice, please email me: [email protected]
Creative Arts Coordinator