Top 9 Echo 2012 TakeawaysPosted July 27th 2012 @ 10:20 am by Jerod
As the 2012 Echo Conference is wrapping up, I realize there was a common theme this year. Do the work. Don’t get caught up in being trendy or trying to be like someone else. Be creative in your own way and do what makes sense for your local community.
Like every other year, I’m left with a lot of things stuck in my head from the sessions I attended. While I’ve posted some notes along the way, here are some of my top takeaways.
- Avoid experiments with your worship services on big weekends like Easter and Christmas. We have 50 others weeks to try something new. On those weekends, think first timers. Build it to its simplest common denominator, which is the story of Jesus. From Stephen Brewster who also shared a process for making sure you don’t ruin Easter like he did a couple of years ago.
- In a 2012 survey, 64% of church goes say their church website is important in facilitating participation in church and 33% say the internet was the first place where they learned about their church. The website is your church’s new front door and is a vital tool in connecting your people deeper into your church community. From Justin Wise.
- The right solution is not always the most creative and/or difficult to produce. We don’t have to be fancy or use new techniques all the time. Sometimes the right answer in design is the least complicated. From Barton Damer.
- Sweat the small stuff because the little things matter in creating a brand experience. Don’t worry about trends. We get caught up looking at inspiration websites. It’s good to know the trends, but don’t get stuck looking instead of doing. Be remarkable. If you’re doing the same thing as everyone else, no one will be talking about it. Create something unique. From Jeff Sheldon.
- Put boundaries around the your design or video production ideas. You have to make a frame and work within it. Don’t try to stuff every trend or thought into one design piece. As Orson Wells said, “The enemy of art is the absence of limitations.” From Rob Thomas.
- Die empty. Know that you have done everything you can to empty yourself into what you’re doing. Brilliance begins with understanding the fundamentals of what we’re doing. Then we have to push out into uncomfortable places to create good ideas. From Todd Henry who also shared five ways to find your creative rhythm.
- Great art can elevate a weak message. A great message will not elevate bad art. Design matters. From Sean Devereaux.
- You are God’s logo and he doesn’t want to see it dinged up. Don’t get down on yourself when you see someone who you think is creating better stuff or getting more attention. Also, don’t represent yourself falsely. Be a good Christian. Your personal logo should represent someone creating art that draws people to you and ultimately to God. God staked his reputation as a creator on us. We are His highest form of art. From Todd Wagner.
Tony Hale, who gained lots of fans as Buster Bluth on Arrested Development, shared some great thoughts on art and working in a creative field as a Christian.
- We need to quit trying to separate Christian art from the main stream. Where the church goes wrong is when they say that good art can only come out of Christian bookstores. If you show two pictures, one of a tree and the other of a cross, and ask which one is Christian art, people will pick the cross. But a tree is God’s creation and it’s amazing. It grew out of the ground into something great.
- "If you're not practicing contentment where you're at then you're never going to be content when you get what you want.”
- Whenever you find yourself going to the “what if,” you just say, “Not now.” It brings you back to the present. It’s okay to dream but don’t let it dominate you so much that you don’t appreciate where you are now.
- “Knowing that God has my back is everything to me.”
Thanks to all the Echo planners, speakers and volunteers. This is always a great experience not only to learn new things but also connect one-on-one with church communications people from all over North America.