Here's what's on our mind.

A blog curated by our team.

Often in the creative world we feel the need to outdo ourselves or someone else. We feel a need to do things better, bigger, and more expensive than last person. But why? I can’t seem to understand why we all tend to strive so hard to prove that we are more creative, more risky, more relevant than the next guy. Isn’t relevance just meeting the needs of your audience in a way that is compelling? At it’s core, isn’t creativity just problem solving?

We’ve swapped the real meaning of these words with something much more self-serving. Relevance has come to mean pushing the envelope or doing the next “cool” thing. Creativity leans toward proving that our ideas and budget are bigger, so we can fill our programming and design with all sorts of “creative” elements.

Often, we see something cool at another conference, on TV, or in pop culture, and we take that idea, exactly like it is, and we make our programming and design fit around it. It becomes like a frankenstein presentation. Wouldn’t it be better if we asked ourselves what are we really trying to accomplish with this design? Or perhaps, ask why have we gathered this crowd and what is the one thing we want them to walk away with? Simple. Clear. Concise.

I was just recently at Church On The Move for Seeds conference. While I was there, I heard Whitney George, the church’s art director, say this:

“Do less to do more.”

What did he mean by this? He has learned that busy is not better. You see, it’s better to do less, and do it with excellence. After all, isn’t the whole point of what you’re doing is for the audience to connect with your message in a way that is compelling?

I’ve been to conferences and events all over the world, but something was different about this one. The one thing I was most impressed with at Seeds conference was not the amazing sound engineering, the friendly people, the cool decor, the sprawling facility, the video production, the speakers, the set design, or even the BBQ. Those things were amazing, but that’s not what made the difference. What really made this experience stand out was that every detail was executed with excellence, intentionality and simplicity.

After the first night of the conference I sent a message to Whitney and with his permission I’ve copied the conversation here for you to read:

ME — “Dude, here is what I liked about last night. Nothing seemed added out of obligation or to out do someone or even yourselves. What was done was done well. Simple, creative, excellent. Even the programming was brilliant. Worship, teaching… Kudos to you and your team for doing what matters, doing it well, and not caving in to the status quo. Great job!! I was pretty much sick of conferences until last night.”

WHITNEY — “Bro I really appreciate it. That means a lot, and you hit the nail on the head, we don’t want to do anything just for the sake of doing it.”

Such a wise thought. I’d like to pose a question to you. Why? When is the last time you asked yourself “why” you do something? Asking yourself the question “why” forces you to start at the beginning.

When you are tempted to complicate your design or add another element to your programming, ask yourself “why”. Let’s keep things simple, creative, and excellent.