Common Denominators for Creative Meetings



I'm a part of a group that works together to plan and pray for a summer high school camp that reaches about 25,000 high school students each year. Christ In Youth, the organization that pulls MOVE off every summer brings a few of us together--and we dive into Scripture and think of creative ideas to communicate the truths, challenges, and encouragement that we find.

After meeting twice, I started to formulate some ideas on why the incredibly productive two and a half days works so well (while having plenty of time for play and legitimate digression).

Here are a few things that meetings need. Thanks Eric and to the CIY team for leading the way in this.

1) Ice Shortages

Our waitress at Joe Mamma's informed us that there was an ice shortage at dinner during our first night together. It made for some funny commentary but it also reminded me that unexpected things like shortages of things you take for granted can get dormant minds working. When you hit a wall in a creative meeting and someone asks a critical question or poses an unexpected observation, you find yourself looking at the idea from a different angle. There was one section of our day that we devoted many hours to one specific message, it wasn't until the very end when someone gave a random piece of information that helped us turn the corner to a firm idea. Welcome the random. Welcome the unexpected, it breeds creativity.

2) Ice Breakers

"Your mom is like an iPhone...."

Ok, so maybe it wasn't the best fill in the blank analogy to get the meeting started. But things like this get our wheels turning and generate fresh ideas. I like ice breakers that take us out of our comfort zones. I'm HORRIBLE at writing analogy's. Mine are completely awful. But it's fun to hear the quick wit around the table and be grateful that we all bring something different. Give me a flip chart and a marker for a round of pictionary--on the other hand--and watch out! Open meetings with something fun or even a simple question (What was your worst job...ever?). And see how everyone lights up.

3) Ice-olation Stations

Not everyone processes and thinks the same. Give people with a need for tactile stimulation some legos to build something, play-doh to sculpt, or space to draw. Welcome sitting, standing, ceiling staring...as long as it's not too distracting (P90X mid meeting may not be a good idea).

4) N-Ice People

Get to know each other during the breaks. Pray for each other. Depth in relationships equals depth in understanding. There will be some random, half-baked ideas--a gift of meetings like this--but it's ok. Throw them out there to be built on or bushwacked because along the way something will bloom and it will be great.

5) Icing On the Cake

Wrap up the meeting with where you've been. List what you've accomplished and celebrate with a meal or some sort of shared sport. Tilly Ball is always fun. (If you'd like to know more about this made up non-sensical version of volleyball that our friend Lane Moss made up out of desperation you can email him lanemoss@gmail.com)

Thanks for humoring my "ice" outline. I'm pretending you're in my creative group and you don't really care that I'm random and happy and altogether addicted to dreaming for the Kingdom. Thanks for being a homie. I hope this helps.

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