whoever said collaboration would be easy?

I was just thinking about this past Christmas production, and my initial thoughts have been focused on how well the service turned out and how many great comments I’ve received.

If I think a little longer, I start remembering all the things that didn’t go well. All the long days, all the delayed decisions, all the budget issues, all the creative differences, all the hard conversations…all the, all the, all the.

If I stretch my memory far enough back, it is quickly apparent that most large event processes that I have been involved in have been flawed in some way. There are two conclusions I can draw from this…either I’m the common denominator and I’m the problem, in which case I should probably consider a different line of work, or pulling off large events is hard work.

My friend Blaine Hogan and I have talked a few times about the fact that collaboration is hard work. In Genesis 3, God said that as a consequence of the Fall, the ground would now be cursed…meaning that we would be toiling long and hard to make anything. Work would be difficult.

As a nine on the Enneagram scale, I work really hard to make sure that everyone is happy, which I realize is not actually possible, especially in a large event collaborative process. Somewhere along the way, I assumed that everyone needs to be happy for a process to go well. The reality is that, while these two things aren’t mutually exclusive, neither one is the ultimate goal.

Did the event we were collaborating on, work? For those of us in church production, did the service help move people closer to Christ regardless of where they are on their spiritual continuum? I agree that it is too simplistic to say that the “product” is the only thing that matters, since if the process is bad for long enough, people won’t stick around to do it again.

For me, every event comes with its own set of challenges and each event also comes with a list of things to learn from those challenges.

True collaboration takes work…to brainstorm, to work with constraints, to trust each other. It also requires tenacity to learn from the past, so that we are always creating better processes to get to the finish line.

Easter, here we come!



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