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When does Easter planning start at the Oaks? In November. That?s right. Before Christmas even happens, Kelvin Co is already praying about Easter. His team has gotten mad at him in the past in fact. They frequently tell him, ?If you get an idea about Easter, don?t tell us about it.? Thus, Kelvin typically waits until right after Christmas to unload all of his ideas on the creative team.

Kelvin?s able to start thinking about Easter in November, because by then their pastor has already planned out the following year enough to give Kelvin some prayer handles so he knows how to pray.

In November of 2014, as Kelvin was praying, he felt like God dropped a specific verse into his heart. The verse was 1 John 4:19: ?We love each other because he loved us first.? Or, ?We love Him because He loved us first.? For Kelvin, that felt like the perfect message for the Easter service?a bit of evangelism wrapped up in what we?re all looking for. We?re all searching for something our whole lives?love, acceptance, and belonging. But the whole time, Jesus has been right here. He loved us first. So when we find Jesus, we find all of those things. To Kelvin, the idea felt like the perfect transition to personal evangelism?something they were encouraging their congregation to learn that year.

He was sitting in a church conference, listening to a speaker, when an idea hit him for the packaging of Easter. The idea was: ?Find Love. Find Easter.? He tuned out the speaker (sorry speaker from Catalyst Dallas) and scribbled his idea on a piece of paper.

So in January, when things had finally settled down after Christmas, they met up for a brainstorming meeting to talk about Easter. Normally, they only have creative staff members in on this meeting. But for this meeting, Kelvin reached out to a few other people from their community:

  • The creative director for a popular Christian comedian
  • A creative director at another church
  • The marketing director for a local medical center

The goal was to get more creative input as well as a great idea of the pulse of the community they were trying to reach.

The brainstorming prompt was the 1 John 4:19 verse. They were supposed to come up with random ideas around that concept and see if any great ideas emerged. Names, ideas, YouTube videos?anything they could think of.

Kelvin typically lets someone else lead the brainstorming meetings because he?s the type that likes to take each idea and turn it into something workable. Since that can mess with the flow of a brainstorming meeting, he chooses to take part in creating ideas rather than eliciting and capturing them all.

When Kelvin presented his ?Find Love. Find Easter.? idea, the team jumped on it. All of the ideas seemed to hover around this sort of concept, so there was agreement from everyone that that might be the way to go.

Because their pastor has such a clear vision for the year, brainstorming isn?t a difficult process. Anything that fits into that overall goal is game. Then they just need to let the best ideas rise to the top and simplify it all.

Normally, Kelvin prefers not to make a decision during a brainstorming meeting?instead taking the ideas away and working through them on his own. But because of the way this particular meeting went, he let the consensus win during the meeting and let that set the tone for Easter 2015.

So after that meeting, they set up a follow-up meeting where they?d develop specific tactical ideas and figure out exactly what they needed to make happen.

They planned three separate things that needed to happen after the clarity on the concept.

  1. They needed to develop a brand for Find Love. Find Easter.
  2. They needed details on a promotional campaign. A lot of ideas came out of the meeting, but they needed to decide exactly what they wanted to do: the process, budget, and team members necessary to make it happen.
  3. The programming of the service. This was a separate creative meeting involving the worship pastor and his team. Their approach is to make the whole service a setup?a giant bumper?for the message from Pastor Scott.

Normally, the best ideas don?t come out of democracy. And that?s normally the way they work. Typically, even if 9 out of 10 people don?t agree with the decision of their leadership, they still support the role and the decision. This time, however, the idea was unanimous. And it worked out well in this particular situation to create a great set of Easter services.

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