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socalgal

POLL: Who would you hire?

When contracting creative professionals for a church project, which would you generally hire? Like a video editor, web designer, music arranger, etc.  

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I had a long discussion with friends this morning about this topic. One was given a budget by his church to produce a project. It is not ongoing, just a one-time thing...Sounds like everyone has different policies on who they would first choose to contract the work to. We are interested to know what others on this board would generally do. Where do you put priority when it comes to hiring creative pros for your ministry, or even for your personal business?

POLL QUESTION: When contracting creative professionals for a project, which would you generally hire? Such as a video editor, web designer, music arranger, etc.

A. Someone in your congregation who can do the creative work, yet doesn't do it as a living...but may need the work to support his family.

B. A Christian who is passionately supportive of your project/ministry, who offers the service on full-time business, yet gives average work compared to standards that your audience is used to.

C. A professional who does it full-time and has a great reputation for his art (yet doesn't have the same faith)

Please feel free to elaborate on your answers. Thanks for participating!

Edited by socalgal

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Given the amount of rubbish which passes for Christian "creativity" all too often nowadays, especially within churches, I would have to agree with Alan. I would also agree that looking for someone - with the appropriate credentials and expertise - within the congregation is the first choice, like most places which hire internal candidates. "Doing all things to the glory of God", and all that. The same holds for a variety of things; as an MBA, for example, I can claim to be an investment manager, but I certainly hope that any church which had to manage an endowment would choose someone with experience, not just paper credentials such as I have, merely because I happen to attend.

C S Lewis has an interesting essay on this, entitled "Good works and good work" or similar, which might be worth a glance.

Besides, if they do it right, they might persuade the pro that the church has something to offer beyond the job.

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"A clear choice: an editor."

heheh...yeah editing/writing is definitely my weakness, alan.

I'm not much of a pollster either...but am doing this out of the curiousity of my peers who have real examples of all these options being played out. Anyway, considering that at this point only 6 of 96 viewers chose to vote (and they all voted for one choice), I am going to try something....I changed option B today, which previous read "church volunteer who'd do it for free" and had no votes. I created another option for the "substance is better than style" thinkers.

I know that having only three answers is certainly not comprehensive. I agree that the ideal candidate should offer excellent work and have faith in God...but if these were your only options at the time, which would you choose?

...............

"Imagine you were hiring an architect for a church day school building. I would certianly hope you'd pick 'C' in that situation."

same here.

btw, for simplicity's sake, rather than an architect or investment manager, let's keep it in the area of services which are even more creative.

@Phidippus

"Good works and good work"

will definitely check it.

showing "the pro that the church has something to offer beyond the job"

great point...i'd be down for that.

Edited by socalgal

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I voted C, but as a video professional who also goes to church, I know there are others out there like me--you don't always have to choose between A, B, & C.

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I think choice A is a bit too open ended and it seems that the primary motivation factor for hiring is in the "supporting his [her] family" statement.

I think there are definitely more choices than the ones presented.

Often, we have the notion that because someone may do it for a living they must be a better choice than the person who doesn't, without regard to the passion and ability of the one who does not. Many artists and creative people cannot afford to pursue their passions and talents within the 9 to 5 grind but are fully capable individuals. And let's be realistic, every profession possesses a level of mediocre professionals.

Edited by asher

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Anyway, considering that at this point only 6 of 96 viewers chose to vote (and they all voted for one choice)

Hey, don't be discouraged, my last thread has nearly three hundred reads and the only reply came from... me! Strange sensation, talking to oneself in public! Perhaps I was obtuse, or verbose, or just not interesting.

Anyway, your question is much more fun. Like most of us I'd not accept the virtue of amateurism, and not want the sort of quality that this produces. But it does depend on the task. Normally I'd actually prefer a 'mixed' creative environment, people from several faiths or none. Just because the dynamic gets so interesting. But what if the subject were Christian, and the task, perhaps for a director, demanded a deep understanding of the dramatic line? Who then? But if it were the DP I was looking for, then technical and creative quality would be top of the list.

Some friends just finished an indie feature, shot locally, everyone on points. They advertised widely, got some first rate actors (one was second male lead in the Interpreter) and a superb lighting director who had to become DP and brought his own operator over from the US with him. These two were not Christians, about thirty percent of the crew were, but that was pure serendipity. In the end it was the expertise and even better attitudes of the non-christians that carried the whole project through. They were simply superb. There's no telling is there?

My favourite writing partner is also a Christian, and I've never found a writing collaboration that works so well. She is a film maker, I come from a more literary place. But then she is very German, and I very English, so I guess we get the variation of colour and tone that way.

One thing is certain, I just love collaborating! So, if I couldn't afford the single person I wanted for a project, I'd try to spread the load creatively so that I might persuade them to come for a more focused task.

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@asher & finnegan

As I mentioned earlier, i know 3 options are very limiting. If I were to list the ideal candidate, then that choice would win hands-down. Fact is, the ideal may not be available for you. No situation is the same, so I made this a what-if-these-were-your-only-choices-at-the-time-scenario.

@asher

"factor for hiring is in the "supporting his [her] family" statement." I know a couple of men in my church who recently went for options similar to Choice A. One owned a business and the other was in church leadership. I guess they were just wanting to be of help.

"we have the notion that because someone may do it for a living they must be a better choice "

Regarding "full-time" service. I agree it doesn't necessarily indicate how capable one is. It is possible though that if I hire, say, a full-time web designer with a great protfolio he/she spends more time researching the latest in design, technology, target audience, etc. He may be set up to make the work flow go smoother and quicker...maybe because he does it every day. I'd also trust his referrals, knowing that he deals with them on a more frequent basis. Between two equally capable web designers, I'd hire the one that is full-time.

-------

@Chris B

"But what if the subject were Christian, and the task...demanded a deep understanding of the dramatic line"

Excellent point!....i'd want a Christian to have most of the input, especially during pre-production. And I'd support you in getting the best DP available when it comes to "technical and creative quality".

But what if the piece was about the Christian faith, but the project was for promoting and spreading word about it to the general public? Hmmm.... I'd be open to getting consultation from creative marketing gurus of any faith. What do you think?

On a tangent.... The first thing that came to my mind when you mentioned "amateurism" is seeing agreements made with people who offer services based on the "hand-shake" method. They may be the most capable creative talented person for the job, yet the deal ends up going sour for one reason or another, and for either or both sides. Does anyone else see this happen? Why is that?

"I'd actually prefer a 'mixed' creative environment, people from several faiths or none. Just because the dynamic gets so interesting."

YEAH!

"..........There's no telling is there?"

Yup, no telling. In some cases, it gives me a total rush when looking at a good finished product with a diverse group involved. I step back thinking, "WOW!!!!!!!...how'd you do that, God? You'll use whatever conduit you choose!"

On another note, I've been moved to tears by the most simple low-budget presentation I've ever seen. The people behind it were the most humble sincere people with NO talent or training. Their passion for God was screaming evident to all around. I admit this incident wasn't on American soil but in a tiny village in central America. Beautiful....just BEAUTIFUL! And here I would say "WOW!!!!!!!...how'd you do that, God? You'll use whatever conduit you choose!"

I'd probably pick the latter scenario anytime. Uhhh, yeah, D...I pick this choice D. cool.gif

Edited by socalgal

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In regard to choice 'A' if the only reason for hiring such a person is to create a means to provide for their family and offer some dignity in doing so, then I say, go for it, one hundred percent. The body of Christ is more than the latest and greatest technology and presentation, keeping up with the cultural Jones

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you have to have them bring in samples of their work, who has the best stuff. you have to make it competative, winner take all.

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