IN A TERMINAL
THERE WERE THREE SEATS BETWEEN US.
We were both focused on going home after spending a few days away from our families. The first year of the iMinistry Conference was amazing! But now, tired and ready to hug our wives, we both sat there waiting for our flight.
DFW is a large airport with equally large terminals and gate areas. Of all the seats in all the airports for all the flights to all the cities, we were only three seats away from each other. He initiated the conversation. "Hey, weren't you at..." And from there we began sharing our thoughts from the conference. The things that we learned and encouraged as well as those things that challenged us.
Turns out, we both lived in Colorado Springs. We found it funny that we didn't interact at the conference because of it's intimate size. Instead, living in the same city, we had to go to a random first-year conference in Dallas to meet each other in an airport while waiting for our flights.
This encounter began regular meet ups at coffee shops to talk life, ideas and dreams. Out of the conversations came this idea to provide creative staff to churches who normally couldn't afford it. The model, structure and details for MSC were doodled on a napkin in a Starbucks. We wondered why no one else was doing this and decided we should be the ones.
WE WERE MAKING THE DREAM REALITY.
From the beginning, we had very basic values:
1. Help churches who can't help themselves
2. Resource churches to become self-reliant
3. Empower creatives with a heart for ministry
4. Relationships over contracts
5. Needs-filling, not up-selling
The real questions was, how would we do this? We knew we couldn't do it alone so we recruited a friend to help us with overflow. From there we began to layout what services we would offer churches, what we would have to charge, and what our process would be.
Once we had this nailed down, that's when things got crazy! Chris moved > We Launched MSC > Matt moved > We began working with clients and before you knew it, it had been a year.
MAY 2014 - OCTOBER 2014
UP UNTIL THIS POINT, IT WAS AN UPHILL CLIMB.
Neither one of us were beyond grinding out long nights for clients. But the problem was, clients were few and far between. What was worse, we couldn't figure out why. The need was there. The solution was there. So why weren't churches getting it?
Admittedly, we set ourselves up to fail. We were trying to communicate to both businesses and churches, which resulted in neither one being able to fully understand us. We built our services on a retainer structure that was not only complicated, but also required a big step for a church to commit. Our heart was to help the "every church" church, but the only churches that understood the value of our model were large churches.
It was at this time that Matt had health issues that prevented him from giving his full focus to My Square Creative. With Chris being the lone man at the helm, it became impossible for him to keep up with the demands of our company.
Both of us frustrated by the snails pace growth along with Matt being unable to fully commit his attention to My Square Creative, we decided to take a three month hiatus to evaluate not only the company, but each of our involvement moving forward.
At the end of this time, we each decided to fast and ask God for... something, because we were lost. At the end of the our time we were both separately given the same message: "Keep going. Keep going. Keep going." After receiving such a specific word from God, we'd be fools to not listen. What was known is that we couldn't keep doing things the same way. Something had to change.
OCTOBER 2014 - OCTOBER 2015
YEAH... WE STARTED OVER.
Our original structure was beyond salvaging. We had to C4 that mess and level it to a smoldering heap of rubble so that the Phoenix could rise from the ashes!
Ok, that's a little more dramatic than what happened, but we really did start from scratch. Nothing was off limits in our desire to make this what we had hoped for, not only for ourselves, but for the ministries we intended to serve. We took time to learn from our clients and those that never became clients to get insight and feedback directly from them.
Here are the big changes:
1. We introduced a Pay Per Project model. This made it so much easier for a church to understand what they are getting and what it costs. It's also when we launch the focused branch of MSC called Creative Church Staffing. It allowed a single channel to speak directly to the needs of churches.
2. We simplified our content. We decided it would be best to focus our needs meeting to three specific scenarios: Need creative staff but can't afford to hire; Transitioning between creative staff; Increasing capacity of existing creative staff. We set ourselves up to not be an option, but the solution for churches who find themselves in one of those scenarios.
And a crazy thing happened. We didn't gain any new church clients. Instead, within a matter of three months, we were sought out by many creatives wanting to work with us which grew us from a team of three guys to 15! We were now ready to handle every creative need the church could have from video, to print and web.
OCTOBER 2015 - PRESENT
THERE WAS SOMETHING MISSING.
Even though we simplified the process and lessened the commitment, we were still outside the reach for some churches to benefit from using our team. What we needed was a solution that was as inexpensive as it was easy to use. From idea to launch, it only took us a month to get CreativeChurch.Graphics up and running. By giving access to Ready-To-Use Graphics for $1, it is a low commitment way to instantly improve the design quality and engagement of any church.
Along with CreativeChurch.Graphics, we also launch a service that would help churches with scheduling and posting content on social media. CreativeChurch.Social was created to help churches be freed from having to figure out what to post and when so they could focus on engaging people.