Post-it Notes & Leadership

April 6, 2011 — 2 Comments

Recently our church launched a new series of initiatives.  We don’t call them fundraising campaigns anymore because “the experts” say that fundraisers are “no fun” and campaigns “just make people think of pain”, or should I say “paign”?  Instead, we’re presenting the church body a list of things that God is calling us to do and asking each member to dig deep and seek out God’s will for how they can contribute financially to these goals.  The goals are extraordinary (the type of goals that typically come from God) and Row and I have been praying about a sacrificial gift that we could give to help make them become reality.  That being said, as the “design guy”, I got the job of creating a stage design that somehow communicated these initiatives that we so rightfully called “Greater Things”.

Working on scaffolding

After much deliberation and head scratching, we decided to cover the back wall of the stage with 6,052 post it notes in a colorful montage of the “greater than” symbol surrounded by concentric circles.  I wanted to make something that made people say “Wow” because I believe that if we could get a glimpse into what God has planned for us, that’s basically what we’d say – “wow”.  Now, getting this idea into my head was the easy part, but getting it onto the stage taught me a few things about leadership.

1. Ask.

It seems obvious, but having grown up in ministry, asking others for help is not the first thing that comes to my mind when attempting something for God.  Things like “do it yourself”, “draft (vietnam style) your family for the weekend to help you”, “dip into your savings account to hire someone” or “guilt your best friend into helping because ‘it’s the Lord’s work’ so he better do it” are all ideas that come to mind before anything simple like “post it on facebook”, “call up some friends”, or “send out some txt messages”.  PS. The last three ideas worked really well.

2.  If you want something done right, organize it yourself.

The only thing dangerous about asking a lot of people to help is that they just might show up.  Yikes!  We’re talking about people who will not know what to do unless I tell them.  This is where preparation is so important.

Greater Things Stage Design

About 20 people responded to my cries for help and when they showed up, we didn’t waste their time.  Prior to that day, Eric and I designed the whole thing in photoshop, then he added a grid layer in illustrator.  The grid showed where each 3X3 post-it should go.  We then cut up the overall design into 36 sections.  Each of these sections was printed on it’s own sheet of paper and laid out on the floor.  We then covered the wall in construction paper and duct tape.  Rob chalked off lines on the paper to correspond to our 36 sections.  The result?  Every man, woman, child and elderly person who came to help was given a piece of paper and told to go to their section and start sticking and it worked!  If you have a big vision, you will need to have big organization.  Otherwise you may get frustrated and resort to the old saying, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself.”  I would change that to say, “If you can’t organize something right, you’ll have to do it yourself.”

3. Just believe it will happen.

Just kidding.  I don’t think anything happens by “just believing” it will happen.  A lazy faith is just as dead today as it was in James’ time.  Dead is dead.  Belief alone doesn’t bring a harvest – sowing and reaping do.

Close Up Post-its



4.  Let go and let people.

I learned a long time ago to “Let go and let God”, but it’s a little different when it comes to people.  However, I quickly realized that if I was going to get this done, I would need to trust the wonderful people who gave up their Saturday to come help me with this crazy task.  I did inspect occasionally, in fact, I even had to ask one guy to take down about  100 notes he’d put in the wrong place (woops).  But for the most part, I was up on the scaffolding doing sections, running over instructions with new people as they came in, ordering pizza (very important) and talking and laughing with people.  I wasn’t worried at all nor was I disappointed.  We did it all in under 5 hours.  The point is that people are competent.  People are gifted.  People are what God uses to do His work on this planet.  People are you and me.

Another shot of the finished stage


Click here to see more pics of our Post-It Note Prayers Board.

Harry Fleming

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2 responses to Post-it Notes & Leadership

  1. Great post Harry. I wish I could have been
    there to help out. Keep me in mind the next
    time you need some help.

  2. Samantha McNeill August 10, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Hey! I work with a college ministry in Tennessee. We really love this idea – it’s incredible! How did you get the 6,000 post-it notes? Did someone donate or give you a special deal?? Finances are a challenge on this one for us!


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