My parents are not tech savvy people. Essentially that means when I’m not serving as a technical director for my job, I’m serving as a technical director for them. It wasn’t that large of a job until my mother decided she wanted an iPad. Her excuse was so she could FaceTime the grandbaby, but the reality came in an addiction to Candy Crush.
Those games have a crazy hold on people. And suddenly all you can think about is getting to the next level. You’ll do whatever it takes to get that next cherry bomb and explode the bubbling fizzies to pass to level 32. And usually what it takes is buying some elusive candy buster. There’s a reason those app companies are becoming the most profitable in the world.
I noticed one day that Candy Crush was no longer featured on mom’s iPad. She informed me that the price simply got too high to level up.
I think in life we’re also always trying to level up. At our church, we tell people we want to help them take their next step toward God. Level up your faith, if you will. So it made me think about how we can take our next step in technical ministry, and the price you have to pay to reach the next level.
1. Execution: This is tehnical ministry at it’s most basic level. The lights and mics have to come on, the cameras need an operator, and lyrics need to be on the screen (and the confidence monitor for most co-dependent worship leaders). Sadly I feel like too many ministries feel this is the only level that is required. If you can hear the pastor and sing the words, no reason to do anything else. If this is the approach of a ministry leader, not only your tech ministry, but your entire Sunday experience will stall.
2. Excellence: One of our core values for our programming team is excellence, but we must remember that excellence is not perfection. We lead teams of volunteers. There will be missed cues, dead batteries, and an occasional misspelling. I prefer to measure tech excellence in terms of distraction. We have a great service when we are not noticed. If our team does nothing to distract from the music or message, and better yet, enhances them, then we have done our job with excellence. Most ministries know that technical excellence is a goal, but too many think it’s THE goal. If you stop at this level, you’re missing the best part.
3. Empowerment: For years, I thought that I was a good technical director if I knew how every single thing worked. However, I think great technical directors get there by knowing even less, and allowing the people who serve under you to be the experts. I learned this the hard way when I spent a Sunday in an amusement park watching my friends ride roller coasters while I talked to volunteers about how to fix problems. Empowering others is what we are called to do. We make disciples by training others how to spread the message of the gospel. And technology is the most effective way to get that message to the most people.
Will volunteers do everything as well as you can? Of course not. And you will have to endure mistakes in order to empower volunteers to actually do the ministry. However, with the right investment, not only will you make it to the top level, you can bring others with you. Pay the price now, in terms of training, prayer, and leadership development, and you’ll be at the next level before you know it.