Every church has them – the mysterious creature lurking in the shadows that typically goes unnoticed until something disastrous happens. Then, you see it! Sometimes they quickly scamper out and are seen only for an instant before they return to the shadows. They are a critical part of the food chain and are important for everyone’s survival. But, they can also be hard to breed. Most people don’t understand much about these creatures, but there are some commonly held myths I’d like to dispel about them. What are they? Who are they? They are the production team.
I will admit I am one of them; but with that revelation, I hope it will increase the authority with which I speak about this important, sometimes misunderstood breed of servants in our church ministries.
We like getting up early.
Well, some of us do. But most of us don’t. It can be hard to be Christ-like when we’re tired, haven’t had our coffee, or might not be awake yet. I think we’re all guilty of not being as patient, understanding, or approachable when we’re tired and cranky. Is there a way to make sure we get more rest before our early morning ministry? Is there a way to prepare better beforehand so there isn’t as much pressure on us Sunday morning?
We like knowing about details at the last minute.
Whether it’s a lighting cue, announcement slide, or extra element of the service, it can be extremely frustrating when we find out about a service element at the last second – throwing our tech team into a tizzy or causing us to scramble to get things lined up correctly again. In my experience, tech guys are perfectionists and hate when their balance is disrupted. There are certainly times where it’s a major problem when we hear about details at the last minute, but do we make a big deal out of things that aren’t that major because we’re stressed or out of frustration? How can we be more proactive about getting details earlier or stopping late requests from rolling in?
We like to be micromanaged.
Ummm…no. But, it may be a fact of life for some of the tech directors reading this and it may be very hard to live with. We obviously should be accepting of direction and critique from those in leadership, but I would also hope the church is a place that fosters growth, experimentation, and innovation. Creativity can easily be crushed with step-by-step oversight. The question is more related to trust. Have we built the necessary trust with our leadership so we can have the freedom to do our greatest work creatively?
We saw it at a concert, therefore we can do it in church!
Well, some churches can, but the average church cannot. Sure, it’s great to dream big, but we also have to take into account whether this is a realistic expectation or not. The larger the production, the more moving parts and coordination is necessary. These people are skilled, trained, and have likely practiced those transitions and to make it all flow seamlessly. While we can and certainly should learn from that example, let’s make sure our goals and expectations are scaled to fit the context of our church, our ministries, and the skill of the people we have involved. What do we need to improve based on professional example? What do we need to scale up or down in order to make it work in the context of our church tech team?
When we serve in ministry, we are engaged just as much as when we’re not.
This should be a no-brainer. We need down time. Interestingly, in the Old Testament, the penalty for not observing the Sabbath day of rest was death. While the church doesn’t hold to that teaching today, not taking a Sabbath and setting aside time to worship without the pressure of ministry can kill you in other ways. Do you take time to rest in God spiritually? Serving frequently and willingly is great, but do you set aside time to focus completely on God?
What areas does your team struggle with? What areas hit home for you? What other myths are prevalent in your church ministries on a week-to-week basis and how can we help one another?