One of the best parts of being a TD in a church is the diversity of things that must be done to support the ministry of the organization. Some of this is actual physical work but most of being a TD is working with people. I tell up-and-coming TDs and tech leaders, “Make no mistake, this is a people business”. And that is a good thing. Jesus is in the people business. Even though we love to work with gear, people should always be our main focus. There are so many facets of working with a team of staff or volunteers. But what is the most important training a TD can give to his team? Here are my top five:
1. Train Them to Know What You Expect.
Each person on your team should know what you expect from the team – not only in task, but also in work ethic and attitude. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and work styles. You need to reset this to what you want your team to be. A great team is constantly reminded of what is expected and where the bar is set. They must know the big picture and feel like they are part of it. That must be ingrained into them line upon line, on a continuing basis.
2. Train Them on the Gear.
A well-oiled machine works because the parts don’t really think about how they move and operate. A well-oiled team works the same way. Training each member of the team to hone the actual craft of sound, lighting, video, or what ever they are set to do is critical. Each member of the team should eventually be able to train the next generation of operators with the “team” way of operating whatever gear they run. The side benefit to this is that they will have way more fun when they are confident in their skills.
3. Train Them with Core Values.
Every team member should know what the big picture is. By this I mean the “why”. Why do we do things the way we do them and why do we do this at all? This ranges from the core values of the team to the core values of the organization. These things must be constantly taught, over and over again. “For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a little, there a little.” (Isaiah 28:10 NKJV).
4. Train Them to Put the Team First.
People join the tech team for many different reasons. Your job as a TD is to unify them. This is where making your team a team is crucial. And if you do it right, this training will, generally, not seem like training. Team events like appreciation parties or team bowling nights are good, but serving together is even better. This may be with your church or even on a civic level in your city or community. Obviously there are times when you will have an “all team” training night, but it is so important to let the team see each other as people and not just as button-pushers. The camaraderie this will bring is priceless. People watch the backs of those they care about. The strongest teams look out for each other.
5. Train them to Share the Good News.
So many times, tech teams feel isolated from what is going on in the church. As a staff member or key leader, you may get updated on what great things your church is doing, but your team may never hear these things. Furthermore, most of your team probably serve in other ministries and have news about the cool and amazing things that God is doing in those ministries church wide. By you sharing your insider knowledge (of the good news, not gossip) you will set an example and help them feel more connected to what your church is doing big picture. This will also energize them to share their stories as well.
The opportunities for training as a TD are endless. But don’t just stick to the gear. God has put you in a unique position to not only make events awesome, but also to make people awesome. Don’t pass that opportunity up. I promise you will find it truly rewarding. Remember: We get to do this.