EEK! I never published the Implementation phase of Technically Transparent Worship! Thanks, Stephen, for reminding me.
Here’s where it gets tough. If senior leadership has had battles with the tech team over the “vision” then the first thing to do is ask for forgiveness and an opportunity to start over. That means swallowing your pride and leaving the ego at the door. Listen to their problems and let them vent. Take notes. This is not the time to argue but to gather facts and perceptions from their point of view. Prepare for a tough listen.
If senior leadership has a good relationship with your team then move onto confirming their vision of the service experience. There might be a feeling of pessimism from leadership. Vision can be a touchy subject. So, take small steps. While it’s tempting to go full-bore into this, plan out the implementation into small achievable goals.
Get successes under your team’s belt to gain confidence and trust from senior leadership. Sometimes you’ll be repeating the steps as it’s also an iterative process. The whole call-to-action is meant to improve the quality of the technical side of your church service. For some churches, that means just making sure the microphone is turned on when the pastor speaks. For bigger churches, it could mean meetings among departments for video, lighting, audio and stagecraft. It isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach.
It may help to have the senior leadership first read through the whole Technically Transparent Worship series to see if they are in agreement with it. If they agree, then cool, you can proceed with it. If they aren’t, then don’t bang your head against the wall by trying to implement all the steps. Do what you can to get better at the technical side of things. Now, if they love the idea and really want to go whole hog into it, you MUST still plan for achievable and measurable goals.
Maybe the initial step is to ensure everyone agrees on the sound level for service. Then, work on the tech team to get them turning microphones on consistently and not allowing feedback. After that, work on getting the sound better through active listening and EQ adjustments. Learn the way things are supposed to sound. Invest in friendships with the musicians and ask for their input on how things should sound – when they listen from the seats. Listen to artists that you like to get a feel for the way the sound should be. It doesn’t matter what type of sound system you have, it’s the way you use it to your advantage.
Once the tech team is respected by leadership for their commitment to the worship experience then it’s time for a gear review. Start making suggestions and recommendations for equipment needs, if warranted. Remember you need to be able to articulate the need for equipment based on the current equipment not being able to reach the goals and vision cast by the senior leadership. See Chris’s post:
Yes, I was vague
I know much of this Implementation post is vague. It’s deliberate because this stage is unique to each church and guidelines and suggestions are needed more than a step-by-step approach. Don’t be disheartened when it seems that you take two steps back for every one forward. With risk comes reward. Don’t get discouraged; set your eyes on the prize. No matter how far you get it will be further than if you hadn’t tried at all. As long as you view this work as a long-term learning experience then you can’t go wrong.
Know this: We are doing this for God’s glory. We are doing this to allow God’s magnificence to shine through all of our technology – through it, not because of it. And there will be times when tech stuff gets messed up and God still shows up.
1. This series was originally written as a CALL-TO-ACTION, not a step-by-step guide.
I wanted tech folks to know that regardless of the equipment or the size of the church, there is no reason to rest on your laurels. We are truly the invisible ministry if we do it right.
The best compliment is when someone says they were able to get into worship and it just felt right. Not that things sounded great or that the videos or lights were amazing. If they say they felt the presence of God in the house then you accomplished what I was trying to convey.
God doesn’t need us nor does he need any of our equipment. If God wants to be there He will be. And whether or not we do a good job has nothing to do with His presence. But by doing our best we are lifting up our talents to Him as a pleasing sacrifice to show that we value Him more than anything.
2. There is no room for a superstar mentality in what we do.
We can’t afford to have an ego problem Not when the price of failure is so high. I absolutely hate consultants who come across like they know everything. I’ve been on the receiving end and abhor it.
This is probably the only time I’ll talk about my professional background. It’s not to brag but I want you to know I’ve got the chops to say what I’ve said. I’ve been consulting for churches for the last 12 years. In that time, I’ve worked with over 70 churches of all sizes. After 70, I stopped counting! Leaders at all of them stated how easy it was to work with me and how the tech and worship teams enjoyed the way that I worked with them. I don’t talk down to anyone and I believe in a team environment. Also, there is always something that I can learn as well as being able to teach. And, before God called (and I answered), I was an IT Director for a 30-person IT Department. During that time, I also ran a small regional sound company for 5 years. I’ve always had a passion for music and sound.
Most of you don’t know me like you know Chris. I’m hoping, someday, Chris and I can correct that. I love being able to share what God gave me with others. When I go into a church, I always view it as a learning opportunity.