After working over 15 years in the technical field, I am a firm believer that Satan inhabits electronics. If anything can go wrong with electronics, it usually happens at the worst possible time! Stuff happens and how we deal with it, both during the event and after, define our ministry walk. No one likes sullen or mean people, and as this is a ministry, there’s no room for such behavior.
Here are my rules for working and surviving as a tech lead;
1. Have a sense of humor. Take the work seriously but don’t take yourself seriously.
2. Complaints from anyone outside of the tech team, is handled by the complaint department (ME). I make it clear to the pastors and the worship team that if anyone has a complaint or suggestion, that as the technical lead, it is my responsibility to deal with it with my team.
3. Reprimand in private, praise publicly.
4. Always ask what you could have done better. Don’t be content to sit on your laurels. Next week is a new opportunity.
5. Have a 5 minute after-service meeting with the team to see if they noticed any issues. If you, as a leader, noticed issues but no one else did, then it’s time for training.
6. At the next week’s planning meeting, go over any issues with all parties involved.
7. If any equipment failed, take it out of service, mark it inoperable and either get it fixed, replace it, or throw it away.
8. Praise your team often and publicly. It’s not all about you.
9. Troubleshoot in-service production problems quickly and quietly. Give yourself and your team a realistic limited amount of time to resolve the issue. In the meantime, consider plan B options. Unless there’s smoke coming out the mixer and it smells like it’s on fire there’s no reason to run around with a panicked look on your face in front of the congregation!
10. The tech team ministry is unique. We have the ability to impact the entire congregation, either positively or negatively. While a musician can miss a note and no one will probably notice, if we miss a cue to turn on a mic or play a video, everyone notices. We are the invisible ministry. If we do our jobs correctly no one should ever be aware that we’re doing anything.
11. Whatever you do, don’t do anything that will make the entire congregation turn around and glare at you!
12. When in doubt refer to rule 1.
I hope this series opened your eyes to the time and effort required for creating a technically transparent worship environment. I’ve intertwined the worship team and the technical team together because they are inseparable. They need each other. They can do more by working together than by working independently.