By: David Jordan
The entire pastoral, tech & worship staff & volunteers should always be on the same page on the things that will be going on for each service. There are key things that need to happen to keep everyone on the same page, so the focus can be on worshiping God. I will start off by saying that, being part of a tech team can be frustrating at times, and can be a thankless job (ministry). The Tech team is only noticed when things go wrong. That is one reason why it is frustrating at times. And this can be reduced greatly, by communicating with one another the needs of each department / ministry to keep things running smooth.
Follow these three simple steps to make this happen:
1 – The Order of the Service
When things are going to take place, and who is doing / handling what should be figured out prior to the start of the service. This should be at the least passed on to everyone involved. If at all possible, put it in writing, and hand out copies to all involved.
2 – The Equipment
Make sure that Tech team has the equipment needed to accomplish the tasks that you are asking them to do during the service. For example: computers, switchers, lighting, cables and so on. It does not always have to be the highest priced equipment. It needs to be what works for your team and their system, and it needs to be equipment that your team understands how to operate.
3 – The Elements
Make sure if any media, or audio elements are needed for a service that the Tech team gets all of the Computer files, CD’s, DVD’s (elements) and so on, far enough in advance so it can be tested. I do not mean an hour prior to the start of the service. A week in advance would be great. Not all computer files will work with every system. This is why they need them in advance, so the files can be changed / converted if possible to what is needed to run them on the system you have in place. For example: a PowerPoint show might work fine on the person’s computer when they are making it at their home. Just because it works on their computer does not always mean it will work on another computer the same way. There are several reasons that will make it not work the same. Like not having the same fonts installed on both computers, is just one example, there are several more that we will not get into in this article.
The tech team should know what type of files are needed & run on the system they have to work with. By having things in advance the tech team will have the time to:
- Rip the DVD to the computer,
- Import the PowerPoint file,
- Download the Video needed,
- Convert the Video file to a file that works with your system, or do what is needed to make things work.
This is extremely important if your tech team is a volunteer team. The church staff needs to realize that their tech volunteers have jobs outside the ministry and also families. So it helps them with their time management to know everything they have to do/make/convert as soon as possible so they can manage their time wisely.
The bottom line is, Helping Your Tech Team Help You, is simple, if you follow the 3 simple steps. It will keep everyone on the same page and reduce frustration. It will also minimize the problems (distractions) during a service and keep the focus off the tech team, and keep the focus on worshiping God. No Tech team can guarantee, things will work if they do not get the time to test them in advance with their system. I always say if the Tech Team goes unnoticed during the service, things are running smooth.