[Editor’s note: An earlier edition of this article was originally posted in Technology For Worship Magazine on March 5, 2014. David has updated it for CMM]

This is from the eyes of a non-mega church, with limited funds. Small churches around the world always look up to the mega churches and assume that they have enough money to do whatever they want to do, and that they have the money to just run out and purchase the latest and greatest tech equipment on the market when they need it, without worrying about how much money it takes.

Different, But Not Really

Everyone thinks that the mega church always has top notch, state of the art audio, video, media, lighting and broadcast equipment. Yes the mega church has some great equipment, and a lot of it. But after visiting with some very large churches and getting a tour of their awesome system. I got to sit down and talk with some of them. And I was very surprised at what I learned. I found out it was different then I originally imagined. The mega church has the same problems as the smaller churches, just on a much larger scale.

So in turn the mega church is not that different then the smaller church with little to no tech budget. How is this you ask? It’s because of their large size. Because of their size they need more equipment to support all of their needs. When a mega church needs to replace equipment they have to get more equipment to accomplish what a small church can do with just one piece of equipment.

Still Need

The mega church, yes has more members, and more tithes coming in. So you would think they can purchase whatever they need whenever they need it, without worrying about the money. That is not always the case. The larger the mega church the more tech equipment that is needed to support all their needs and the more money that is needed to run and maintain the entire church and pay all their staff.

For a mega church that meets in a building that seats five thousand plus people, to replace their cameras, they will need 8 or more broadcast quality cameras. The small church that can fit inside of the mega church and they will only need 2 or 3 cameras, and they most likely do not need to be broadcast quality. So the cost of replacement is much less for the smaller church.

Most churches run one computer with their presentation software on it, to show song lyrics and videos. Some mega churches run two computers with their presentation software on it, to show song lyrics and videos. When you are on TV you cannot just depend on one computer doing the job, if one fails the second one takes over, with no interruption. So the mega church has two computers to do what the small church does with just one computer.

Stewardship No Matter the Size

These are just a couple of examples to show you. Yes the mega church is larger and has great equipment, and they have more money. So no matter if you’re a mega church or a small community church, we all have the same problems just on different levels.

Every church should be good stewards of God’s money. Do your research; purchasing the cheapest equipment on the market is not always the answer, if you have to replace it in a year. Being a good steward could mean you have to wait and make do with what you have until the funds come in to purchase better quality equipment.

If you have a mega church around you, get with them. Take a tour and get to know them.
You might be able to obtain some equipment from them at a low price, or they might even donate it to you. If nothing else you can pass information to one another and even learn from each other.

So the next time you think about not having the money to do something you are not alone. Even the mega churches have money problems.

David Jordan

Author: David Jordan

David Jordan is a father of two and full time firefighter & part time fireworks technician. David was the tech/media director at Calvary Assembly of God in Kissimmee, Fl. for 26 years. He is currently a volunteer tech at Faith Assembly, Orlando. David Jordan is founder of (CSMT) Church Sound & Media Tech’s Facebook group (link above), which he created as solicitation free learning tool advice column for church techs from around the world. He has been involved in church sound/media for over 36 years. He enjoys teaching & helping others to better their tech ministry.

One Response

  1. Bryan Ruhf

    Dave: Concur. The mental image I’ve had is small church, small boat; large church, large boat. Both take people to run and people to maintain. I could wash out my grandmother’s row boat in 20 minutes. Not the same for a 57′ sailboat. Many consider my main church a mega church. Last year they had to have a contractor come in for weeks to de-grout every external joint and then reseal all of the external brick because 14 years after construction, it was leaking all over the place. Next is carpet.

    This spring we did a speaker upgrade that was two years in the making. We sent an inventory of components expected to be available through a network of local churches. It was a delight to know our gear would continue to be used in ministry.

    You were also spot on about needing more computer resources. Last weekend, the EP computer was crashing during the service. It had been rock solid for the past year. The recent upgrade to the FOH system no longer properly processes scene changes. The TD was hoping to ease into camera upgrades only to find that older technology at the core of the system won’t sync lock with the new stuff.

    The Churches of Greater Lansing (CoGL) have a network. It is a working model of the body of Christ seeking to serve the lost. The walls are gone. The labels are gone. On 4/26, the network will be gathering for a joint praise session at an area high school auditorium.

    So partner up. Rally the troops, small or big, to the cross. Our war isn’t with the body up or down the street but with Satan.

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