[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.
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.