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“So Now What?” - Whitney George’s Closing Keynote at WFX 2014

Instead of focusing on the massive gap between our church and “that giga-church with all the toys,” what if we focused on the smaller, more achievable goals?

By Brian Blackmore
October 18, 2014 3:59 pm EST

Topics: Loose Talk
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Philip Yancey’s book “Disappointment with God” has a perfectly misleading title. At face value, it makes you think he’s headed in one direction when he’s really headed in the other. Yance explains that everyone is going to experience disappointment.

It’s simply a matter of whether you go through your disappointment with God, or without Him. I was reminded of Yancey’s “disappointment” premise during Whitney George’s keynote address that closed out WFX 2014 in Dallas earlier this month. George, who is executive pastor of Tulsa, Okla.’s “Church on the Move” was previously the church’s director of creative arts—so he knows a thing or two about the technical/creative processes of many—dare I say, most, churches.

George took on the subject of disappointment, frustration and burn out head-on in his address. He went to great lengths to suggest that the frustration felt by many church tech and creative staffs is due to a focus on things we cannot control. It’s a natural human tendency. We usually focus on the things we don’t have—enough time, enough money, enough talent, enough volunteers, the right gear, etc., etc. He offered examples from the Bible: Adam and Eve lived in paradise, yet they decided it wasn’t enough and took the snake up on his offer of “more.” In the New Testament, the disciples were disappointed with the fact that Jesus wasn’t going to set up an earthly kingdom—at least the sort of kingdom they had envisioned—even while they had the opportunity to experience Jesus' awesome power first-hand.

In his keynote, George rightly suggests the solution to the TD’s frustration may not specifically be more (fill in the blank). Those are things we probably don’t control. We should instead focus on the things we can control, like getting the most we can out of our current systems, talent, staff, and budget.

Here’s another way to address how we address the situation: Many of us can attend the Willow Creeks, the Saddlebacks and even Church on the Move and come away frustrated and depressed because, “our church can’t do that.” But what if we focused on a smaller goal? What if, instead of focusing on the massive gap between our church and “that giga-church with all the toys,” we focused just on the smaller, more precise, more achievable goal of improving our (you fill in the blank)—just one manageable area upon which to concentrate. Once you’ve made improvements in that area you can move on and close the gap in the next area.

Setting massive, unrealistic goals can be a recipe for frustration. Achieving a series of small, incremental objectives is the ticket to a more satisfying, enjoyable workplace. Editor’s Note: Credit for the “gap” concept goes to Dan Sullivan and his Strategic Coach program, of which the writer is a client.

 


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Yes, we all in the church tech realm have had frustration and even disappointment in how things are going. One I'll bet many don't have is church members who look at cameras in the sanctuary as disruptive or a distraction. or we have to have equipment that is in the words of those in charge adequate- it gets the job done. Volunteers who want to help when they can but don't know the equipment so they get trained on the fly. that's where I am and I get to work with those who are in charge, yet I'm the one who is asked what happened when things go wrong and I may or may not know. that's when I go find out and work with those who can fix the problem.

By Robert Van Veen | October 20, 2014

In my 12 years of experience in the ministry, the tech staff in churches have learned to be very creative with gear and budgets. The biggest challenge that I see happen is that Pastors tend to over spiritualize every thing. Times are getting bad and we as Christians need to think outside of the box and introduce God as fast and to as many people as possible, pastors need to realize that Christ is the main focus regardless on their vision and that Christ is sending people especially with the technical understanding into the church not to change the vision but to sharpen it, get it well defined and I think that's where the tech staff is getting frustrated and burnt out. Both the Pastors and the tech staff want to accomplish the same thing but have different ways of getting their... In my opinion getting things done technically will most of the time be easier and will have the ability greater reach then traditional evangelism.

By Tony G | October 20, 2014

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