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Called to Put Family First
We read blogs and listen to podcasts about how we can grow in our technical or leadership skill. But how often do we put that same amount of effort into growing as a parent or spouse?
Mirror, Manager or Leader?
Leaders understand that a team of one is a team of none, which means you must believe in multiple people to accomplish your task.
BackTalk: A Barometer for How Well You’re Leading Your Team
Typically, technical team members are behind-the- scenes people. They may naturally want to stay in the background, pushing faders or turning knobs. But part of your job is to bring them out of their shells, into life, where there is greater connection and purpose.
Keeping Balance in Your Family and Church Life
Is your family getting neglected because of your work at the church? Or have you been loving your spouse as Christ loves the church?
Visioncasting for Techies
Vision casting is critically important if you want to keep your staff motivated and moving forward in the right direction.
Forget doldrums, summer is time for growth!
What if Timothy was a techie? The apostle Paul had a list of things him to do. What is God saying to you today? In what area is He leading you to grow?
Attitude Changes Everything
Those serving in ministry can often feel unappreciated. But if we allow hurt and bitterness to take root, it becomes almost impossible to see circumstances in a healthy way.
Fruit of the Spirit: Developing Self-Control
Techies are passionate. That's why we take it personally when something goes wrong. Soon our circumstances are dictating our mood and our attitude. Here's what Proverbs 25 has to say on the subject.
Riding The Tides of Tech Ministry
Life in tech ministry is much like swimming in the ocean. If you try to fight again the natural ebb and flow of your church calendar it can end up spitting you out angry and disillusioned.
BackTalk: Do I Really Have to Give Thanks?
I’ve had great wins, some brutal defeats, the occasional bouts of loneliness, apprehension, sacrifices … all of it has been vital to who I am as a man and who I have become in Christ.
BackTalk: The Secret Life of Tech Directors
When we think of superheroes in the church we often think of the pastor or the worship leader with their cool tattoos. Certainly not the tech director.
The dictionary defines patience as: The capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. Ephesians 4 takes it a step further.
BackTalk: Don’t Delegate the Spiritual
Am I regularly seeking God’s presence and supernatural provision, or am I content to rely on my own understanding and talent? As a tech team manager, it’s up to me to model an example of reverence and humility for my team.
The Cancer of Complaining
Instead of keeping a record of complaints, what if we started keeping a record of the things that we are grateful for?
What is the Thorn in Your Flesh?
Managing volunteers, long hours, last minute requests, outdated equipment…all can be thorns in our sides. Are we responding like Paul?
Not Sure You Fit? Think Lego Church.
God is fitting us together, just like those iconic bricks. From the brick's (and the church tech's) perspective, however, it might not seem like we are all part of the design.
BackTalk: Life’s Seasons
Each season has its own rhyme or reason, and each one is valuable in bringing about God’s plan. Young, old, or somewhere in-between, each of us is relevant and vital.
Idolatry. Greed. Murder… Busyness?
When we stay busy, our discernment starts to slip. Satan is just as happy with burnout as he is adultery.
How to be Confident in a Crisis
For the first twenty years, my life was smooth sailing. Then in my twenties the unexpected happened.
Using the New Year to Grow Your Team
There are two kinds of growth: deep and wide. As you grow the width of your team (sheer numbers), make sure you are also helping them to grow in depth.
Exodus 31: When Art Challenges Technology
What drives the creative process? Is it the limitations of the technology, the artistic expression or something else?
BackTalk: Strategies for Equipping Leaders
Good with gear; not so good with people. Sound familiar? One of the best ways we can build tech team members in our ministry is by encouraging them and letting them know we believe in them. Here’s how.
Staying Focused on Christ in the Holiday
For church techs, “The most wonderful time of the year” can easily turn into the most demanding and stress-filled time of the year.
From “I Have to…” to “I Get to…”
As production directors, we are naturally cynics. If you’re honest with yourself, you’ll know this to be true. Unfortunately, this can taint our outlook on our jobs...and more.
Revival on the Tech Team?
Every tech person is pursuing great sound, video and lights, but are we pursuing the face of God? James 5 tells us a righteous person's prayer can produce great things. Even if you aren't on stage your prayers can do great things for the Kingdom of God.
Owning Up to Your Mistakes
We all make mistakes, but for some reason we tend to make excuses or pass the blame onto something or someone else. When we take ownership of problems and mistakes it actually causes people to trust us more.
Leading by Serving
How would your situation be different if your only responsibility on Sunday morning was to serve your team?
BackTalk: Are you feeling overwhelmed, under-qualified, or just plain stuck?
Be encouraged: the people, the knowledge, the resources are out there to take you to the next level.
A Lesson on Trusting God’s Timing
If God is able to create our skills and our desire for service, surely we can trust His timing.
What is Excellence?
Chronic inconsistency is a product of our busy, complicated world. It's not the lack of great results but the inability to repeatedly provide those results. Excellence, therefore, is found in religious consistency.
BackTalk: People vs. The Product
No longer is church production about the gear, the process or the presentation excellence. We need to feed sheep.
Interfacing With Your Leadership
Obey and submit. These are words we naturally kick against. So as a tech leader, how do we learn to submit to church leadership's discretion?
Top 5 Traits of an Equipping Leader
Your primary function is not to merely use the skills God has given you, but to use those abilities to equip others. This is contrary to how many of us operate. We want to do all the work.
Becoming a Patient Tech Director
What do we do when we're asked to improve the technical ministry, but we can't change the budget; to grow the team, but we can't change the serving culture; to increase the excellence, but we can't change anything on the worship team?
BackTalk: The Church Tech Ministry Lifecycle
The job you perform is just a temporary one. It should be viewed as just a stage in the growing process that God has designed for you.
Making Your Tech Team a Community
You have been entrusted with leading some of the brightest and smartest minds in your whole church, although they may also be some of the more introverted and socially awkward as well. What can you do to help them to grow in their relationship with Christ?
Finding Strength and Joy in Ministry
Many of us start seeking God only when things get hard. We're looking for the vending machine effect. That's not how this works.
Tech Ministry: The Importance of Prayer
Matthew 21:13 says, "'My Temple will be called a house of prayer,' but you have turned it into a den of thieves!" Did you catch that? He didn't say his house would be a house of moving lights and slick videos.
Do You Have Mad Skills?
Where do your skill come from --- trade school, a degree program, the school of hard knocks? Certainly those experiences helped, but that's only partially right.
Serving When You Don’t Feel Like It
Ministry is hard. Being a tech director is hard. Combine the two and you have a situation many people cannot really relate to.
BackTalk: When the Path Changes
A veteran tech director is called to resign and start a new church. His words of wisdom on whatever God may call you toward: "Count on the fact that it will take faith to leave your comfort [zone]…. "
A Church Tech’s Guide to Self-Care: Part 3
Realistic Expectations: Church techs can struggle with anxiety and burnout more than others who serve in the local church. How can we prevent that? Start with healthy boundaries.
A Church Tech’s Guide to Self-Care: Part 2
Why is self-care important? We need to be equipped and ready when we are called on to help carry the burdens of others.
A Church Tech’s Guide to Self-Care: Part 1
Self-care is important because when we get “squeezed” whatever is on the inside comes out.
BackTalk: Forgiving the Artist
I’m learning to allow my internal artist the freedom to create, to learn, and to fail, without allowing my internal engineer to pronounce judgment.
What Makes a Great Tech Director?
Even if you were hired by people that don't fully understand what it takes to be a great tech director, you can still grow into the best one you can be.
The Clarity and Confidence to Lead
As technical artists, what can we do to have clarity and confidence in our day-to-day work?
Top 5 Ways to Retain Volunteers
Volunteers need know that you care about them and not just about the skills they bring to the table.
BackTalk: Awkward Moments (What Church Techs Do to Make Guests Feel Unwelcome)
Panic mode will scare your guests if they spot it. This and other snafus to overcome—and keep your visitors coming back.
Are You Growing Weary?
“Why do I do what I do?” It’s a scary question. We may be doing it simply for the thrill and excitement that technical production offers.
Sarcasm as a Spiritual Gift
The old adage "sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me" couldn't be further from the truth.
BackTalk: When Stress Feels Mighty
This time of year is supposed to be about Christ’s birth and a whole host of other warm things—cheer, joy, gifts, family—right? What about when it isn’t? Look to Jesus.
Church Tech: Frying Your Soul at Christmas?
When Christmas is over, will you still be in the race or will you and your team have fried your souls in the pursuit of a Christmas program?
It's tempting to celebrate Thanksgiving one day and complain about our jobs and the Holiday workload the next. Resist the urge.
Holiday Busyness: A Badge of Honor?
If I’m honest, sometimes I’m scared of being quiet. My busyness is a crutch.
Faith Lessons for Tech Directors
Faith means believing in what we are told from God and acting accordingly, rather than what makes the most sense to us.
The Biblical Case for a Fog Machine
Is that camera really necessary? Why do we need those lights? Sometimes those questions can be ill-intended, but they're often fair and justified.
Lessons from The Parable of the Lost Coin
I am sure that you have had moments when everything seems like it is falling apart. He may just be waiting for us to stop worrying and just give it to Him in prayer.
Top 5 Strategies For Connecting Your Teams
Both tech and worship teams are essential, but they don't always get along. Let's bring a few of the tensions out into the open.
BackTalk: After the Disaster
Don’t let failure be the first serious conversation you have with your church leadership.
The Virtue of Saying, “No.”
That terrible two-letter word has the power to tear me apart inside whenever I have to use it.
The Value of the Church Tech
I don’t allow anyone on my volunteer team to ever say, “I am only.” I am only a camera person, or I only put up the song lyrics. Every one of us plays a role in reaching our community and beyond. They are here for such a time as this.
Leadership Principles from Ezra 8
Ezra was no less human than the rest of us. He was anxious and afraid. Sound familiar?
Rebooting Your Teams
In our pursuit of excellence, I sometimes thinks we've forgotten the human element.
What Do You Do…and Why?
I twist knobs for a living. How about you? Is it fun and challenging...or is there a deeper meaning?
The Value of Volunteers: A Leadership Lesson from a Broken Phone
How do we respond to failure?
Solutions for the Anxious Tech Director
Four steps to “restore, confirm and strengthen” you.
Using Your After-Easter Downtime
I have found that downtime doesn't really happen unless you make it happen. You still have plenty of things to occupy your time over the next several months, but here are a few ideas for that post-Easter lull.
Getting Buy-In From Senior Leadership
The more you can bring the subject back to the real reason your ministry exists the more likely you will get the buy-in that you need.
Four Ways to Combat Burnout
Most of us struggle with burnout or anxiety. Let's not focus on the reasons. Instead, focus on where to look and what to do when it comes.
A New Commandment to Technical Artists
When things get intense, how are you responding to those around you?
Who is Greatest Among You?
As a technical director, it's easy to think we're pretty important. We wield a great deal of power and responsibility to make the service successful or an embarrassment.
What to Do When You’ve Had Enough
I wanted out. No one would have ever known what was going on inside me because I didn't express it outwardly. Like many techies, I rarely do.
The Problem With Focusing On The Possible
Feeling frustrated, irritated, overwhelmed? When something seems impossible, or I’m feeling ill-equipped, or when the facts of the reality seem overwhelming, what does Jesus say? Bring them here to me.
Does Your Faith Need a Boost?
I think working in the church sometimes holds us from stepping out on faith. We take God for granted.
A New Understanding of Matthew Chapter 8
If God would have removed my burden early on, my faith would be much simpler than it is now, and there would be so much less glory for Him.
Respect: Is It the Missing Link on Your Team?
Whatever is your job...mixing, directing, preaching, we are all different parts of the same body. But do we even act like we’re on the same team?
4 Steps to Maintaining Your Sanity
..when asked to do the impossible.
Surviving a Technological Nightmare
This is the kind of thing that wakes a sound guy up in the middle of the night with cold sweats.
Do Your Best, Trust God
“Pray like it’s all up to God; work like it’s all up to you.” We live in this tension every day. It’s probably why we love it so much.
Leave Your Ego at the Door
It's good to have a healthy, honest opinion of yourself. The problem occurs when you deny your shortcomings, your failings, and you view yourself as better than others.
BackTalk: Creating Systematic Encouragement
How are you creating “Organized Encouragement” on and in your programming and production teams?
Remembering Why We Do What We Do
If you're treating it just like any other job, then you're almost guaranteed to burn out.
BackTalk: Only Do What Only You Can Do
Too much on your plate? Let go, delegate and release.
Top 5 Lessons from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit - Lesson 5: Building the Next Generation
I went into this year’s Summit thinking I could learn to be a leader. I left knowing I already am one.
Top 5 Lessons from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit - Lesson 4: Failure is an Option
Fear of failure caused me to remain stagnant in my personal life, career, and ministry. I have since learned that failure truly is an option. We can either embrace and learn from it, or we can let the fear of it consume us.
Top 5 Lessons from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit - Lesson 3: Multiplying or Diminishing
The difference between interacting as a multiplier or a diminisher can greatly affect our relationships. Are you building up those around you, or holding them back?
Top 5 Lessons from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit - Lesson 2: Wrestling With Pride
Whose kingdom are you building: your own or God’s?
Mistakes Small Churches Make: “We’re Too Small”
Don’t get stuck doubting your creativity or abilities. Know what your strengths are and play to them.
Top 5 Lessons from the Willow Creek Leadership Summit - Lesson 1: Courageous Leadership
For years, I thought leadership only applied to CEOs and Senior Pastors - never did it trickle down to myself as the production guy.
Top Five Essentials for Church TD’s
The benefit of these five essential items is that they’re attainable. They can be collected without any type of budget, planning meeting, or approval.
Dealing With Envy
For much of my professional church tech career, I’ve wanted to move up to a larger, more “successful” church, thinking that would finally free me up to do what I’m called to do.
Confessions of a Production Polygamist: Five Steps for Saving Your Marriage
Can you have a healthy passion for production without it ruining your other relationships? I believe the answer is yes. Here are a few thoughts to help balance your two marriages.
How to Become A Better Delegator
Technical directors have a tendency to guard their own turf. We can easily become territorial about our equipment or responsibilities, but creating a highly functional team requires the exact opposite: team building, knowledge sharing and delegation.
Mistakes Small Churches Make: Limiting Volunteers
Volunteers should be challenged to learn more. Yes, they need to know their limits, but they need to be inspired to expand their skills.
Top Five Ways to a Balanced Home Life and Production Life
“Can you have a healthy passion for production without it ruining your other relationships?” I believe the answer is yes. Here are a few thoughts to help balance your two marriages.
Introverts and Leadership
My guess is that many of you would much rather spend your days in a quiet, empty tech booth wiring, programming, mixing or editing, than surrounded by a large group of people. One of the biggest challenges technical leaders face is that most of us are introverts in culture that favors extroverts.
The Problem with Playing to Your Strengths
Playing to your strengths means you like doing what you are good at doing and therefore, you keep doing it. If you are a technical director and you play to your strengths, you're going to be in trouble.
Ministering to Your Team: A Tech Director’s Guide
Your team's work is ministering to the needs of the pastor, worship team and congregation. As the leader of a production team, you must also minister to your team members.
The Perfect Weekend = Normal
From a tech perspective, the ideal weekend is when every lighting cue is on time, every piece of equipment works flawlessly all weekend. To everyone else, that is what’s supposed to happen every weekend. That’s supposed to be normal, not the ideal.
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