No I in Team!
Over the years I've noticed an interesting tendency among techs: most of us prefer to work alone. I have met so many techs that fit the "techie" stereotype of being quiet, awkward and hard to work with. And many tech leaders have a worse reputation for being controlling, uncooperative and trying too hard to get people to follow their leadership. This seems to be especially true in smaller churches, which means the tech team often ends up being one or two people serving every week, often on the edge (or way past the edge) of burnout.
We Need Each Other
Here's a simple truth that we techs (and especially tech leaders) need to be reminded of often: We need each other. In the world of professional sports, no successful athlete goes it alone. Even in individual sports such as tennis, golf or swimming, no athlete competes without coaches and training partners. We need people to help us see what we don't see in ourselves, and people who will nudge us towards better versions of who we can become. We need people who will stand with us as we fight the good fight. We need people who want to be in community with us, not simply do something similar nearby. The Bible says it like this: "As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens another friend." (Proverbs 27:17)
Be a Team
The "Tech Team" is a moniker I don't really like, but nevertheless it clearly communicates the fact that those who serve with technology should in fact be a team. Too many of us go at it alone, because it's either too uncomfortable to interact with others, or, as is more often the case, we're unwilling to give up control. And it's wrong. By not connecting with and involving other people, you're holding back people God has called to the same ministry you have been called to. You're also holding yourself back, because you'll be stretched too thin and may be missing the work that God has truly called you to do.
Don't Fall Into Traps
I know these things to be true, because early on as a Technical Director I fell into many of these traps. I felt usually it was easier to do it myself than it was to empower someone else to do it. I often believed that in order to maintain a certain level of quality, I couldn't let others do it. I was exhausted, overworked and often felt alone in my ministry. And much of it was my fault. Focusing on ourselves and our own work will get us nowhere fast. It is not and never will be about me or what I do, but about who we are together.
"What's the difference between people who stick in church and those who don't? Friendships and prayer." -Pastor Mark Driscoll.
It All Comes Down to Community
We need each other in order to grow and learn in our craft. We need each other to help shoulder the load and spur one another on when times are tough. We need each other in order to grow and learn about ourselves, our friends and family, and our God. We need to get the focus off of what we do and onto who we are and who we are collectively. I often teach classes about building great technical teams, and the quote by Pastor Mark Driscoll echoes my key point. General recruiting rarely works, and plugging people into tasks doesn't create a committed team member. It all comes down to community.
A Challenge for You
If you're tired of fighting the good fight alone, can I challenge you to take a good look at how you serve and begin intentionally making room for other people in your world? If you're leading a tech team and having a hard time building and keeping team members, can I challenge you to change your focus to building strong communities of people who serve instead of trying to recruit to cover tasks? Can I challenge all of us to remember that it's not about us, it's about the One we serve and those He's given us to serve with? After all, there is no "I" in team.
Church Relations Director
Duke has over 14 years of experience as a technical artist, trainer and collaborator for ministries. Duke travels around the country for CCI Solutions and is available to help your ministry. Join Duke on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccisolutions