Many members (people) make up the church. Paul, the apostle, wrote about the community of believers using the analogy of a body. Everyone performing a different and necessary part. In a general sense, everyone in the church has something to contribute and should do so. This is one of the reasons I mused about whether “volunteer” was a healthy word for the church and its members. It takes different teams or people playing their parts to enable the mission of the church. Some functions happen independent of others, while others are like the central nervous system.
By that I mean, they serve everybody. Their function enables every other department or ministry. From communications to tech support and more. Church tech crews are often pulled in many directions. In a church environment, especially for those working full time, everything seems important. And, not only that as urgent. This can make prioritizing not only challenging but cause frustration.
When your team’s functions are that broad workload and requests can be overwhelming. Managing workload while serving the whole church is something every church tech team needs to manage well.
Sunday Is Coming
And, I’d like to believe that you know your team’s contribution to making Sunday happen. For instance, you know that lyrics, sermon aides, and other visuals need to ready. Church news or announcements and bulletins are always a thing, right?
Based on your calendar and church life, you know what’s coming. At some point, you should have a clear idea of what it takes to make Sunday happen and your team’s contribution. You should have a reasonable idea, for example, how long it takes to edit a forty-minute sermon. What is required of every (church tech) team must never be a mystery. (Neither should what any team is about, for that matter.)
You know that conference or event is coming; there’s a concept that will need develop. There are stage designs, promos and a comms plans to create. I go on, but I’m sure you get the idea.
Predictability is your friend. Knowing what is coming can help you prepare better. So, time to block out your diary/calendar during the week for the weekly stuff. Remember to create space for creative non-routine projects.
Systems and Process
Because you serve the church in a wide sense, everybody wants a chunk of your time and resources. There’s always that ministry or department leader who thinks it’s as easy as, “Quickly putting something together…”
The children’s minister asks your video guy to do something. That in itself might not be a problem. On the other hand, it could be when you, as the leader, had other ideas for what was urgent and important. Frustration with many church tech teams is often a result of a lack of systems.
Creating a way for people to submit requests with the relevant briefs is important. Be clear about lead times and what you can and cannot do upfront.
When you think something is going to take you longer than initially planned, let people involved know. Disappointment and relationship strain often results from a lack of constant and timely communication. No one loves the wrong kind of surprises. You know the ones you find out when there isn’t time to work a plan B if needed? Those are the ones I mean.
Again, when it comes to communication, make use of the wider church team/staff meetings. Share what you/your team are working on so that everyone has an idea of what’s on your plate. It might help the rest of the team plan ahead and address the last-minute issues.