The Heart of Technical Excellence

Over the last 40+ years I have had the privilege of interacting with thousands of music pastors, senior pastors, technical staff and volunteers. The conversation often ends up focusing on the relationship between the tech team and the music pastor. Some describe an enriching ministry environment where the team sees eye-to-eye and everyone seems to get along wonderfully. Others describe a strained relationship, with a surprising number of people relating stories of being treated worse than we might expect to find anywhere but in a church. Grace and mercy are sometimes foreign concepts.

In visiting with individuals enduring those awkward situations, I sometimes notice a severe lack of understanding on both sides of the conversation. Clearly the pastoral staff in a great many churches simply doesn’t understand the role of their tech support team, especially what it is they do to pull off every worship service with technical excellence. And it’s likely that the tech team doesn’t fully appreciate the stress that the pastoral staff undergoes in leading their congregation.

For example, to many pastors, asking their sound person to add another mic for a last minute guest seems like a simple request. It is. What that pastor may not realize is that before he even finishes his sentence, the sound person has thought through seventeen different things that will be affected by this decision. It’s a good thing that church tech support types have personalities that thrive on details, because that’s virtually a requirement. And what the tech guy may have trouble remembering is that a lot of pastors, particularly senior pastors, are bottom line thinkers. They’re interested in the finished results, not what it takes to get there. That’s one reason why so many pastors start to glaze over when a tech starts whining, ‘er, offering up their explanation of the task. The better answer for the tech is to simply say “Yes sir, I’ll take care of that right away.”

Nearly every week, I hear from a music pastor who is struggling in their relationship with their tech support team. Nearly every month I hear from another tech volunteer who is at the end of their emotional rope and is ready to leave the ministry. Some walk away from church completely, and stay away for years. There has to be a better way, and I’m convinced that it starts with understanding one another.

This book is written from the heart of a technical support team leader to the music pastor in every church. Having invested a major portion of my life and career working on the production staff of churches and consulting with churches as well, I find myself with a burden to share some insights that you might not have been aware of. Some of what you’re about to read is exactly what your technicians have been wanting to tell you for years, but didn’t know how to say it.

Chapters include ...

    Just What Do You Do, Anyway!?!
    Who Does What?
    Excellence or Perfection?
    How Much Time Does All This Take?
    How Do We Get There?
    A Day in the Life of a Technical Director
    Systems to Have in Place
    Quiz for New Tech Support Ministry Volunteers
    More Forms for the Fight
    Backstage Opportunities
    Helpful Information
    Bonus Chapter

My fervent hope is that these insights, comments and ideas will serve to strengthen the bond and the communication link between the technical support team and the music pastor, senior pastor, church administrator, and pastoral staff in your church. Enjoy the journey!

eBook Edition: $3.99 (available at Amazon)

Paperback: Not currently available.