Some time ago, I read Mike Sessler’s article “Do a Good Job,” and I was reminded that it’s rare for most church tech guys to get what they feel they need in order to perform their jobs as well as they think they should. Mike’s bent is more on the fact that doing well will result in growth and an increase of tools – a biblical model that effective stewardship results in greater trust, reward, and added responsibility. Yet, the current scenario in the local ministry where I serve has found us milking as much as we can out of our gear, pushing for excellence, yet still seeing a reduction of output. Here are my thoughts on the matter…
Mike, I like what you noted on doing your best regardless of the quality of your gear. Honestly, I’ve been fighting for better gear for several years, but we’ve been moving backwards. Our 4 studio-configured Panasonic F-250s (20+ year-old) have all now failed us in an auditorium that seats 1500+ people, and we are now using a single camera in a makeshift HD setup for our overflow, online, and DVD archive, accented with a backup ENG camera in the balcony. Only after the switcher decided to die and we were down a weekend have we gotten a replacement. Our crew has been vocal about fewer volunteer opportunities (down 50% for our cameras) from a time when we really put out a creative video mix to now following the basic action, and it’s tough as a leader to stay positive through budget crunches, holding out for a day that might come.
Church work can be frustrating when we focus on the equipment, but it’s important to keep our eyes on the greater cause – reaching people. When leadership doesn’t seem to “get it” regarding equipment needs, you may honestly be right, BUT, you might not be privy to the other issues that are needing to be handled for the church ministry to survive and flourish as a whole, keeping the funding from landing in your lap.
Shaun Miller recently addressed this same matter in his article for Church Production, “Are You in This for the Long Haul?” It’s not the gear. It’s doing your best – giving your all, regardless of the circumstances, for God’s glory. I see this as excellence with tools you have.
Ministry isn’t always getting the gear you want, but if you’re where God placed you and you’re willing to walk a patient walk others should eventually be willing to take that journey with you in grasping the tools needed to adequately communicate and to reach others.