Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm getting back to blogging and have moved to

Thursday, April 7, 2011

TechArts Staffing Structure….part 2, what it’s really all about

In the previous post I said that having technical directors serving in the traditional job description (jack- of- all- trades) was spreading each of my staff very thin. We were handling many responsibilities that seemed to keep us tied up in systems and tasks leaving very little room to really invest in our people. We found very little time to do quality training or even do some quality one on one time with volunteers. I knew I had to change that. I also came to the realization that we had to do much more than make some time to talk to volunteers. It all may sound very familiar to you if you do technical ministry.

But I wasn’t about to let us continue to keep going like we were. Not only were we devaluing our volunteers but the frustration level and exhaustion we had amongst the tech staff because of it was not healthy. Change had to happen. God was challenging me and I was developing and processing my thoughts. Conversations with my staff moved those thoughts along. And conversations with good friend Anthony Coppedge helped connect some dots. Bottom line, it was really all about people.

That process has brought me, and I’m it will continue to stretch me, to developing two staff teams. One team, we call them specialists, are the true techies. They will be designing, installing maintaining our technical systems across all campuses. They will also be training volunteers across all campuses and maintaining that standard.

The other team, we call them leaders, are ‘people monsters’. They will be leading and developing communities of volunteers serving on their campus. The leaders will have tech knowledge and know their systems and how to operate it but system maintenance and training is not their main focus. Outside of executing details for the weekend services and other classes/events they will be pouring into volunteers. Again, it’s really all about people.

In the next post in this series we will take a closer look at the structure that we are currently evolving into.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Mr Miyagi was wrong

If you know me well you know that I am a huge Karate Kid fan. I love the movie actually, I'm into the whole series of movies. And yes, I did like the new Karate Kid movie with Jackie Chan and Jaden Smith. Anyway, there are some good life lessons in the original Karate Kid movie. Wisdom from the old mentor Mr. Miyagi is worth considering and I have had one quote stick with me.

You remember the scene where Mr. Miyagi reminds Daniel about balance in life?

I use to think balance in life was key. I have to balance family and work and ministry and take care of myself. And all of those areas have areas that have to be balanced. It is difficult and many times a number of those areas would topple over because I could not balance any of them properly. But in my head balance in life is key. I had to make sure ‘all the plates kept spinning’ in order to accomplish what needed to happen.

Then it happened. I realized Mr. Miyagi was wrong. Balance in life is a myth.

I was in a great conversation a few weeks ago with a friend that opened my eyes to this. Looking at everything I am responsible for as a husband, father, technical director, let alone just my person. I would never be able to find balance. Balance by definition is equal distribution of amount to each area. No wonder I never felt like I was ‘winning’.

I had a lot of things I was consistently juggling but was trying to believe I was balancing them. Trying to both balance and juggle made me fail at both. Once I realized that I should have been juggling, I found freedom. I had to focus time where needed and constantly shift priorities to let that happen.

Juggling by definition is keep (two or more objects) in the air at one time by alternately tossing and catching them. Juggling is simply the manipulation of time and space to create the necessary patterns during a routine, or anything else in life for that matter.

Around The Crossing we call that ‘ebb and flow’, shifting our time and priorities around seasons of our ministry calendar and personal life. To be successful at this you have to have a good grip on your calendar and know what the day and week have ahead of you hold, and focus on one day at a time while you constantly reshuffle and reprioritize. You have to make sure that your ability to set boundaries is also up to par.

That may mean, in the tech world, if we have a long week of installing a system or have an event or seasonal worship experience coming up, we may have to drop some other responsibilities at work and even spend some long hours away from home to accomplish the goal. But then after that goal has been met, you must shift and reprioritize so you spend some extra time at home with the family and taking time to rest up the week after.

This is a biblical concept. Going all the way back to Genesis where on the seventh day God rested. He refocused his priorities. Consider Jesus, you see him pull himself away from people and ministry to grab time by himself…shifting his time and refocusing his priorities.

This whole juggling concept is freeing but you must figure out what your priorities are. For me it should look like this: God, wife, children, work and ministry. It is much more about spending quality time than the quantity of time. This forces you to be more disciplined and intentional about the time focused on each.

I would love to hear how you are putting this into practice in your life….or are you just realizing that Mr Miyagi was wrong too?

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Friday, April 1, 2011

TechArts Staffing Structure….part 1, I guess

God is doing some amazing things around The Crossing. That doesn’t surprise me at all. What does is that fact that He allows me to be a part of it. I got to join The Crossing as their first Technical Arts Director in July of 2007. There were four weekend services on one campus. Today, we have eleven weekend services in three venues on two campuses. And we are working toward opening our third campus in the Fall of this year. And have some crazy plans for the future that haven’t even been talked about just to keep up with the growth God is allowing around here. And, that is just the weekends….weekdays and evenings can be just as crazy. And…well, you get the picture.

We definitely see the need to continue to stretch and grow a tech arts team ( and staff to keep up with the vision of this place. After all, we hear it often from our senior leadership : we are technologically liberal while being biblically centered. Technology is a tool that we will use to the fullest. Its one of our core values : we, the church, should be culturally relevant and relationally authentic while remaining doctrinally pure.

As our ‘tool belt’ fills up the need for people to wear that belt increases also. My heart and passion will never allow us to fill all the technical positions executing weekend services up with paid staff or contractors. Two reasons – we could never afford it and the more important reason – I never wanna rob someone of an opportunity to serve the way God has wired them.

So in the first three paragraphs you have learned that our growth continues as we utilize technology to communicate the Gospel and we love to do life, as messy as it is, with people that want to give back to God by sharing their passions and gifts with others in a very unique way. We deeply value people and technology and because of the culture we serve in I found that having technical directors serving in the traditional job description (jack- of- all- trades) was spreading each of my staff very thin. It was causing frustration in some areas as well as leaving little to no margin for ministry.

This was all suppose to be one post focused on the actual structure but I set out on a tangent. So I will continue a series of posts over the next week or so discussing our situations, needs and vision behind the structure change.

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