Monday, March 28, 2011

Crew vs. Community

For most of my TD career I have fostered a "crew mentality" in my tech teams.  We come together to achieve a common goal, usually a worship service or event, and then go home.  I would send emails out throughout the week updating on news of the 'crew' or service details and more than that requests for availability to create the schedule. I would reach to one or two by phone throughout the week and may even send a couple of postcards. The volunteer tech crew was there to serve a task and I worked my best to have them show up and execute at their best.

But then I consider community.  I long to be a part of community and I believe that is what God has wired all of us to be in.  So instead of struggling with recruiting, scheduling and training people to do what would it look like if I help create community for them to ‘be’?

What if we had small groups within our Technical Ministries based around their passion (audio team, lighting team, etc…) or even based on a weekend they serve (audio, lighting, visuals ops that serve on the same team every three weeks.)?  What if we lead those teams to foster community outside what of happens on the weekend services? What if the overflow from these communities of volunteers was to serve in tech?  What if the focus of our job as Technical Directors was to develop and connect people into community? 

Lots of questions….what do you think?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point... crew is task oriented while community is relationship focused. There's a tendency to acquire a disconnect with the "heart of worship" when one works tech long term because of that focus on tasks. Hmm...

March 28, 2011 at 10:18 PM  
Anonymous Nick said...

I go to a large church (4000) and community is a little hard to find. For me, I want to serve as a tech because of my passions/calling, but I desire a community to know me.
Isn't it easier - and more enjoyable - when we can laugh together, pray together, just be together. A lot better than small talk about the weather all the time.

March 29, 2011 at 8:29 AM  
Anonymous Matt said...

I'm a TD as well at a church of where we have roughly 50 volunteers on our tech team. We consistently struggle to find the balance between "crew" and "community." We have mid-week rehearsals that are focused on "crew" but we end up working in some "community." I have coaches (a 2nd tier volunteer) over each area: audio, video, lighting, cameras, etc. The coaches handle scheduling but they also keep in touch with everyone on their team. It helps create some community, but I know we could do more. Just some thoughts...

March 29, 2011 at 9:41 AM  
Blogger Duke DeJong said...

A number of years ago I shifted my entire approach to tech ministry from being crew or task oriented to being community oriented. What I found after shifting is that I didn't have to use the same old recruiting tactics, people started coming to serve with their friend's group. Also people became much more consistent about coming because they weren't simply coming to run a piece of gear, they were coming to connect with their friends and there was a sense of responsibility with that too. They weren't just letting me hang if they didn't show up, they would be letting down their entire team too. Most importantly of all, our teams just seemed to enjoy church, serving and life more in this style of ministry. I saw more growth in them both relationally and spiritually as we became more than just a crew. It made me completely change how I led a tech ministry, but to see people serving well and growing themselves made it worth turning the ship.

March 29, 2011 at 11:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When people start serving in the production ministry, they are attracted to the gear and the idea of doing world class production at church. What keeps them coming back is the relationships they make with people on the team.

At Willow Creek, we try to build enough time into each serving opportunity so that people have a chance to connect as they do the task. It takes some of the time pressures off, creating moments to train as we go, and to enjoy each other along the way.

March 29, 2011 at 12:16 PM  

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