Getting Your “Non-Tech” Team Up To Speed
Most church tech teams are full of volunteers. That’s no secret. Whether you’re a small church, a large church, or even a mega-church, your Sunday morning tech team is usually filled with volunteers. Since most of those volunteers don’t have the extensive technical background that we as leaders (hopefully) do, it becomes part of our job to educate these amazing people in the ways of the world of tech. The key is to do it in a way that is not completely overwhelming. In other words, we must make the complex as simple as possible.
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." – Albert Einstein
Here are eight ways to get started.
1. Find the Needs
It may seem like a no brainer, but it’s important to clearly map out the needs of your team. Think beyond just what positions need to be filled every Sunday, but also to what the level of knowledge and competency each person in those positions needs to have. Having a tech-team overview is a great way to do this. This can be as simple as a one-page document that lists out each position and what the function of each one is. More in depth manuals for each discipline are a good idea, but at least get started with a straightforward list that will help define the roles for each person on the team.
2. Cast the Vision
While knowledge and competency are important, making sure the team understands the vision or the why is crucial. Having periodic gatherings to fellowship and cast vision with your voluneers is a good idea. Having your boss or overseer there to bless the occasion is a bonus as it shows that your team is a part of the bigger picture. Find ways to keep the vision of Sunday mornings in front of your team. Repeat it even when you don’t want to. Remember that when you’re tired of talking about the vision, your people are just catching it!
3. Give a Tour
Even though most volunteers don’t immediately understand the inner workings of every tech system, a great way to start getting them excited about it is to give them a tour of what is “behind the curtain.” This puts them in the know about the ins and outs of your world of ministry and starts to make them a true part of the tech team. It will also spark great conversation about what your gear does and how it is implemented in your environment.
4. Let Them Be a Guest
When someone wants to join the tech team, their level of knowledge can be all over the map. Some people will have served at other churches and have a good level of competence doing tech while others will be absolute beginners. No mater what the level is, never throw them in the deep end. Even though most will be eager to serve, it is a good practice to have everyone shadow those already doing the job at least for their first Sunday. This will give the new volunteer both knowledge and perspective while also honoring the volunteer who has been serving for awhile by giving them a chance to teach.
5. Individually Train
Whether you personally train new volunteers or allow your experienced team members do it, it is best to train one or two at a time. This will give them hands on experience and let them ask questions as you go. It will also give the trainer time to explore those questions, not just skim over things that will help your new techs do their jobs better.
6. Relationships Are Key
No matter how much you train them or tell them what to do, your volunteers will never fully get it if you do not develop relationships with them as a part of your team. This may take on many forms, but your team must trust and respect you in order for you to lead them well. I have written a lot about this over the years. Make no mistake about it: Tech ministry is a people ministry.
7. Know Your Stuff
You can’t get your team up to speed if you are not up to speed yourself. So don’t forget to refresh your own knowledge of the ministry every once in awhile. As Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six year old, you don’t understand it yourself.”
8. Have Fun
If you’re having fun, then they will have fun. Now I am not saying that you should create a free-for-all environment, but you can make learning and serving in the tech ministry fun. Don’t be a gloomy Gus. Remember, this role is a privilege. We get to do this! Make sure those you serve with know that you’re having fun while you do it.