You’ve heard the famous story of the tortoise and the hare. What an epic race of speed versus slow and steady. In the end, the slow and steady wins the race over the hurry. That story often reminds me of our perspective with tech production, especially in the church world. It’s the idea that the quick and immediate might fill a gap that is needed but usually doesn’t last in the long-run over nurturing, developing, or waiting. There are two areas in particular where I have tried to apply this idea of long-term perspective.
1. Buying Equipment
People often ask my advice on purchasing equipment and usually start with, “I don’t have a big budget. What can I buy that is the best quality, has most features, is built to last, and is easy to use for really cheap?” I usually think in my head, “If I knew that I would be a millionaire.” But what I actually say is, “What’s your budget? How much experience does your team have in using it? What is your room size?” and a few other boundary questions.
What I’ve come to realize is that most people consistently look at the cheapest solution saying, “I’m in a hurry; that’s all I need and really all I can afford.” I’m as guilty as anyone on this; I have venues full of gear because I needed it immediately and for very little cost but often didn’t get long-lasting quality because of it. If I had seen around the corner a little earlier, I could have asked leadership for more money (and been willing to wait for it) and budgeted to get what could actually last much longer.
It takes longer to get the equipment that’s more expensive, but it will often last longer than last-minute equipment to fill a hole. It takes more preplanning to figure out what might be best on down the road and plan for it. In the long run you might have purchased 10 of the same item over a couple of years instead of the one item that costs more but is still working after 5 years.
Think long-term instead of last-minute.
It’s a similar idea when trying to staff your team. You can go out and bring on a few hired guns with amazing skills and background and they might do an excellent job for you. But I’ve often found they are not invested in your church and they more invested in working for your church. That might not be a bad thing, but it can show up in passion and going the extra mile for your church when it’s needed.
If you can take a young eagle and develop them over time – someone who has grown up at the church and calls it there home over time – they develop into a servant who loves what they do and is willing to do whatever it takes. The quick fix hired gun often moves on to something bigger and better as soon as a better offer is on the table, because they are not invested in the church. I get that sometimes we need to fill the gap in an emergency, but have seen over time how they don’t stay long term.
Whether you’re buying equipment or staffing a position, slow and steady always seem to pay off in the long term. Think long-term instead of last-minute.