Equipping You to Communicate Effectively
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This is kind-of an open question.
I have been the media director at my church for a number of years. I have been at the church for nearly 11 years, I over see all aspects of media, and I am included in the staff meetings, which I take as being part of the staff. I went to the University of Sound Arts and interned at TV stations while I went to school for this line of work.
When I started, we had a 16 channel mixer with speakers-on-a-stick. Today was are about to out grow our Allen and Heath 32 channel mixer, plus we have a website, print and production and a three camera video production facility. (the short list)
Over the years we have grown to run now between 250 to the high 300's on Sundays.
So here is my question. Actually two part.
1. Should the church offer me some sort of compensation for what I do, as a Staff Member/Department Head? I am a full time volunteer (30+ Hours)(++++) per week. My wife is an RN and supports us, and me in the Media Ministry.
2. We are continually at odds about sound. I have untrained leaders telling me I am wrong about how acoustics, sound, and equipment work. (With all due respect to my bosses, they don't have a clue) HELP!
To make things worse, I have been blessed with the ability to remember nearly everything, an accomplished keyboard, brass, and am okay on drums. AND, I have the gift of Discernment.
So I am open to suggestions, the latter more so that the former.
Greetings, brother. I will attempt to offer some hopefully useful feedback.
Do I usually put in that amount of time? Actually, yes. We constantly train and practice leadership skills based on Biblical principles. I have team leaders who do much of the week-to-week leg work on their teams. They empower team members for tasks, such as scheduling, etc. Think the Jethro Principle (Moses' father-in-law, in Exodus 18:17-23.)
Does my leadership value me? You bet, and they demonstrate it in more ways than I can count. Can they offer me a full-time position? They would like to, but other priorities come first. If God wants that to happen, He will pave the way.
But Godly leadership has given me something much more priceless than a paycheck. They have taught me how to lead people - how to invest in them, grow them, engage them, encourage and support them - and as a result, they all put their shoulder to the wheel with me.
Doing this God's way has brought more than we could dream or think or ask for!
 Based on your brief description, this sounds like a communication issue and perhaps an authority/responsibility chain issue.
Communications first - how are your relationships with those who are coming to you with complaints and requests for changes? Is there some other dynamic that is perhaps the "real" reason they are challenging you - some elephant in the middle of the room, so to speak?
Now, authority/responsibility. Do the complainers have authority over your position? For example,we have a multi-layered pastoral staff. But they do not have, and do not attempt to exercise authority over me. I report to the Creative Arts Minister, then the Executive Pastor, then the Senior Pastor. Period. Outside of that line of authority, no one attempts to direct or correct me.
Is there a clear chain of command for you? Are you given the authority that goes with the responsibility? If those two are separated, then the situation is fundamentally unhealthy.
I am, of course, sometimes offered feedback. Sometimes someone will tell me, for example, "it seemed louder today during worship." I thank them for their feedback, and I let my sound team leader know. That team leader already knows I require us to take regular readings on a monthly basis of sound pressure levels during worship. We keep that info in a notebook in the FOH booth. We even track the drummer and bassist, in the event we start to see patterns. That way I can separate the subjective from the objective. We maintain a standard of excellence that honors God. As a result, by and large, peace reigns in His House.
Because these areas of authority and responsibility are clearly defined, we flourish. If someone steps outside the boundaries, I lovingly direct them to those in authority over me with Paul's words in my mind (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13). I have no fear of that; my leadership demonstrates their trust and confidence in me. If I did not have their confidence, I would seek God's guidance and if need be, remove myself from the position. It would be better for me and them!
I am not suggesting you remove yourself, mind you. Just giving some feedback for consideration and discussion.
Last edited by osborn4; Wednesday, May 25th, 2011 at 10:14 AM. Reason: formatting
Thank you brother. That is very helpful. Yes, I love to serve and I am certainly not in the for the money, nor am I in it for a reward, here or in Heaven! This stuff is my passion.
I think my post was a little out of frustration, but God in His interesting way of doing things, is working so I and my team can glorify Him. I am sorry for the tone of my post.
Funny, the pastors called me in for a meeting with me yesterday to cover this very thing. And yes, there was an elephant unseen to me. We started working on that. My eyes have been opened! Praise God! It was a good meeting. I was asked how they could help me do the job that I am called to do. We agreed on training, both for the A/V stuff, but moreover, Spiritual Training.
Our conference have what they call, Church Level Credentials. Kind-of Intro to Pastoring. I thought it would help everyone if the team leaders attend this class. In this way, the leaders would be closer to the Lord, understand where the Pastor comes from and help all of us with our commitment to the Lord and our jobs within the church.
The Notebook: Great idea! I will show you post to the pastors. Since our FOH and Video production are separate, we may need one for each.
Thank you again for all of the good advise. I need to spend time absorbing what you suggested. If you think of something else, feel free to email me.
"Official Player-With-Toys" THAT'S AWESOME!
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osborn4 (Wednesday, May 25th, 2011)
Great news! It's amazing what a little communication can do.
Milton SDB Church
"...if we are to glorify God fully, we must engage our mind in knowing him truly and our hearts in loving him duly." - John Piper, Think
That is terrific news! I really do believe everything lives and dies or leadership. My foundation for that mindset is Biblical, with Jesus as the ultimate example of a Godly leader.
I am glad things are on the road to reconciliation and resolution. Others around you will see this and be drawn to examples that glorify God.
Training is essential too. It is never too soon to raise up leaders. It is never too soon to build teams and support structure with those leaders.
I am working towards a goal where every AVL team member serves one week out of three at most. Am I there yet? No. I make that goal maybe 40% of the time. But it was what I am shooting for. The other two weeks, those team members are in service with their families and friends. They're keeping the relationships healthy, and building new relationships to attract others to Jesus.
And letting others see Jesus and make a decision about Him is what we're called to do!
Please dont forget
that leadership is also about people,
A head full of technical knowledge and skills,
Is not much use if you cant get on with the people you have to work with.
People are all different and NONE are perfect,
we all have our own little quirks,
You must find a way to accept all people and there quirks,
As they all add something.
But its difficult sometimes.
But well worth it in the long run.
I have learnt a lot from people i first thought were fools,
Its very humbling.