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Shared Ministry Goals Can Smooth Communication

Focusing on ministry goals helps pastors and tech teams create a more collaborative ministry environment

We've talked about stewardship from the aspect of evaluating potential gear acquisitions through the point of view of ministry results: how is the gear your tech team is proposing to acquire going to further the overall ministry goals of your church? How one approaches this, however, makes a big difference.

It's not uncommon for there to be some tension (and even outright animosity) between pastoral and technical people, and a lot of this is caused by poor communication. It would be easy for such a conversation to be focused along the lines of "what do you want this for?", but a better approach would be to sit down with your team and guide them through ministry objectives for the overall church, and for the specific type of events where the proposed equipment would be used. Have them describe how the gear would move the ministry of the church forward, and how it would achieve the goals the church is pursuing. For example, if your goal for worship ministry is to create a distraction-free environment where people can lose themselves in worship and focus on God, and the tech team wants to buy gear that when used the way they envision would add to the distraction level, guiding them through a discussion where they would realize for themselves that their desires would not further the ministry of the church will likely cause them to realize that what they won't isn't a good use of resources. This is always a more productive way to work with any team guide them to come to the answer themselves instead of just saying "no."

And, of course, being open-minded and listening to the reasons why equipment that you're uncertain of may actually be a benefit to the church is equally important. For example, some pastors may hear the phrase "moving lights" and think about a church they visited where they used moving lights to make a rock-concert environment for their worship time, and if that's not what the pastor wants for his worship services, it would be understandable for him to have a knee-jerk negative reaction to the idea. But there can be other reasons to use such equipment.

For example, just because moving lights can move while lighting the stage doesn't mean they have to be used like that. If the locations where you need to hang your lights aren't easily accessible, some reliable moving lights will let your lighting team change where lights are pointing numerous times during a service while they are turned off, and light more parts of the stage without having to buy many more regular fixtures. It makes your tech team more efficient, and more easily able to react to changes in your services instead of having to say that they can't support a change you want to make.

Building trust with each other by jointly evaluating and discussing the details, and always bringing things back to how the ministry goals of your church will be furthered or hindered by proposed changes, will help your technical team feel valued, a part of the big picture, and always create a more effective and collaborative ministry environment.

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