It's always nice to see a tangible item that you can put your hands on when you spend money. For media directors, though, that isn't always the case. People typically don't like to pay for something that they can't touch; at least I don't. However, budgeting for preventive maintenance, and even required maintenance is necessary.
If the ministry you serve with is anything like the church where I serve, then you don't have this kind of money just lying around, waiting to be spent on fixing or replacing something.
When creating our yearly ministry budget there is always a line item for equipment maintenance. I always hope that I never need to spend that money, but at least I am prepared, if I need to have any equipment repaired or replaced.
Recently, I attended a workshop for media and technical directors hosted by a large multi-campus church in the state where I live. One of the things that was mentioned was budgeting over the course of several years, to be able to replace equipment. I had never considered this, however, when it comes time to replace a major item due to upgrades or worst case, failure, it is good to already have a plan in place along with the money to pay for it so that your ministry doesn't take a big hit all at once.
If you are in a situation where a projector or console dies, then you are looking at spending thousands or even tens-of-thousands of dollars for replacing these pieces of equipment. If the ministry you serve with is anything like the church where I serve, then you don't have this kind of money just lying around, waiting to be spent on fixing or replacing something. Therefore, by planning ahead, it can save you from spending a lot of money unexpectedly.
With budgeting in mind and realizing that replacing equipment can be quite costly, I strongly encourage you to regularly maintain your equipment, especially the bigger and more expensive pieces. For example, by keeping filters clean on projectors you can extend their life. I know that if we had to replace the two main projectors at my church we would be looking at spending approximately $20,000, but by doing preventive maintenance, the life of those projectors can be extended.
Another consideration is replacing the lamps in projectors. Again, for the projectors at my church, this is a $3,000-plus expense each time. When I am preparing the ministry budget for the upcoming year, I have to take this into consideration as well. Although, this is an expense that only happens every few years, it still has to be done, and it still has to be paid for.
I know that I enjoy spending money, and I am really good at it! (I can't say that's something worth bragging about though…)
If I plan and budget for maintenance, though, then I have the potential for purchasing new equipment and making upgrades instead of spending money replacing something that could have been prevented.
Plan wisely and consider the expenses but also the benefits of preventive and required maintenance, and realize the importance of being a good steward of the money that God has allowed you to be responsible for and for the ministry that you oversee.