It’s that moment when you realize the way out, is the way through … when you are going to have to ask for a new piece of gear, and it’s … expensive.
There are many reasons we need to or want to upgrade equipment. The first and most obvious is that aging equipment often breaks down and just stops working.
The plot thickens as we try to explain to people who do not understand the deep value of AVB versus Dante … They just don’t understand! Of course, they don’t! It’s not information they understand, and it’s up to you to explain it to them.
We all wish we could keep up with technology, but those in charge of the money don’t understand our desire to make our service productions the very best they can be, so that they have more impact on our congregations.
You have to break away from the technical information, and explain the reasons you need new gear, in a way “tech-muggles” can understand it.
I like to use the six “W’s” (Who, What, Where, When, Why and HoW – well… it ENDS with a W) to help guide my decisions, while helping me explain in clear and understandable language to those who share our ministry.
Here is how I like to look at it….
The media team will suggest a plan for the replacement of gear, based on a well-thought through set of guidelines. We will also provide the reasoning for all gear replacement to leadership, so that leadership can make an informed decision. Explaining how you will use the gear in plain and simple language, will help people understand its purpose.
There are many reasons we need to or want to upgrade equipment. The first and most obvious is that aging equipment often breaks down and just stops working. We desire to remove this equipment before the failure happens. We also desire to extract the full lifespan, though, out of all equipment. To extend its life and get the maximum value of the price we paid.
In church, the money we spend is the gift of another and we should always be respectful of that gift. Beyond that, new equipment functions better, producing a better final product or making operation easier.
We know people expect more and more from each Sunday production. As the quality of productions in the world around us improves, people want to see that improvement also represented in church.
Technology is always moving forward and improving. If we update every time technology moves, we will never be still. and for some of you that may be your experience! A never-ending series of upgrades.
It is why some many churches now rent gear, instead of purchasing it. For most of us, the money doesn’t allow that, and we need to be smart in how we spend that money, when it is available, to stretch our production dollars over the years.
It is also very helpful to include some connection to the church’s broader goals. We recently upgraded our online service at Asbury, to be a better advertisement for coming to our services. When you connect how the gear will help the church in achieving its goals, people understand the need much clearer.
Technology moves quickly and demands constant change to keep up.
At the same time, we desire to replace equipment, before it fails while in use, we can all agree on that.
There is a huge gap between those two extremes.
Lots of gear will last many years, before needing to be replaced by failure. A new model was released while you were unboxing the current version!
Timing is everything!
Our when should be decided by the goals and vision set by church leadership. You should listen to leadership’s goals and understand the timing of those goals, enabling you to make suggestions when the time is right.
We are constantly working on all rooms and technology in the church building.
If the technology is being regularly used, it will need to be replaced at some point in the future.
Here again, though, we come back to the broader goals of the church.
Where is the priority for the funds we have right now? Where does our primary focus need to be?
All equipment is going to need to be replaced over time. We desire to replace the most used and most mission critical gear first and allow all equipment to have the most extended useful life.
What are people going to notice, really notice … when you replace it? The key word in the life of a church tech is servant … we serve the servants. What do they need? What should be first, and what can wait until later? This is the wisdom that you bring to your position in the church.
You make these suggestions based on what your church needs.
The media team will work with local and national vendors to find the best deal. I always strongly recommend we use a local company. Here again is the role you play to bring expertise and good understanding of the goals of your church the needs of your church, and how you can help to meet those needs and achieve those goals with the use of media technology.
It’s up to you to understand and explain how what you do can help your church grow.