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Author: Dennis Choy

The 3 Tech Personalities

One of many lessons I’ve learned working at a church – specifically in the tech production role – is that you will work with people more than you will work with equipment. While we use equipment and technology, its purpose is to make people better, which interprets into working and communicating with people daily. Realizing this, I began my pursuit of better understanding myself and my teams and those we interact heavily with. If you’ve ever taken a personality test like Myers Briggs or Strengths Finder or used something like the role preference assessment, they can be revealing and...

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The Perspective a Successful Tech Needs to Have

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...

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The Reward for Invisibility

Whether you’re a fan or not, one thing is clear, kids love Pokemon Go! Ever since it came out, my kids have been in the middle of the craze, wanting to go places they have never had a desire to before. Chasing after Pikachu or Squirtle has gotten them out of the house and walking all over the county. I can understand the excitement, as you are constantly rewarded with more when you capture Pokemon and take over gyms. Much like most games and apps, you are continually rewarded when you achieve more. Compare that to what we do as...

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Proactive Versus Reactive Leadership

We tech leaders tend to be reactionary by nature. We tend to wait for things to happen before we jump into “fix it” mode or help in a situation. Our introversion causes us to stay quiet and let things stir before we say anything. While part of this is how we are wired, there’s an inherent problem with this. As a leader, this can make other team members see you as insecure or lacking confidence. Being quiet and unresponsive can work to our disadvantage in being looked at as leadership on our team and to other ministries we work...

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The Most Creative Thing I’ve Ever Seen: Dennis Choy

I was recently on a school trip with my son to the East coast. It was an amazing tour of the early settlements, our nation’s capital, and the history of how our nation began. One of the most impressive things I saw is actually one of the most creative things I’ve ever seen…and it’s from 1883! If you ever get a chance to visit Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where the Battle of Gettysburg took place, it is an incredible experience. I thought it would be just some rolling hills with monuments on it. But it is so much more than that. One of...

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How to Find Enough Time to Do Everything

It seems like there is never enough time to do everything you want/need to do. We spend our days wishing for more hours so we can just accomplish all of it. Our work at church is never over. It seems just when you finish one project or task, two more magically appear. Some are projects you want to do while others are because something isn’t working the way it’s supposed to. Well I’m here to tell you: You’ll never have enough time to finish it all. That’s right. I’m telling you it’s impossible. No way, no how. You’ll never have...

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Rebuilding a Sunk Ship

In the church tech world, even missing one cue like forgetting to unmute the pastor’s mic can be a disastrous mistake. The behind-the-scenes stealth workers know as tech artists have a very high expectation every weekend. To be perfect is the normal. When every cue is right, every piece of equipment works the way it’s supposed to, everyone shows up on time and does their job, and everything goes perfectly, we did our jobs. We only get noticed when something goes wrong. It’s a crazy tough standard to live up to every weekend, yet we do our best to...

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3 Things People Think About Tech Leaders

Sometimes tech people get a bad rap. We are behind the scenes, stealth-like servants who really just want to do the best job we can with what has been given to us. But we are also usually introverted and don’t like conflict, so we avoid it until our backs are against the wall or incredibly stressed out. With that come a few stereotypes that I wanted to try and dispel. 1. We like saying no. So you’re in a brainstorm meeting and ideas are flying around from the creative team, senior pastor, and worship department. Crazy ideas like “we...

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How to Be Seen as Creative

So you hear staff talking about a meeting to brainstorm the new sermon series. You think to yourself, “That sounds kind of exciting.” But you wait for the email invitation and it never comes. “I’m the tech leader. Why didn’t they invite me? I need to be in on the ground floor so I can prepare.” For some of us, this scenario might hit too close to home for comfort. Do other staff see you as non-creative? Are you giving off vibes you don’t want to? The bigger question is, “Are tech people creative?” I’m here to say absolutely,...

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Dennis Choy: My One Thing

For this month’s Sunday| Mag articles, we asked some of our favorite writers this one question: What’s one thing you’ve been learning all year long that you’d like to share with Sunday| Mag’s readers? In this article, Dennis Choy talks about the Great Commission as it applies to tech workers and tech directors. What’s our part in Jesus’ assignment? One thing I have been wrestling with this year is something so simple and so basic to the Christian world, yet it’s been so hard for me to grasp until now. It’s the Great Commission. Jesus told us in Matthew 28:18-20...

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When Production Becomes a Circus

What do you do when the production becomes a circus? You find yourself juggling ten different things, putting out fires, and fixing technical issues… only to have everyone questioning your decisions and “making sure you know” what’s going on. It’s easy for your patience to wear thin. Let me paint a picture… It’s Sunday morning, service starts in ten minutes, and suddenly you’ve lost power to one of your projectors. You franticly go into troubleshooting mode—check the light indicators on the projector, power it off and on, and check the output of your computer and switcher. Since you run...

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Is It Stress or Burnout?

Working with church leaders, I hear the topic of burnout quite frequently. Am I burned out? What are the signs of burnout? How do I prevent it from happening to me? What boundaries do I need in place? I’m so stressed out; I think I’m getting burned out. For some, it seems like stress is the norm. Let’s face it, most of the support roles at a church are stressful ones. And as your church gets larger, the stress builds week-to-week and seems to never stop.  I don’t think you can get around the fact that if you’re working at a...

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