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Author: Duke DeJong

Why Technology Matters in the Church

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” – Matthew 28:19-20 (NIV) As someone who has been deeply involved in production in one way or another for two decades, I’ll go ahead and admit right now that I’m biased in saying technology can play a critical role in helping us fulfill the mission of the Church. But even...

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What’s Missing from Most Tech Training

Training technical volunteers in the church is one of the hardest things to do. The technical level expected at most churches is evidence. If you think about it, training volunteers is already so difficult. The fact that most volunteers are available at best once per week, at worst once per month, makes bringing people up to speed a challenge. And the same is often true on the side of the trainer; they often don’t have either the time or the skill set to effectively train new recruits. Despite the challenges, though, leaders around the world dig in to raise...

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A Practical Guide to Success as a Tech

Early in my tech career, I knew that if I was going to be successful as a tech, I had a lot to learn technically. So I dove in. Twenty years into doing sound, lighting, and video, nothing has really changed in that regard. Things change so quickly in each discipline that it’s critical to continually invest in learning about what’s new and changing in our world. But the problem is that knowledge of technology is really only a small (though important) part of truly being successful. Technology is really only a small (though important) part of truly being...

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5 Ways to Prepare for Failure

Do anything for any length of time and you’re bound to fail at least once or twice. It isn’t a matter of if, it’s a matter of when. Planning for failure doesn’t make you negative or paranoid, it makes you smart. Planning ahead for the worst-case scenario and how it affects your team sets your staff and volunteers up for success, even in the face of adversity. The difference between a good artist and a great one is how you handle the adversity that comes when things go wrong. But it takes work along with advance planning to get...

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Is that “Expert” in Your Church Actually an Expert?

When it comes to the world of audio, video, and lighting, it seems like everyone is an expert. Especially in the church world, it seems like most people want to “help” you do your craft better. It’s usually pretty easy to spot the folks who really don’t know their stuff, and it’s even easier to discount what they have to say. But when it comes to people who know something, who have experience in audio, video, or lighting, there are experts who can really help you improve your craft and there are experts who can derail you. Here’s five...

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3 Reasons Your Tech Team Should Be Filled with Teens

I have too much to do and too little time to do it. I can’t ever seem to find enough volunteers to get it all done. I’m tired of always being tired. I am burning out; I don’t think I even want to be in a church anymore. Do any of these statements resonate with you? If you’ve thought them even once, you’re in pretty good company. As I meet with churches all across the US, these are common themes I hear from tech directors especially, but really anyone in a creative arts role in the church. And while...

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Ways to Set Standards of Excellence for Techs

What you do is a matter of life and death. I don’t mean to sound dramatic, but communicating the Gospel and helping people connect to Jesus is of eternal importance. For most of us, it’s why we spend long hours, week after week, crafting and executing experiences to connect people to God. It’s important that we do a great job and serve the name of Jesus well. People are counting on us. Those of us in the worship and tech world often talk about doing ministry with excellence, but we rarely talk about what that means or how to...

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Why Tech Matters in the Church

Technology is different things to different people. For some, it’s a means to an end—something they are forced to embrace because they have no choice. For others it’s the other extreme—everything about them is wrapped up in technology somehow. You know who I’m talking about: the person who is always wrapped up in their phone or tablet, and conversations with them revolve more around what was said on social media than what is actually happening in real life. In fact, if you oversee technology in your church, that person may sound fairly familiar to you. So many worship and...

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Rebelling Against Complexity

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.” – E.F. Schumacher Seven days. That’s how much time we have to develop a new service each week. It’s been said the most challenging part of ministry is that Sundays come with alarming regularity. And it’s true. Every week our artists work hard to develop new ways to communicate the gospel and every weekend we execute that plan. And if it wasn’t hard enough to do this once, we...

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Preparing for Disasters

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” – Benjamin Franklin We’ve all heard this famous quote from old Ben before. Heck, many of us have used it to encourage our teams to come to rehearsals, listen to music ahead of time, and do whatever other weekly preparation we wished they’d do in order to create great moments of wonder in our services each weekend. Lately though, I’ve wondered if we really get the extent of how prepared we should be. We all know that California is destined to fall into the Pacific Ocean some day, but what if...

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Bright Side

Having spent 13+ years in ministry, I’ve experienced many of my personal highest highs and lowest lows there. Sadly, over the last two plus years visiting churches across the US, I’ve found that many Technical Leaders are in a season of low points.  Many are tired, beat up, and have families who are tired of sacrificing for the sake of ministry. Most are deeply committed to loving and serving God, but are doing so from a less than joyous place. Let’s be honest, ministry is a tough gig. So why do we do it? The great pay? Hardly.  The...

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Breaking the Bank

How do you get the decision makers to free up money for new gear? Upgrade time is always one of those bittersweet things. On one hand, excitement builds as you dream of all the new and exciting ways you’ll be able to do ministry with new gear. On the other hand, when a large amount of money is involved someone is bound to get squirrely and try to help you trade excitement for frustration. It’s not necessarily that people want to kill your dream for technology, but people often get weird when money is involved. I’ve worked on both...

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