Calm down. I didn’t say attend another church – I said visit another church.
I think it’s not only healthy but extremely productive for you to take members of your team to other campuses within your church or even other churches.
If you can, I highly suggest contacting your counterpart if you are visiting another campus in your church, or contacting the Media Director or team leader at another church, and ask if they will let your team worship one service and then observe their team in action during another service.
Let me give you 9 reasons why I think you should take a trip with your team to visit somewhere else one Sunday:
IT BUILDS COMMUNITY WITHIN YOUR TEAM
Any time you spend time on a trip together you get closer to people. Let me encourage you to carpool or rent a van to take a bigger group together. Encourage conversation there and back to get great feedback from your team. Also, your team seeing their leader in a more laid back, casual setting helps them bond with you and each other more.
IT BROADENS THEIR PERSPECTIVE
In my experience, most people are stuck in their routine – their family, their school, their church. It’s what they know. I have had many times where volunteers have never visited another campus of their church or even visited another church because our church was the church they grew up in and it’s all they know. Even for those who have been around awhile, to visit another church or campus together gives them a different perspective.
IT BREEDS FRESH IDEAS
This one should be obvious. You and your team members seeing how another production team executes their services should give your team some new ideas to implement. Watch closely what they do and ask tons of questions after the service is over. DON’T interrupt them mid-service – they’ll never let you back. Either let them designate one volunteer to be with you the entire time or save your questions until an appropriate time.
IT LETS YOUR TEAM SEE HOW GOOD THEY HAVE IT
You might be surprised to see your biggest complainers be a little easier on you and your team after you visit somewhere else. They may just see that things aren’t as bad as they sometimes make it out to be. The grass may not be greener somewhere else. Should I admit to doing this on purpose in the past and really being intentional about making sure a complainer saw something specific so they would be a little more grateful with the way things were at our campus? I would never do that 🙂
IT SHOWS THEM THAT WE ARE ALL ON THE SAME TEAM
If you are visiting another campus, befriending and praising another production leader can really show unity within your church body. Whether in your own church or at another church, be grateful for your visit. Show unity to your team. Show that your church is truly one church meeting in several locations. Show your team that other churches, even in your own city, are on your team. We are in a culture war – it’s time for the competition between campuses or churches to stop and unity and collaboration to flourish.
IT FORCES YOU TO TRUST THE TEAM YOU’VE BUILT
When I first started leading teams that executed Sunday services, I would be extremely nervous about how the services would go if I wasn’t there. Taking teams to visit other churches or campuses forces you to build teams that you trust while you are away. The team doesn’t always need to depend on you to be there to solve problems. In fact, visiting other churches opened my eyes to seeing that I needed to get out of the control room or the booth more often. Going away may mean handing off responsibility to other people. It may mean forcing your team to lead and execute without you there. That’s a good thing – it shows your team that the ministry is not about you and it’s not dependent on you.
IT CONNECTS THE BIGGER PICTURE
This really applies to you taking your team to another campus. If you can show your satellite campus team the workings of your main broadcast campus, it will really connect the dots for them on how their work at the campus level fits into the vision of your church. The is especially true for your volunteers that “broadcast” or “playback” your video message if you are at a video campus. If they can understand how things work on the main campus side, they will have a better knowledge of their responsibilities on the campus end. Really, the opposite is true also – if you serve at your main campus, to take your team out to visit a multi-site campus gives them a better understanding of who they are serving and how they can serve them better.
Let me give you an example here – I’ve served in two large churches – one church I served mainly the broadcast campus, and another church I served mainly at a multi-site. In the multi-site environment, our team really needed a split second of black in the video feed before the message began at the main campus in order to make a seamless transition to the message at our campus. Because we had taken a trip to the main campus and we got to know the staff and volunteer team there – we could simply communicate with their director and team and ask them to give us a second of black in the feed before the message. Both sides were working together to solve an issue. And because both sides had a relationship with each other, the communication and problem-solving got easier.
IT KEEPS YOU HUMBLE
When you are leading a team to visit another campus of your church or another church, you take a risk of your team seeing how another leader treats their team. You’re possibly showing them another leadership style and environment. It can take some humility to walk into another environment that could potential operate smoother than yours. Step into these moments. Instead of being defensive, be humble. Study another team, study another leader, study another environment. Watch carefully for things you would want to implement with your team. And don’t dismiss everything you see (“Oh, that would never work for us because….”). Be open to ideas, take great notes, learn, get better. Pride in your leadership can destroy you. Taking your team to another campus or another church could humble you, knowing that someone or some team might be doing things better than you.
IT ALLOWS YOU TO ACTUALLY WORSHIP
I struggle, at times, to worship. Do you? Now that I’ve been in church media for years, its very hard for me to ‘turn it off’. And now that I coach and train dozens of churches across the country, I still struggle! I am constantly watching other things in a service – “oh, that camera shot is soft”, “Eww, poor font choice on lyrics, guys”, “that was an ugly transition”…. Even when I don’t say my critiques out loud, my eyes are always on the production aspects of an experience. But, one thing I’ve found that’s helped is to worship in environments where the responsibility or weight of that experience is not on me. Yes, things may happen, but its not on me to fix. These situations help me to worship a little more. When visiting another church, it frees you and your team to actually worship without having to watch your times, your Planning Center rundown, or what element is coming up on your run sheet.
Let me strongly encourage you to learn from other leaders and other teams. For the reasons mentioned above, a trip to learn from other people creating experiences just like you will strengthen your team. And will make them better at what they do every Sunday.