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 achieve that. It?s kind of become this nebulous buzzword that is cool to talk about, but people rarely can explain what it means clearly. That?s going to change today. I?m going to give you 5 keys to set and achieve excellence with your teams.
Set a Clear Target
We can?t expect our staff or volunteers to achieve excellence if we haven?t defined what excellence looks like for our ministry. And it?s important that your team discusses and comes to a consensus on what that looks like for you, because it?s different for everyone. For one church, excellence in worship may be a solid mix with no missed cues for the entire service. For another, it?s a nearly studio quality mix with transitions that would make Cirque du Soleil jealous.
Before you can achieve excellence, you have to know what it looks like for each discipline. If you don?t define a clear target, your people are sure to miss it.[quote]If you don?t define a clear target, your people are sure to miss it.[/quote]
Ensure the Target Is Attainable
I worked with a church recently that didn?t operate in the world of reality. They had huge expectations for their worship and tech teams, expecting them to be on par with what you would see at a Hillsong United concert. They couldn?t achieve it, however, because their worship pastor was serving part time with a group of weekend musicians and techs that were great servants, but had no professional experience doing production. And the entire worship and tech budget per year was $10,000, and this is for a church of 2,000 people.
Does your team have the tools they need in order to achieve the goals you have? Do you have the right people on your team? If you don?t have the right people or tools it takes to achieve the target, you shouldn?t expect it to happen.[quote]Does your team have the tools they need in order to achieve the goals you have?[/quote]
Communicate Vision Often
I often have conversations with leaders who have done a great job of developing a vision and have great people serving under them, yet they?re frustrated that the results they want aren?t there. When these leaders share their frustration with me, I generally ask them how often they communicate the target to their people, which often gets me blank stares.
If you want people to continually achieve specific results, you have to continually keep that target in front of them. And if your team is made up of volunteers who have their own jobs and lives in front of them, and on a 2-3 week rotation to boot, it is especially important to regularly re-cast vision for people so they know what target they?re aiming for.
In addition to communicating vision on a regular basis, it?s critical that you provide regular opportunities for training. Just as critical, it?s important that the training you send your people to is appropriate, based on your target for excellence. Using our audio analogies above, the first church should have a solid audio engineer and trainer working with their audio team on a regular basis to achieve those solid mix results. The second church who expects a studio-worthy mix better be sending their FOH personnel to advanced-level seminars and learning opportunities in order to stretch them to reach their advanced goals.[quote]It?s important that the training you send your people to is appropriate, based on your target for excellence.[/quote]
And this one is something I see so many churches fail in: If you expect a musician or technician to become a great leader, what training are you investing into them to get them there? The results of your team will mirror the investment you make into them.
Give Regular Feedback
The last critical leadership piece is giving your team regular feedback on what they?re doing well and where they can improve. Without this feedback, your team will never truly know if they?re on target or not. Years ago, I used to technically direct Easter productions with 10 shows per year. Our video recordings were always a bit rough, and we often had a few mistakes per show elsewhere. Then one year, I got the bright idea of watching through some of the footage with our entire team after we had rehearsals and then again mid-way through our run of shows, and our team improved dramatically. Clear, tangible evidence of what your team does well and where they can improve is key to achieving excellence.[quote]Clear, tangible evidence of what your team does well and where they can improve is key to achieving excellence.[/quote]
The bottom line is this: The only way you can set a standard for excellence across all tech teams is to show them the standard. Show them examples of excellence?the excellence your church is trying to achieve?and keep it continually in front of them.
Excellence is attainable, and even more excellence than you might expect. You just have to set up the environment that makes it possible.