Several months ago, I was guest mixing at a church. The church was in a sermon series entitled “The One Thing I Could Teach You.” As I sat listening to the message, it struck me that it may be a good idea to broach that topic here. I began thinking about the hundreds (over 1,500 at last count) of posts I’ve written over the last eight years. I tried to think about how to distill that down to the one thing I would say to a TD, volunteer or staff. There are so many things to say, but I think I boiled it down to this:
Don’t Do This Alone
If you recall listening to the podcast back in the early years, you will remember that we had an ongoing joke about how long it would take us to start talking about relationships every episode. It all comes down to relationships, we’d say over and over. I still think that’s true.
Most of us that gravitate toward the technical arts are introverts, and we don’t typically have large friend circles. However, that’s not an excuse to do this alone. Being a technical artist at a church can be a lonely job. There is often no other person on staff with you, and it’s very unlike most other staff jobs. It’s easy to feel like you’re the only one. But it doesn’t have to!
Unless you live way, way, way out in the sticks, there is likely another church nearby. At that other church, there is likely someone who does what you do. Get to know them. Go to lunch with them. Start a relationship. You need someone to talk to.
It’s Not As Hard As You Think
I remember coming to SoCal six years ago, knowing no one but my friend Van. And he lived 45-120 minutes away, depending on traffic. Fairly quickly, I began to meet the TD’s at other churches; even ones significantly larger than Coast Hills. It turns out that they have some of the same struggles I did. As we got to know each other, we became friends, and found ourselves going out to lunch every few months. That was hugely helpful—for all of us.
I say this—and I’m being careful not to name drop here—not to impress you with who I’m friends with. I want you to know that as the TD of a smaller church, I was initially intimidated by meeting the TD’s of these much larger churches. But it turns out, they’re just regular guys who love to do what we do. And they have struggles and challenges just like I do. Sometimes, they would call me and say, “Hey, can we talk?”
As I’ve had the privilege of traveling the country and getting to know TD’s at all sizes of churches, I would tell you that most are very open to getting to know other guys. It just takes a phone call. Or email. Someone just emailed me and said he was coming to town and wondered if I would have time to grab lunch. I said, “Sure!” He told me he was a bit surprised and impressed that I said yes to meeting a total stranger. But I do it—as often as I am able—because others have done so for me. I think you’ll find most guys are the same.
Find a Ministry Partner
In addition to getting to know other tech guys, I strongly encourage you to get close to someone on your team. In every church I’ve ever volunteered or worked for, I always made sure to have at least one other person who was my right hand man. I always want someone to partner with when doing ministry. For a season, it was my ATD. In other times, it was a key volunteer that I spent a lot of time with. Find someone you can relate to, and do the work of ministry together.
So that’s it, the one thing I could teach you. Do this with someone else. You will never be sorry for the investment made in serving with someone else.