Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the Northwest Ministry Conference. As part of that event, I sat in a panel with Duke to talk about the sometimes-strained relationships between the tech and musical parts of the worship team.
Several questions came up during that class that I would like to address again here. I say again because we’ve talked about this before. But like many things, it bears repeating. Before I get to some of the specific things, I want to set the tone for this series.
It’s all about relationships.
Often, we get questions that start with, “How do I get my tech guy to do…” You can substitute worship guy for tech guy with similar frequency. It comes up a lot, and people are usually looking for a simple solution to solve a functional problem. If we were troubleshooting a technical system, this might work. But people tend to be more complicated than that.
The only real way to get someone to work with you is to build a relationship with them. That can be hard, and it takes time. But when you invest both the time and energy, it always pays off.
Of course, if the worship leader simply plays the boss card, he may get what he wants in the moment. But it will never be a good long-term solution.
Part of the problem is that we all tend to assume that everyone else is like us. So, we tend to treat people the way we like to be treated. Which can be good, however we’re not all the same. The personality types that tend to gravitate toward tech represent about 1-4% of the population. In other words, we techs are not like most people. That usually makes us really good at what we do, and makes it really hard to interact with others.
The effort is worth it.
Building relationships with those on the other side of the tech booth wall is worth it for both parties, but it’s not without cost. I tell both technical artists and musical artists that you need to take the initiative to build that relationship. Go to lunch, go to coffee, just hang out somewhere. Yes, it may be awkward at first, but you have to push through.
It’s important to keep trying when beginning to build those relationships. Sometimes a worship leader will ask a tech guy to lunch and he will say no. Don’t give up. Keep asking. It’s easy to think that because we said no we’re not interested. But if you stick with it, you’ll find we actually value being included.
Duke pointed out that we’re all trying to achieve the same goal; help our congregations experience a great worship experience. We come at that goal differently because of our skill sets, but we are on the same team.
One thing that you might not be aware of is that when there is tension between the technical artists and the musical artists, everyone in the room knows. They may not be able to articulate it, and no one will likely ask about it. But they know something is off. Plus, when there is tension, nobody on the worship team really enjoys coming to church. And that’s kind of a problem.
We are one worship team.
I also like to remind people that we are all one worship team. The technical side and music side are two sides of the same coin. Neither can exist without the other, and if the two disciplines aren’t working together, neither will live up to their full potential.
I get that we are different, I get that there can be struggles with those differences. Just keep in mind those same differences are what make the team great—when we are working together.
It doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it shouldn’t be hard. But it does take effort to build the relationships, and create understanding. In the next two posts, I’m going to share some things that the worship leader can do to help the technical artists, and then some things the technical group can do to help the music folks. Stick with it; it’s good when you put the time in!