If you’ve been in tech for any amount of time, you know that when it’s “show-time” things get serious. We make the service or event happen and that means that we need to stay on task and focused.
At my previous church every week we had a “Programming Meeting” in which we'd recap the weekend, hopefully celebrating the successes and looking at things that didn’t work and how they are being addressed for the future. In one PM the topic of the “behind the scenes” tension was mentioned. “Things were really frantic” one of our team quipped.
To give you a little back story, on Sundays at that time; we had two services on our Main campus and one at a High School campus that typically, whoever was speaking moves back and forth between these two campuses that were about a mile apart. It was important that we stayed on time or the domino effect could throw off the subsequent services. Being late also put tension on parking, kids ministry, and the nursery (you get the point).
Our Lead Pastor had charged me and our Programming Director (our Worship Pastor) to be responsible for keeping the ship on time. Our teams did a great job. Things were tight, sometimes right down to the wire, but for the almost two years we had this schedule; we only had only one weekend that I would call a “train wreck”.
Keeping “The Big Picture” in sight
The balance is to keep the team motivated. Teams need to feel the weight of what is happening in “The Big Picture”, but it is our job as TD or Lead to not let them be crushed by it. We need to have our game face on while constantly encouraging them. When things go well, we MUST praise the entire team and we must know what really encourages them. When mistakes are made, we must take full responsibility for the mistake (after all, it is “our team”) and make corrections personally and individually as need be. We should never call out a team member for a mistake or misstep during the event. It is always a great policy to talk to them right after the service and then thank them for the great job that they are doing.
I am a big believer in the “Next time…” approach to correction. “Alright, that was a little bumpy… Next time, let’s try this method of….”
The best way to keep the “Pressure Cooker” from exploding is for us as leaders to stay calm. The worst times I’ve had as a leader were when I get out of control. We set the temperature of the room. Now everyone has a different personality and some of your people are as CDO (OCD in alphabetical order) as you are and some are very chill. Some time you can be moving through the service and you may have someone act like you are not pushing hard enough. Others may think you are stressed because you talk to yourself as you process problems. You can never make everyone happy.
Bottom line, know your team, each one. I know that is hard as teams get bigger and bigger, but it is vital. Each member has a love language and it is our duty to find it. Relationship is the only hill worth dying on. If you are willing, your team will follow you anywhere. Of that I am sure.