Multisite Site churches need techies (not trekkies) on staff.
I’ve had the privilege of serving in three great multisite churches and to interact with a bunch more through the consulting I do with Jim Tomberlin. This week I want to let you in on three different types of people I believe every staff team needs to do multisite well.
A multisite church without great techies on staff is like a zoo without zoo keepers.
After having been in multisite churches for nearly a decade there are three truths that I come back to time and time again with technology:
- It will fail you. (Get used the fact that there is no perfect “back up system” to save you from this fact.)
- It needs to be transparent. (If people are focusing on how cool [or how bad] your light show or video projector is . . . something has gone wrong.)
- The only way deal with 1. and 2. is to make sure we have great techies on our team.
Great technical staff are the only real back up system and help us wrangle the technology into that spot where it serves us and we aren’t serving it. On our team we have a “sight and sound specialist” named Joel Freeman. He works the longest day on Sunday and is our linch pin on all things technical. You need a few “Joels” on your team to make multisite work well.
RB: What has been your personal journey been like as we’ve been moving more into multisite over the last few years?
JF: When we launched the New Brunswick campus I still held these processes very close to who I was and became very resistant to let anyone help or assist me. In doing so, I made it very difficult for others to learn from my success, failures, or grow in their own areas of ministry. It wasn’t until I saw what God was doing in New Brunswick, without my help, that I realized what fool I had become. God doesn’t need my processes and over analyticalness to reach and touch his children. He needs his truth and love shown through every aspect of our lives and ministry. I needed to work with my team, the volunteers who God had giving our church, and develop systems that work across multiple campus.’ That despite that my work load did grow when we went to multiple campuses, I made more work for myself and the churches volunteers and staff by thinking what I did was working just fine with no need for improvement. When I began sharing my knowledge with my team and opening myself up to input to change our team greatly grew and enhanced the quality of production across all campuses and services.
RB: Sometimes tech folks like to work best in solitude . . . by definition multisite means you have to work with more people . . . how has that affected you?
JF: I just needed to think in multiples. To think “I need to replicated this process or media this Sunday at multiple sites.” By working with the strengths on my staff, and recognizing my own faults and shortcomings, planning and executing Sundays services are a joy and rewarding because our team supports and trusts one another.
I know when your launch off into multisite you need to think . . . who is going to be the “campus pastor” at the new locations? But don’t just focus on those “visible” or “up front” roles . . . if you don’t have some deeply skilled techies on your team to help make all this technology run . . . you are going to be a zoo keeper-less zoo.
Join us next week when I will dare you to pursue three ideas that I’m too chicken to try in my church . . . but I really do think could work somewhere.