Creating a viable congregational media ministry is surprisingly NOT about technology. What it is about is creating a culture in worship that is creative; one in which the tools of technology are simply means to an end. Although playing with those tools can be lots of fun, success in this new style of worship comes when the focus is on inspiring creative communication, not technology.
Remember, don’t do this alone. Find and train at least one or two computer-literate persons to assist with weekly live worship production. Communicate regularly with this budding team. If possible, begin to develop a schedule rotation for worship. Utilize services such as Yahoo groups or blog boards to let the team members maintain their own schedules. Strive to have four established, technically oriented people who are capable of leading the weekly live operation of media in worship.
Although technical proficiency might seem like a strict requirement for team members, we’ve often experienced that finding individuals who have a true servant’s heart and are willing to learn is better than finding individuals who “know it all.” Sometimes, those who have extensive technical knowledge have a tendency to want to hoard that knowledge or to impress others with what they know. Whether on purpose or not, this attitude can belittle novice volunteers and make working as a team difficult. Be careful about the choices you make during the selection process, and remember that teaching someone from scratch can be a great and sometimes better option.
At this stage of development, ministry leadership is paramount. Continue to cast vision, even in the midst of production. Always answer “Why” to your team, even if they aren’t asking the question. Talk about production choices while they’re happening in worship, such as the statement, “We’re using this video behind the lyrics because it reinforces this idea.”
Disciple your technicians. Reinforce that the ministry is about effective communication of the gospel, not about digital technology. Spend much time developing relationships with your volunteer core. The temptation is to let relationships slide because of the demands of production. Don’t do this: Your team is your most valuable asset. Nurture it as you recruit and expand it through church-wide awareness of media ministry, graphics, videos, etc.
Last, build relationships with others involved in worship planning. Set up a worship design and development meeting to begin to discuss ways to collaborate and coordinate your efforts. Use the team meeting for more than just plugging ideas into a template; use it for visioning. For example, ask the music leader, what images would help communicate the main idea of a particular song? At the same time, while helping media to better support music in worship, demonstrate ways in which media is not only a support mechanism but also part of a larger, more creative approach to worship design, for example, through the effective use of one the clips downloaded from a site mentioned above.