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Great church media needs a great church media team. Success comes from identifying everyone's unique strengths and creating a space for them.

When thinking about your church media team, it's easy to take a short-term view and focus only on the immediate needs of your church media ministry (which are essential). And choose to ignore building a fantastic team, including establishing a quality church media team training plan. However, this is a mistake. Building an incredible church media team will have the most significant long-term impact on your church media ministry.

Church media is unrelenting; I get it; there is always something to do, and you need your team to be focused on what needs to be done. It's challenging to step back and assess where you want to go and what kind of team you want to build. However, doing so will ensure your long-term success.

I liken a church media team to an orchestra. In the best orchestras, all the members are experts in ONE instrument. That instrument may sound OK when played in isolation, but it sounds beautiful when played in synch with all the others.

H.E. Luccock puts it so beautifully:

"No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it."

That is the beauty of a well-put-together church media team.

Your church media team needs you as an orchestra conductor not a one man band

Jack of all Trades means a Master of None.

There is a phrase that I often like to quote that I am sure you have heard many times. It states, "A jack of all trades is a master of none". This says that you can either try and get everyone to do everything (which seems the norm for most churches) and perhaps end up with things being OK, or you can focus on the ONE thing that each person does best and help them become a master of that one thing. Are you aiming to be a "one-man band" or an orchestra conductor?

Choosing to become an orchestra conductor will result in you having excellence in ALL the church media team roles. That takes time and a church media team training plan (more on that later).

Trying to master the one thing is the story of my professional life. I have focused on one thing I am excellent at. So, for instance, I am not a cameraman, I am not a soundman, I am not a lighting director, I am not an engineer, I am not an editor, etc. (the list goes on regarding what I am not…….)

So, what am I?

Graeme Spencer, Founder, Media Mentoring

I am a Producer and Director, put another way, a content junky and a creative strategist. I believe it will be the same for every member of your team. They will have ONE thing they excel in. When you find it, nurture it, and provide your church media team training to foster it; that way, you help them master their one thing. Then, your team will go to a new level, as will your church media ministry.

Back to me, I could pick up a camera, run sound, make something look OK lighting-wise, or even edit if I had to, BUT that is different from what I do best. That will almost certainly be the same for every person on your team.

Alignment is vital for every church media team.

Church media team alignment is vital

One of the lessons I have learned in my career is the importance of letting the right people do the right jobs. If I do them, then I might do an OK job. Still, if the right person does them, they will do it SO much better, meaning the overall production output improves too, which is the primary aim and what you want to see in your church media ministry.

But there is also an individual bonus for everyone. They get to focus on what they are fantastic at (possibly even created for), and through that, they will have alignment in their church media team role and come alive. For that to happen and to facilitate it, you must have a church media team training plan. More on that later.

Henry Ford

Henry Ford says:

"If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself."

That is why every team member must be free to succeed and excel in the area where they are passionate and skilled. And why you invest in church media team training.

What if you have limited resources or a tiny church media team?

Of course, it is a challenge when you have limited resources and a tiny church media team, and you end up HAVING to take a jack-of-all-trades approach. I get it, and I have been there too. In one production in my early days as a producer and director, I directed, switched the cameras, engineered them (through the CCUs), and ran audio. When I look back on some of those early productions, I cringe. Yet I know it was all we could do then – but I believed we could do it so much better.

Instead of accepting this was the way it would always be and there was no other option, I went about finding the people I needed (that's part of what a Producer does) and finding ways to get them involved, encouraging them in their skills and nurture them in their giftings, allowing them to get on and do the things they loved and were more capable than me in.

Find the right people for your church media team

That will be your key in your church media, too, finding the right people, recognising their skills, and releasing them to use them to benefit the whole.

Phil Jackson
"The strength of the team is each individual member. The strength of each member is the team." 

Phil Jackson.

So, where do you start when building a church media team?

One thing to say as a caveat here is that the strength and success of your team won't be down to their skills. Instead, it will come down to the quality of YOUR leadership. That's why the best thing you can do right now is to start working on your leadership. I won't say more here; I have a whole article on that. If you want to know more, read: "The success of your team depends on you!"

If you want to grow your leadership, I have two recommendations.

  1. Sign up for our regular emails. You'll get inspiration, hints, tips, and more directly in your inbox weekly. We regularly write about leadership issues, how you can become a better leader and many other areas that will be helpful for your church media. Sign up here.
  2. Sign up for the Church Production Academy. This will help you grow your leadership and your team's skill sets. You can find out more here (there is even a free option).

OK, so growing your leadership comes first.

A five-step approach to build your church media team the right way.

First: Get a vision for your church media team.

Get a vision for your church media team

You need to decide on your vision for your church media team. This vision of what you want it to look like will be crucial. Do you want to commit to the approach I am outlining? It won't be easy to get there, but if you wish your team to function this way, the starting point is for you, as a leader, to commit to it and have a vision.

Second: Work with where you are now.

Start from where you are

You must work with your current situation, continue functioning, and deliver what needs delivering. At this stage, it is more of a mindset shift than something tangible. Your team may look very similar to what it currently does. This mindset shift is critical to setting you up for the third stage.

Third: Recruit for your church media team and assess simultaneously.

You will probably need to do two things simultaneously: first, start finding people to add to your team. Who around you might fit into what you are doing? Who has a passion for media, production, etc?

When recruiting, I have three recommendations. First, don't try to recruit people based on the church media team roles you think you need to fill – that may restrict who you ask. Second, you must do the asking approach people and ask them to serve; don't wait for people to volunteer. Thirdly, you need to be "clever" at identifying them. Look at what people are doing in their spare time.

Do you know someone passionate about photography – maybe they would love to run a camera? How about the "gamers" in your church? Perhaps they could be perfect for your live-stream tech? How about the artists? They could be the people to create and run your Pro-Presenter (or other system) on Sunday. What about budding young music lovers? They might enjoy being behind the sound desk. Get creative, but get active in tracking them down.

At the same time, you need to assess where your current team members are at. I encourage you to take a skills AND passion audit of your team. You probably already know their skills, but do you know their passions? If not, there is no way you can be sure they are in the right place. I discuss this in this article: "The Intersection of Giftings, Practice and Anointing".

Fourth: Skills Alignment

Church media team roles alignment

The next step on our journey is to get people into the places you think they will excel in and allow them to develop their talents. This is exciting; as you "fit" the people into your church media team roles, you watch them grow and develop, enjoy what they are creating, and see your church media output go to the next level.

Fifth: Ongoing church media team training!

Church media team training is essential

Church media team training is essential for long-term success. Investing in them and their skills will have a massive impact. I recommend you sign up for our Church Production Academy as a first step. We have monthly masterclasses from professionals in every church media and production discipline. You and your team will benefit from their input. Plus, we have a monthly Q&A that you can send specific questions to have answered. All of that is free! We have more on our paid plans; you can get all the details by clicking Church Production Academy.

However, if you don't choose to use our Church Production Academy, you still need to invest in church media team training. You should have a plan for regular external input based on your church media team roles so your team can improve their skills.

Get this from people who understand the professional aspects of production. Learning the proper techniques and skills is essential, as they must become fundamental to your team's understanding.

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dali's quote summarises why learning from experienced people is crucial: 

"Begin by learning to draw and paint like the old masters. After that, you can do as you like; everyone will respect you."

Two additional elements to consider when building your church media team.

I want to add some things to help you build a church media team.

First, make sure you have church media team roles at what I call "Entry level". These roles include cable minders (for potential camera team members). Spotters for potential audio team members (a spotter stands at the front of house and tells the front-of-house operator what mic is being used. Production Assistants/Runners who can do whatever needs to be done – including making coffee. Don't exploit these new team members; instead, value them and pour into them (one of the reasons church media team training matters) – these could be your next superstars! These can be vital roles to get people involved in your church media team and help you assess where they might fit longer term so you can see the church media team roles they can take.

Church media team roles at entry level are vital

I also recommend you draw up some church media team job descriptions. 


Lay out the roles relevant to your specific needs and then decide on what essential skills are, what are nice to have skills, what character traits and commitments you are looking for in your church media team member and what you will offer in return. This church media team job description can be the basis of a social contract between you and each church media team member. These job descriptions also clearly state the expectations for both parties and clarify the relationship.

Ensuring you have church media team roles at entry-level positions and job descriptions in place will be beneficial as you grow and develop your team.

This can all feel overwhelming, and perhaps you think this all feels too big or impossible in your situation. Maybe your "team" consists only of yourself, or you may think you have no one who could be a potential candidate.

It is worth it!

Going on the journey of committing to build your church media team (however long it takes and however impossible it seems as you are setting out) is the best choice you can make,

Andrew Carnegie

Andrew Carnegie says:

"Teamwork is the ability to work together toward a common vision. The ability to direct individual accomplishments toward organisational objectives. It is the fuel that allows common people to attain uncommon results."

That sounds just like what a dream team could be to me!

In Conclusion

I want to challenge you today that wherever you are on the spectrum, and whatever resources you have to work with right now, be faithful to what you have today, BUT be on the lookout for more and EXPECT God to provide.

I have seen him do this repeatedly in the projects I have worked on, and I know that as YOU are faithful like I was, HE will bring you the people you need.

You may have to take the "jack of all trades" approach for a season. That's not necessarily a bad thing and sometimes can help you identify what your church media team are passionate about and what the "thing" is they want to become a master of.

By the way, this also applies to you – what are YOU passionate about and skilled in? You must also consider this: are you in the right place?

One key role you play as the leader of your team is to recognise other skilled and passionate people when they come along, realise what they can do better than you can and step out of the way so they can flourish in this role – trust me – the right people doing the right jobs will make your life so much easier and your product/output so much better too.

That's what a great church media team can do for you. It is worth it long-term.

Further reading on building a church media team:

Work on your leadership as a priority: The success of your team depends on you!

The role of vision in church media: Every church media ministry needs a vision - do you have one?

Your leadership will set the tone for your team: Keep Calm and Carry On

How anointing, gifting, and skill are all important for the success of your team: The Intersection of Giftings, Practice and Anointing

Why servant-hearted leadership is important: How can we cultivate a servant's heart?

Categories: church media ministry, Foundation, Leadership, Skills, Team, volunteer

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