Starting From Scratch

It goes without saying that building things from scratch presents challenges. Perhaps the right ingredients aren’t in place, or there is a certain level of skill that’s missing. Regardless of the shortcomings, creating anything from scratch takes extra time, thought and preparation. If you are suddenly tasked with creating a media team at your local church, you are probably overwhelmed with questions like, “What equipment should I use? Who will do this? Who even knows WHAT to do? Will I ever be in service again?” Though your questions and concerns may be endless, there are three steps you can follow to help get you and your church media team going.

1. Plan it out
I beg you, BEG YOU, take some time initially to think and plan things out. ‘Creating a media team’ is a nebulous request, and it could mean any number of things. Sit down with your leadership. Get their thoughts and their vision. Draft up some ideas and plans, present them, modify based on feedback, etc. For this to be a successful ministry, you need to be on the same page as your leadership.

Once you have a plan and vision your leadership agrees on, start researching what equipment is needed to be successful. When I look at new equipment, I don’t just end up reading online reviews. I talk to my friends in the businesses, other churches who have dealt with the same needs, etc. Proverbs 15:22 says “Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed”. No one should be the lone ship – seek advice from many!

2. Become the expert
Once you get your equipment, it’s time for you to buckle down and learn it. Too many times I’ve seen media leaders craft an excellent vision, but then fail to understand the equipment needed to accomplish it. This always causes issues and creates the sense that you have no clue what’s going on and don’t care enough to learn. If you expect to lead others in the media ministry, you must become the expert and leader they need.

I hate to say, but this probably means extra time beyond your normal hours – time spent learning, reading, experimenting, and understanding how everything works. The extra time you put in at the beginning will help foster a sense of stability in your entire department.

3. Cast the vision
Remember those verses about Peter, James and John casting their nets and becoming fishers of men? This is what you need to do now within your congregation. Take the vision that you crafted with your leadership and cast your nets to see who is interested. If the vision is compelling and creates a reason for people to volunteer and give their time, you will get more then enough people to help you. “Where there is no vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:18)”

Once you begin to get volunteers, start their training. Don’t just focus on their technical training though, share your own heart and passion for the department. In the end, you should be aiming to create duplicates of yourself, who are both technically minded and have a strong passion. My personal goal is to raise up people who are as equally skilled as myself. This way the department can run itself without my direct input if needed.

Of course, things don’t always work out with volunteers…they may have unrealistic expectations of what the job entails. Things come up that may pull them away. Don’t lock them into the department forever; instead, talk with them after a couple of months and make sure that this department is the right fit for them. For that matter, continuously access your own direction and department. Don’t let yourself get in a rut – there is always room for improvement and growth. I guarantee that if you take these principles to heart, you will be on the road to a successful media ministry.

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Written by David Belich
David Belich is the Media Director at World Revival Church, and an avid technophile. David has a passion to grow the kingdom of God by helping churches utilize media and emerging technologies more effectively.