Treat Your Techies Right
Whether it’s the woman who runs the sound equipment, the teenager who helps edit video, or the guy who troubleshoots the church office computers, chances are you rely on people with skills in the area of technology.
What can you do to make sure these people we lovingly call techies don’t feel taken for granted? How can you affirm that they play an important role in your church’s ministry? Here are seven ideas to help you love and nurture your congregation’s tech-savvy servants.
1. Do you know their names? Have you ever heard a medical professional refer to a patient as “the broken leg in Room 732” rather than as “Mrs. Anderson”? Don’t be guilty of something similar. Be sure to treat your techies as individuals who are fulfilling a vital ministry, just as your Sunday school teachers or youth leaders are. In other words, focus on the servant rather than the servant’s technological skills.
2. What training can you offer? You might have to trust the individual to help you identify appropriate courses and to justify the steep prices for technology-oriented workshops and seminars. Ask the person to explain the training and how it fits with your church’s mission and goals.
3. Does your techie seem to enjoy working alone? Sometimes that’s just part of the personality of people with technological skills. However, you can encourage networking with similar people by having your tech people visit other churches to observe how their peers are using technology. You might offer to help a techie in your church connect with a colleague in another church through your own collegial relationship with that church’s pastor. Provide a small budget so your techies can take their colleagues to coffee or lunch to talk shop.
4. Déjà vu—Does your techie seem to enjoy working alone? Insist that leaders in your tech area identify and involve others in their ministries. You have a role here, too. Just as you’d provide training and tools for a small group leader to develop an apprentice leader, do the same for tech-oriented leaders to help them develop apprentices. Remind them to aim for balance between the service and practical aspects of being involved in tech ministry.
5. Are techies involved in staff meetings? In addition to hearing and communicating practical needs (“we’ll need two microphones on the platform for a guest musician”), being involved in planning will help them agree with and minister as an integral part of the church’s mission, goals, and strategies.
6. Have you asked your techies if they’ve noticed other ministries that could use their touch? Could technology spice up a senior adult Sunday school class? Or could you employ some low-cost technology to increase the safety of toddlers in the nursery? Use the logical thinking skills of tech-minded people to identify solutions to tough problems in other ministries.
7. Have you mistakenly concluded, “once a techie, always a techie”? Be sure to encourage those serving in technology to pursue other areas of ministry. Like anyone else serving the church, they should enjoy what they do and should be urged to stretch and grow.
This article may not be written by an Apostolic author, but it contains many excellent principles and concepts that can be adapted to most churches. As the old saying goes “Eat the meat. Throw away the bones.”
This article “Treat Your Techies Right” by Dan Fallman was excerpted from: www.smartministry.com web site. July 2010. It may be used for study and research purposes only.