Volunteers are the backbone and lifeblood of the Local Church. And healthy churches should always strive to cultivate an atmosphere of appreciating volunteers and encouraging biblical servanthood.
Nowadays, most churches have multiple volunteers spread across each of their individual ministry venues. But even if your church just has a handful, that's ok (especially if they're committed and passionate.) In fact, it's great!
I've been honored to serve alongside some amazing volunteers during my years in the ministry thus far. Whether it's been in teaching, leading worship, student ministry, or Church Communications, I'm so grateful for the people who have impacted and continue to impact my life (and your life too.) I wouldn't be who I am or where I am without many of them coaching me, praying for me, and just flat out discipling me and putting up with me. (I can be a bit OCD sometimes. If my dad is reading this: Hi, dad.)
Here's the reality: It doesn't matter how big your church is or how many people are on your tech team. You might have a team of 30 or you may be manning everything alone while juggling three other hats. You might even be the lead pastor and the social media manager. The most important thing to remember is that everything we do — audio, video, lighting, digital and social media, graphic design — is all meant to usher people in the presence of God so that they can feel free to worship and to engage with or hear a Christ-centered, Gospel-exalting message.
I've been to big churches. I've seen the cutting edge equipment and the endless supply of tech volunteers. And there's nothing wrong with either of those. But, the beating heart of a great Church Comms ministry lies within how hard the volunteers work every week. The size of your team and glamour of your gear are not — and never should be — the primary focus or concern.
Here are five attributes I've come to look for, admire, and respect in church tech volunteers, including the ones with whom I currently serve.
#1. They Arrive Ahead of Schedule and Ready To Start.
I worked clothing retail for almost 15 years. Believe me, the majority of folks in our modern work culture are totally fine with showing up right on time or even five to ten minutes late. A superior Church Comms volunteer will not only arrive well ahead of the service, but will also have all of his/her required preservice duties completed at least by the night before.
#2. They Love God and Love People.
A lot of church techies enjoy being able to work behind the scenes, blend in, and sort of go unnoticed. And that's, like, totally lit, bro. But it doesn't mean you get a pass from Mark 12:30-31. You're in this ministry for a reason and God has called you to an extraordinary (and sometimes overwhelming) task. Walk faithfully with Him throughout the week and arrive on Sundays connected with God and ready to care for His people.
#3. They Respect the Church's Equipment and Gear.
This may come as a total shock, but your 20 ounce Venti Caramel Macchiato from Starbucks doesn't really mix well with your church's Behringer X32. Fingertips covered in Dorito cheese dust don't belong on your church's iMac keyboard. God blessed your church with the funds to be able to have the gear that it has. Be respectful of that and take good care of the equipment as you use it to glorify Him and bless others. Remember: These are God's resources, not yours.
#4. They Are Onboard With and Passionate About the Vision of the Church.
When I'm not going full speed as Communications Director for 6.14 Ministries, I serve as Comms Director for Northside Bible Church in Mobile, Alabama. My dad has been the lead pastor there for over 20 years now. We're a little country church in the city, but our motto has always been Light For The Coast (our logo is a lighthouse) and our mission has always been To Reach The Lost and Raise Up A Biblically-Functioning Community. If I'm not onboard with either of those, and passionate about helping to turn our vision into a reality, then I might as well pack up and go home. Superior tech volunteers are wholeheartedly committed to, and excited about, the goals and objectives of the church.
#5. They Are Coachable.
This goes for volunteers across the board and church techies are no exception. I am preaching to the choir here when I say this, but if you can't take constructive criticism or be told that you need to learn a better way of doing something, then church comms ministry may not be your calling. When my dad was a kid he played a lot of team sports and went on to play in high school as well. His older brother was even his coach for a time. One thing I've learned from the stories he's told me is that you don't always have to be the strongest, smartest, or most talented kid on the field. Sometimes, even if you're average, you just have to be teachable and willing to learn in order to win. Superior church comms volunteers are always open to instruction and are team players.
What Are Your Thoughts?
There are a dozen other attributes and characteristics I could ramble on about, but I'll stop here and see what you guys think. What have you found to be some of the best tech volunteer traits in your ministry experience? Do any of the traits I discussed ring true of your team or could it be time for enhancement and growth? Drop a comment below or shoot me a DM or an e-mail! I'd love to hear from you!