The Insane Week Begins

This week is going to be an insane week for me and my team. This week is the October Event. On an annual basis, the church brings in the entire staff and their spouses from all over the county for meetings, worship, and even a picnic. In addition to hearing from our senior pastor, we will also be hearing from Bill Hybels, senior pastor at Willow and Steven Furtick, senior pastor at Elevation Church. My team gets to make sure that all the audio, video, and lighting technology works for this event.

We begin the setup today as soon as the weekend experiences end and we won’t stop until Friday afternoon. I know that I’ll be working at least 75 hours this week. I’m sure some of my team members will be putting in more.

I’d appreciate your prayers for me and my team. You can pray that God would give us the energy, stamina, and patience we will need. You can also pray that we wouldn’t have any problems with the technology. We’re using some video projection technology that is new to us. Please pray that it would enhance and not distract.

I’ll keep you posted on how things go.

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The Insane Week Begins

Multi-Site Production Round Table – Day 1

I’m in Carlsbad, CA attending the first ever Multi-Site Round Table discussion for church technical directors. This discussion is the brainchild of Dennis Choy, Technical and Production Pastor of North Coast Church, Jill Gille, Executive Production Manager of Willow Creek Church, and Daryl Cripe, Senior Director of Production for Grace Community Church.

I’m so glad that they chose to put this event together. Even before the event started, I was already realizing the benefits of this type of meeting. Before today’s first session, I had a quick bite to eat with Jeff VanderGiessen, the Production Technology Director at Mars Hill Church. He shared with me something that he does at his church that would really help at my church. Wow! I already had one great take away within 10 minutes of coming here.

We started off the session by discussing leadership issues, staff performance issues, and what was working well at our churches. It was also a great time to connect with my peers from 18 great churches all over the country. I’m excited about what God is going to do as we continue our discussion tomorrow.

Multi-Site Production Round Table – Day 1

MinistryTECH – Day 2

 The morning keynote on the final day of MinistryTECH was given by my friend and Digerati Pastor of LifeChurch.tv, Terry Storch. With his talk, he exhorted everyone to be an idiot. Here were his main points:

– Idiots embrace being idiots
– Idiots are comfortable in the uncomfortable
– Idiots expose their weaknesses

This was an important message that we tech folks needed to here. So often, we are comfortable in our knowledge and in trying to control everything. We want everyone to see our strengths, but we work hard to hide our weaknesses. We need to find a way to say “yes.” It appears that our default answer is always, “no.”

Terry listened to the Holy Spirit and changed his talk at the last minute. I’m glad he did.  This was the best talk of the conference. Terry, thank you for listening to God. You hit a home run.

Because of the LifeChurch.tv facility tour we were giving in the evening, I was unable to attend the afternoon keynote. In review, I thought the organizers of the conference did a great job with everything. I had the opportunity to network with some really smart people. I also got to hear some amazing things that God is doing in churches around the country. I’m looking forward to MinistryTECH 2009.

MinistryTECH – Day 2

MinistryTECH – Day 1, Part 2

Later, on Day 1 of MinistryTECH, I moderated a discussion about storage strategies. Thankfully, there was a lot of participation and there was little I had to do to keep the conversation going. I encouraged everyone in the session to state in their conference evaluation that this was the best breakout session that they attended. We’ll see what the results are.

The day ended with Jeff Hook, CEO of Fellowship Technology, giving a keynote talk on IT Strategy. There were a couple of key takeaways that I’ll share here.

– IT strategy should be a reflection of your church’s overall strategy.
– The business of the church is the people.
– IT strategy should be customer-centric. Your internal customers are the church staff and the external customers are the congregation.
– You can’t improve what you don’t measure.
– Jeff spoke about the Capability Maturity Model and adapted it to the church IT environment.
– He recommended that we do the following things:
    – Give yourself a promotion, i.e., start thinking like a CTO or a CIO
    – Engage in ministries; engage with users
    – Document requirements and processes
    – Begin to measure congregant engagement
    – Identify and report on congregation segmentation, i.e. what are the demographics of the church
    – Enhance congregant experience: Convenience/Security
    – Improve staff and volunteer efficiency and accountability
    – Develop self-service congregant/member applications
    – Outsource non-core competency items
    – Provide “IT” ministry services

If you would like a copy of the Jeff’s presentation, you can download it here. Tomorrow or maybe later today, I’ll blog about Day 2 of MinistryTECH, which includes Terry Storch’s talk.

MinistryTECH – Day 1, Part 2

MinistryTECH – Day 1, Part 1

The day started off with a keynote from Tony Morgan, of NewSpring Church. He created quite a hullabaloo with his talk, Ten Reasons Why Techies Scare Me.

Techies scare him because we…

1) Assume everyone thinks like a techie
My thoughts…I’m guilty of assuming that everyone looks through the same lens that I do.

2) Don’t bend on standardization
My thoughts…Yep, I was guilty of this, but I’m learning to be more flexible.

3) Tend to hire the best geek rather than the best leader
My thoughts…Getting better at this.

4) Always want more staff
My thoughts…This is a tough one. What should we do if the workload continues to increase? No easy answers here.

5) Always want more money for new technology
My thoughts…Doing new things usually require more money. But we shouldn’t be just interested in getting the latest stuff because it’s cool.

6) Don’t document processes
My thoughts…I need to allow time for documentation as part of the overall project.

7) Implement technology solutions without considering the strategic systems
My thoughts….The key is to have good communication with the leadership.

8.) Implement technology solutions without communicating with the team
My thoughts…Getting better at this.

9) Focus on implementation without creating systems for training and support
My thoughts…Training and support, what’s that? 😉 I’m learning to surround myself with people who love to do that.

10) Let technology drive the ministry rather than letting ministry drive technology
My thoughts…Doing well here. I’m here to serve the ministries.

More to write, but out of time. More to come later.

MinistryTECH – Day 1, Part 1

MinistryTECH Starts Today

Today is the first day of MinistryTECH. This is a conference for IT and AV people from the church world. It will be fun interacting with people who share my passion for using technology to help the church be more effective. Tomorrow, the keynote speaker is my friend, Terry Storch. I’ve had the opportunity to hear some early revisions of his message and it is going to be great. I’m also looking forward to Tony Morgan’s talk today.  I’ll be blogging about the conference today and tomorrow. Later this afternoon, I’m leading a panel discussion on storage strategies. I probably won’t blog about that. Pray for me :-). Have a great day.

MinistryTECH Starts Today