In high school I was a member of a championship football team. For those of you who know me, this may come as a surprise since I don’t have a large build. Well, it was a flag football team. I played in a Christian league for the school that I attended and we went undefeated for two years in a row.
The “Son-Blazers” was the team to beat! This wasn’t always the case, however. Our first year, we won only one game out of the whole season. The following year, the school hired a new coach.
“Coach Cline” was a hard man. He trained us like a regular tackle-football team. We ran and ran and ran. I’ve never been in better physical shape since that time. He was also compassionate, however.
Coach Cline was handed a losing team, but he saw winners in all of us. In particular, there was a boy on the team who had no apparent athletic skills. He couldn’t throw or catch. The ball would bounce off of his chest every time. He seemed hopeless. He tried to quit several times, but Coach Cline wouldn’t let him.
This kid could do one thing well, however. He could outrun anyone on the team. He would have made a great receiver, if he could catch.
Instead of giving up on him, Coach Cline decided to capitalize on the boy’s speed. If he could develop the player’s hands to be able to pull flags from the opposing team, this kid would be a valuable asset. He ran special drills just for the boy and his skill at capturing flags eventually matched his talent for speed. He became a star defensive lineman in the league and was a formidable opponent to any offence attempting to cross the goal line.
That boy was me! Coach Cline could have easily said, “This kid isn’t made for sports”, and let me go. Instead, he had the vision to work with my skills and develop me into a valuable athlete. If he had not, I never would have played on a championship football team. I would not have tasted victory as a result of hard work. I learned that every member of the team is extremely important, even if some positions are not as glamorous as others. And, most of all, it is the one team experience on which I base my fundamental principles for building a media ministry team.
As the leader, or “coach”, of your media team you need to have the vision to see beyond the surface of potential team members. For example, let’s suppose that someone enthusiastically approaches you about the presentation software you use for services. You say, “What do you do?” She says, “I’m a housewife with a ton of time on my hands. I’m into decorating, but I don’t know a thing about computers.” That’s when you introduce her to your pal, “CompuGeek”. CompuGeek is a great wiz-kid who speaks in acronyms and knows everything about your computer. He also happens to think that red and blue look great together (yikes)! Here you have two very valuable team members.
The housewife has an eye for design and color, while CompuGeek knows the ins-and-outs of the software. If CompuGeek teaches the housewife how to operate the software, then you now have an extremely powerful team member!
Here are some other tips on team building/management:
• Teach a musically inclined person to run your worship software. You will notice a drastic improvement in the timing and flow of slide changes. You might rotate worship team members out to do this.
• Organize a “Media Camp” for your youth group and teach them how to run everything. They catch on very quickly and you will be preparing future media ministers.
• If you encounter a team member with a “micro-chip” on their shoulder, take them off of the team. Any skills they posses are not worth the spiritual drag that they will have on the team. Instead, disciple them and nurture them to spiritual health. Now you have a powerful team member!
• Teach a drama or movie buff how to use your video camera and video editing system. Your productions will be more effective with them at the helm. What? You don’t have an editing system? Get one!!
The Son-Blazers flag football team of the mid-80s is a prime example of the importance of quality leadership. Loser team members are potential champions in the hands of an effective leader. Remember that you are at the head of one of the most visual and crucial aspects of a worship service. Be a strong and compassionate leader. See the potential in your team members and help them develop their natural skills. In time, you too will have a championship team!