This is the text from the website version which you can still view HERE
Summer is here!!
What's up Tech Team!
With Calahan on summer break, we’re in a prime season to implement some new things I’ve been working on and am super stoked about. Hopefully, after I share it all, you'll be stoked too! Now, I could have held you captive for 3 hours with a long and boring meeting...but scheduling is hard and you have places to be. So I'm trying this format and hoping it does the job.
There's a good amount of info here, but I tried to make it as easy as possible to get through. All I ask is that you set aside 20 minutes to cover all this material and then get back to me. Before I can send out the next schedule, I need everyone to respond. So jump on in—I promise it'll be more entertaining than a meeting!
Worship & Tech Director
100 Billion X Thanks
Before we go any further, I want to say how incredibly thankful I am for the service and sacrifice you guys give to this church family. It's easy to feel under appreciated when people only recognize your team when something goes wrong!
But I appreciate you, like 100 billion x! You are a vital role within the body...and you definitely have COURAGE! No other team encounters so many objects that can stop Sunday gathering in its tracks if it decides to freak out. But you’re the kind that lives life on the edge; the brave ones.
I'd also like to give special thanks to a few cadets that over the past year have stepped up and taken the lead responsibilities when I haven't been able to...
Warner, Luis, and Collin have been pillars of support to me when I've needed it most. They’ve gone over and above to help preserve my health and prevent medical issues, and in that, they’ve been a huge service to you all. Way to go fellas! Thank you so much for your added sacrifice and caring for all of us.
It was last autumn when those three men valiantly accepted the mantle of tech lead, and thus a new chapter started in an ongoing quest to reduce my involvement with tech so I that could commit more to our worship times. This tale as barely begun, but today's announcements mark the next chapter of this journey.
One of the overarching goals for Tech is to have the leanest system that balances setup time, complexity, capability and flexibility; with a team that can support a gathering from scratch and be adaptable if the Spirit wants to do something different. It's been a learning experience. We really have done a lot to move things in that direction and it's something to appreciate.
We no longer set up a tech booth in the middle of the seating area
No having to unravel & lay down a huge 100ft snake
No more transporting Houdini to and from the van
The music stands that attach to the mic stands has cut our carrying in half
No more putting away each mic into individual sleeves
iPads eliminate printing, & give our mixer ultimate freedom
We’re in a decent place, definitely better off than when the tech team was just Lisa and I. But there are still some critical issues we have that I want to highlight. Let's do it in a click-baity blog article kind of way!
5 Tech-No no's
Church planting has many many challenges. Lots of compromises are made that create less-than-ideal situations. With that being said, here's my TOP PICKS for Summer 2019's most bummer realities of Tech Team!
1. Setup time
It's first on the list for a reason. The time it takes to get everything going affects basically everything else. If setup takes too long, it eats away at rehearsal time, delays the morning huddle, doors open late, we feel rushed and flustered, and the ability for the worship team to lead well suffers. Most of my time on Earth has been spent trying to reduce our setup time.
2. Rehearsal Time
The worship band puts in a lot of time and practice before Sunday even happens. I want to honor that and make sure they are supported well by not only giving enough time for a proper rehearsal, but protecting that by making it a top priority of pre-gathering. Until that happens, I'm calling a Tech-nical foul.
Just by the nature of things, the tech team and worship band are never able to take communion together. For me whose almost always on the band, I’ve been super bummed about that! I even feel a disconnect with my church family because of it. I’d really like to carve out some time in the morning to slow down, dedicate ourselves to Jesus and take communion together. That would be a Tech-yes.
4. Growing Pains
It may not be tomorrow, but the time to move to 2 gatherings is fast approaching. We’re going to need to have a pretty tightly run ship with enough volunteers before that happens. Or else it really will be a Tech-astrophy.
5. Wounded Captain
You’re mostly aware of the medical conditions I contracted in 2013 that lead to heart failure, degenerative joints, chronic pain & fatigue…but unfortunately this year things have worsened a bit, involving osteoporosis - where my bones can break easily, fibromyalgia & intractable pain - meaning stressors make the chronic conditions much worse. While a lot of the physical labor has been lifted off my shoulders, there are still many things in the tech realm that end up sapping my time & energy, leaving me with too little left over to lead well, or even to just be a normal human being.
Trying to cope with these new challenges while desiring to serve my wife, you guys, the worship team & rest of the church well has honestly been a losing battle—with emotional toll added, it's become an impossible task. I've been needing some dedicated time to tend to my physical and mental well-being, but I feel right now nothing is being tended to as it should. I've been needing to care for the worship team in with their own remix, but I can't find the time & energy. This next step for tech team will hopefully give me an opportunity to take a sabbatical, then identify & scale back some things stunting my wellness, so that I can serve from a place of fullness.
So...In an effort to address all these challenges, I’d like to introduce some upcoming changes in what I’m calling the Summer 2019 Tech Remix! Read below to get an overview of what they're all about.
All of these things will have their own dedicated resources to get you up to speed, so do not fear. All-in-all, these changes will help us become an even better team...a well-oiled machine...an ultimate tech ninja fighting force!
Radio Comms (walkie-talkies)
We’ve already started experimenting with them, but moving forward, each volunteer will be on the radios for maximum efficiency, communication, & troubleshooting powers. A new role called the Producer will be coordinating the whole team through these radios.
Planning Center Live
This feature within the Planning Center Services app will help all serve teams sync with one another as well as provide details & responsibilities of each part of the morning. It's basically like a live mission control hub – for special agents on a mission for Jesus.
We'll be integrating a display for the people on stage with helpful information like elapsed time, countdown timers to keep things on track, slide notes for announcement and offering volunteers, lyrics & charts for the band, and the ability to send messages to communicate important things to the people on stage discreetly. Like, "Dude, your fly is open!"
The mixer has been able to be untethered for some time, but now that ability will be coming to the slides & media operator. They’ll be able to use an iPad to control ProPresenter. You have the ability to be with the church community during worship instead of couped up alone in the control room!
Main Speakers Upgrade
We will soon hopefully have mains that model a line array system. That means no stands to set up, weight distribution is much safer, the sound will spread more evenly, and they set up in seconds. This will be huge for setup & strike when we go back to doing that.
Refined Tech Team Roles
This is a change I’ve been wanting to make for a long time. Since we currently don’t have a full setup & teardown, this will be the perfect season to introduce and ease into these refined roles. They are familiar, but will expand on the skills you have and will bring us to the next level. In just a bit you’ll have the opportunity to check them out and re-sign up for whatever you’re interested in.
Resources, tutorials, and walk-throughs...oh my!
Do not be intimidated. Along with developing these roles, I’ve been creating tailor-made resources so you can master every aspect of them. The iPads will become a resource hub to find anything you might need to get through a Sunday gathering. You’ll never be intimidated by a piece of gear ever again.
Part 3 - Almost done!
There's even more to come, but that's enough for now...because now I need action from YOU.
I’d like you to opt-in for what interests you as well as declare how often you can serve. This will help me schedule optimized teams. Read through these roles and choose however many you would like to be involved in. The Producer role is set apart for our church members, but if you plan on making Restored your home church this year, we can still give you training and shadowing opportunities to raise you up into it.
Next, let me know how many times per month you would like to serve. Just so you know, twice a month or every 3 weeks would be the most helpful, but do what you think is healthy for you right now. Life changes, and so does availability—So around every 5 months, I want to give the opportunity to adjust your level of commitment, opt-out with no pressure, or jump back in.
So with no further adieu, here are the new roles and descriptions...
Formerly "Slides/media", the Media Manager’s job is to build the morning’s presentation and make sure it’s displayed during gathering. They’ll work heavily with ProPresenter and Stage Display on the computer to input worship songs, announcement graphics, sermon notes and scripture, and anything else displayed on screen.
Setup will involve linking the laptop, main TV, stage display TV, and tablet remote. During rehearsal, they’ll work alongside the worship band to make changes and add notes for the stage display. During the huddle, they’ll finalize the order with the worship lead, announcements, and pastor. They will run ProPresenter during gathering.
The Stage Manager’s job is to make sure the band, offering & announcement volunteers, and pastor have what they need while they are on stage. They make sure batteries are charged, the stage is in order, and everyone has the mic, DI, cable, or stand they need—when they need it. During rehearsal, they’ll set up the additional lighting.
The FOH (Front-of-house) Mixer’s job is to shape the sonic environment and make sure the correct amount of audio is being delivered to the correct places. They set the correct levels during soundcheck and build the mix during rehearsal. They will also set up the recording interfaces and be in charge of recording the morning. They’ll use the tablet mixer to set wireless mic levels during the huddle and control the levels of all audio during gathering.
This expands on the "Tech-Lead" role while unpairing it with the "Mixer". However, it will always be combined with any other role. The Producer’s job is to make sure things are able to start on time and that everyone knows what they’re supposed to do. Then they call the ball in executing everything by giving commands to the rest of the tech team through the radio headset.
They will oversee set up by briefing the tech team on the morning details, troubleshoot & help where needed. They’ll work with the Worship Lead and Music Director to run soundcheck, & start rehearsal on time. They’ll ensure 2 forms of audio recording. They’ll control Planning Center Live so that every service team across the church can stay in sync throughout the morning.
You made it!
You got to the end! Kind of...Now your job is to fill out the form with what you'd like to jump into :)