A letter to the pastor, from the tech crew

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Guys, there’s stuff that needs to be said, but you can’t say it. I don’t mind doing it. As a guy who spent about seven years as church staff and fifteen years behind the church mixer, here’s a few things I wish pastors understood.

Pastor.
As your tech crew we need you to understand our position. Your mission is different from ours. Your mission is to be the shepherd of this flock. You are here to bring people in, introduce them to Christ, build up their family, teach them to become christlike. That’s the type of mission pastors have. The tech crew has a different mission.

We are here as servants. Our mission is to make your mission effective. Our purpose is to take the visions inside your head and translate them into the congregation. We are here to provide the support system to help you effectively deliver your message. We understand the technical side of the service and productions. We spend our time learning and operating things that shouldn’t be your concern. We are here to take the weight off of you concerning technical excellence. You are our mission.

What we need from our pastor is a certain amount of respect and compassion. We need you to remember that we don’t sleep under the mixer and come out for service. We have homes and families. We have people who depend on us, also. As much as we love our church and pastor, we can’t sacrifice our own families to give every extra minute to be here. Please don’t abuse our faithfulness. Please don’t demand that we are available to volunteer for every spare minute of our life.

The foundation of creation is relationship. God is love. God wanted someone to love. Here we are. From the human side, marriage is the highest priority relationship. Our family is part of His plan for developing relationships. God wants us to learn to live together and love each other. I don’t think anyone will argue with that. We develop relationships over time. We spend time together to learn to love each other. We can’t develop solid Christian homes when daddy or mommy spends every second of their life at church.

Don’t be afraid to ask us for time or to help with special events. We are here to help. But, please don’t demand it. Don’t look for creative ways to keep the doors open 24 hours a day and expect us to be here every minute. It’s not reasonable service. Don’t ask is to do something that you aren’t even willing to do. To the best of my knowledge, there are no full time pastors who also volunteer an extra 10-20 hours somewhere else during the week. We have jobs. We are already committed to be somewhere else most of our week.

Some of us are on as paid staff. Please don’t abuse those guys, either. Take some time to see how much a tech earn outside of the church. Speaking from experience, I made more in two days as a freelance tech, than I made in a 50-60 hour week as a church Media Director. It’s hard to maintain that level of commitment when you can barely pay the bills. It’s worse to hold down a job that can demand as much as 80 hours a week and still qualify for food stamps.

Yes. I did, at one point.

I have worked with lots of pastors over the years, most are good men with good intentions. Some are absolutely manipulative prima donnas who are there just to be in control and be seen. They take the title of “pastor” and wave it like a flag. They expect respect without being respectable. They demand submission from people who are there because they need to be a part of the church. Don’t be that guy, don’t abuse your church members.

I am going to take a movie quote, and stab it in here. A line from the movie “Braveheart,” where William Wallace has gotten sick of the leadership. “There’s a difference between us. You think the people of this country exist to provide you with position. I think your position exists to provide those people with freedom.”

Pastor. You have taken on the role of shepherd within this flock. You have people who depend on you to help us maintain balance and purpose. You marry us and bury us. You are a huge part of our lives. We have given ourselves to you in a support role to make your mission come to life. We need you to make sure that mission includes us. We are part of this flock, too. Make sure you are accommodating our families and our needs into that mission.

Don’t forget about us.

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