After being at WFX last week, I talked with many technical artists about the concept of leading up. How do you help your leadership understand what production in the local church is all about? For my ministry and your ministry to survive, it rises and falls on how well you and I educate the decision makers at your church about what you and your team do. Without this information, production is way too mysterious for senior church leaders to advocate on your behalf. As important as it is for your leadership to get you and what you do, that is only part of it.
I have noticed that many tech people are introverts. They also enjoy flying under the radar. I’ll do my job, keep my head down and hopefully I won’t draw attention to myself. I don’t like to be on stage and I would rather do my job by myself. I would tend to put myself in this category. Unfortunately for all of us who find ourselves in this place, more is required from us. I am the leader of my team. As a leader, my team looks to me to advocate for them; to stick up for their needs and to fight for what they need to do their jobs. It is my job to clear the way for them so that they can be freed up to do what they are being asked to do and what they were created to do.
Even though my knee jerk reaction to life is to fly under the radar, my staff and the volunteers that serve with them are desperate for me to fly above the radar and be their advocate. For me, I can tend to put my advocate hopes onto my boss and want him to do all the heavy lifting to the leaders above him. In reality, I need to push the needs of my team up the food chain. I need to be the one who shamelessly plugs the hopes and dreams of our production team.
I was in a meeting the other day where I realized that my desire to go unnoticed and put the advocacy hat on someone else had hurt my team. In your situation and mine, no one understands the world of production like we do, no matter how much time you spend educating your boss. No one cares as deeply as you do for the volunteers in your ministry, in spite of the fact your boss may come to your team Christmas party. No one gets what makes the heart of a technical artist tick like you do.
Push. Kick. Praise. Prod. Insist. Lift up. Educate. Recommend.
Do all these things in an effort to make your case known to the people in leadership above you, but don’t give up the responsibility of advocacy to someone else. As a leader in production, you are, can I say, required to be your team’s champion. No one else can do it as well as you can, no matter how inadequate you might feel.
photo credit: jjlapierre