Media is a such an important piece to how we do ministry today and is often one of the most challenging areas to serve in. It is our window to the world. With an ever changing landscape, managing an effective and relevant media ministry to meet the day’s challenges and needs is a full time job.
I liken the media ministry to the wheels and wings (or vehicle) for our “message” to the world. They are behind the scenes mobilizing every piece of communication through sound, video, web, social media, graphics, print, lighting and tech. But as important as they are to how we do ministry today, like with anything of significance, it’s easy for us to begin to take it for granted.
Over the years I’ve had some great opportunities to serve, guide and glean from several media ministries and leaders in this domain. I’ve observed many events across the spectrum from great successes and purposed fulfillment, all the way to frustration, disappointment, and burn out. It’s been my long time goal in media ministry to not just help us serve well in what we do, but serve well in how we love and relate to each other within the spectrum of our day to day assignment(s). No matter where you serve in ministry, it’s my prayer that these collective insights and experiences will give each us something to positively reflect on and continually sharpen how we appreciate our greatest asset—each other.
Here are 7 ways that you can invest in your media ministry leaders, improve team morale, and help your ministry to go to new heights.
.: 1 Invest in them and their tools for success.
Media ministry, in it’s current form, is a relatively new arm in the day-to-day of ministry operations and tends to have perception of self maintenance. Leaders are recruited because of a need or appointed because of an observed ability or gift. They tend to be left to ‘figure it out’ and while that’s part of the assignment, not being properly equipped can spell certain failure for all involved. Failure doesn’t always present itself as a missed targeted goal, but sometimes a missed potential or opportunity to go higher, deeper—not settling for ‘just enough.’ Just like with our worship or youth leadership for example, media ministry leaders need investment through conferences, resources, regular meetings, etc. They don’t know it all and need the pouring into just the same. It’s more than just understanding how the tools (technology) works and what it can do, it’s about helping them to marry that to your ministry’s strategy and vision.
Investing in your media ministry leaders also means investing in their tools. What we see other ministries doing, brands, shows, etc. requires the technology (equipment, services) to be able to accomplish these innovative ideas that compete for our attention in today’s culture. Although these tools and resources are not always cheap, we should also understand that today’s technology becomes outdated almost as fast as today’s songs. Expecting a media team to produce a 5 star production with inadequate equipment or resources is like expecting a 5 star meal from a chef with only a hot plate and microwave. It’s just not reasonable when you really consider what’s involved that outcome. It’s not always about having the latest and greatest, but having what’s needed to complete job to the level of excellence expected, and with efficiency. What looks simple isn’t always simple to produce. While your ministry may not be able to afford state of the art equipment or upgrades and maintenance on the interval that you’d ideally like, having a reasonably generous budget in place for what media ministry leaders need in order to be successful says a lot about how you value what they do. It’s not uncommon to see this area of ministry underfunded in terms of it’s needs (as opposed to nice-to-haves), and sometimes, in comparison to the other areas of ministry. It should be understood that there are many considerations and priorities for the ministry budget as a whole, however, media ministry should be among the ‘priority’ as they literally serve every other ministry and the church itself as a whole, and should be properly equipped to do so.
.: 2 Share the vision and sell them on it.
Your media ministry is the communication funnel for your church at large. In one way or anther, they touch every piece communication that funnels in and out of your ministry through audio, video, web, etc. Great influencers understand that the more that people are vested into something, the greater their dedication and contribution will be. Invite them into a story that’s bigger than their own. This matters because understanding the vision helps them to feel as an integral part of what God is doing there.
Sharing the vision isn’t limited just to the scope of your ministry’s overall vision/mission, but even as it relates to specific initiatives, events, campaigns, services, and yearly goals. Regurgitating the vision on every level is critical to success.
Media ministry leaders are often handicapped in this area, flying blind, specifically as it relates to the vision for an event, message series, yearly goal, etc. They’re limited to what they can employ and thus limited in helping to paint the picture of the goal at hand because they don’t have all of the pieces of puzzle or maybe yet, understand how it fits all together. Your media ministry paints the picture communicating the vision for your message to world, daily. But they can only portray what’s been communicated to them. You want to make sure that they have it right and are able to communicate the vision with ease in every production, function and event that they touch.
.: 3 Set up annual meetings with your Senior Pastor.
I said before that media ministry tends to carry a perception of self maintenance and are often left to ‘figure it out’ as it relates to how they will use their tools, talents and resources to accomplish the vision and assignment given. If the media ministry is the communications funnel for your ministry, the Senior Pastor, for all intents and purposes, is the most visible communicator. The intrinsic nature of this relationship is all too important.
It’s not uncommon to see a disconnect between the Senior Pastor and the media ministry team. For the Senior Pastor as the largest and most visible communicator of the ministry, the media leaders need to hear their heart, first hand. The media ministry is painting the picture of your ministry’s vision while also articulating the heart of the set man of God. Whether it’s a formal or informal meeting, the Senior Pastor should make themselves available to meet with their media leaders. While this ensures a more unified communication experience across your ministry’s efforts, it also speaks volumes of how you value this particular team by spending time with them and also builds great rapport. Media ministry in general can tend to lack strategy and specifically, strategy + vision. The Senior Pastor (and visionary) can help marry that strategy with the vision. Just as much as the Pastor has to make himself available, the media ministry leaders must also be intentional about seeking his heart, diving deeper and expounding on the vision presented.
I was fortunate enough to have walked very closely with my Pastor before and during my media ministry stint. So much so that I articulated his heart so well in that when creating graphics or video clips, they harmoniously flowed together with the message or presentation in such a way that maximized it’s delivery and impact. For a long time, when I wrote social media posts on his behalf, our online audience didn’t notice the difference between mine and his. I had learned to articulate his heart well and was able to communicate in that in everything that I put my hand to.
When approaching a new production, event or task, ask yourself as the media ministry, how are we communicating the vision through what we’re producing?
In Part 3, I’ll cover 4 more ways to building a stronger media ministry. You can find part 1, here.
Confessions of a Media Ministry Leader