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 whether it’s through sound, video, web, social media, graphics, print, lighting or 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 great opportunities to serve and consult with, as well guide and glean from several media ministries and leaders in this domain. I’ve observed many things 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.
Although it’s not exclusive, media ministry can be one of the most demanding, while yet unappreciated, areas to serve in . While a media ministry leader’s assignment is different than that of the Pastor, the demand on their time and energy parallel more often than some think. Like the Pastor, they’re called upon for every event and function, in one way or another, and are often the first to arrive and the last to leave. Their responsibilities extend well beyond Sunday service and midweek bible study—they work and prepare all throughout the week and at varying hours. They are a ministry team in and of themselves, but like the Pastor, they have the responsibility to serve the interests and communication needs of every ministry team, leader and the general membership at large.
I believe the difference between a media ministry that is a thriving success and one that is stagnant can be the support that we cast behind them. It’s difficult to help and appreciate someone when you’re not familiar with their world. It’s my hope to put some light on this area. I was inspired to write this during a conference 2 years ago where I had the opportunity to meet and share with other media ministry leaders. One of them was an entrepreneur doing video and photography work with various ministries inside and outside of the country. When I asked if he served within his home church’s media ministry, he surprisingly said, “I will never work in media ministry again…” After some more dialogue, he concluded that he’s shared openly with Pastors he’s worked with of his decision explaining his reasoning being that “because you don’t appreciate your people.” This was an enlightening moment for me as for the first time, someone else in my shoes had verbally articulated the sentiment that I had felt some time. As disappointing as it was to hear, I was somewhat also reassured that it just wasn’t me. I also realized that this was a bigger common issue among media ministry leaders and teams abroad and could certainly warrant some discussion and strategy. My spiritual father once said something that forever changed the way that I think about problems that we face in the world: “show them a better way.”
In Part 2, I’ll discuss 7 ways that you can invest in your media ministry leaders, improve team morale, and help your ministry to go to new heights.
Confessions of a Media Ministry Leader