Most of the techs I know are very thankful to have someone to get together with once in a while to share ideas with. So, what's your plan?
March 22, 2011, by Mike Sessler
Recently I sent out a tweet asking the question, “Who do you have pouring into your life?”
If you’re a TD or a volunteer tech leader at your church, it is imperative that you have someone (preferably a few someones) who can speak into your life and encourage you when you have a rough day.
Like it or not, the TD role is often a lonely one. There are typically no other staff members who get what we do, and our very nature makes it hard to reach out for help when we need it.
This is a shame. As believers, we’re called to be in community, yet we techs often neglect that. My friend Roy calls us a tribe, and we need to reach out and get to know others in this tribe.
This point was driven home personally to me a few years ago when I was in a different (and much more difficult) situation than I am now. I had some really tough stuff going on, and was growing increasingly discouraged.
Thankfully, I had developed some relationships with other tech guys (albeit guys who were in different parts of the country) that I could reach out to. I spent several hours on the phone with them just venting.
I don’t recall anyone saying anything particularly profound that changed my situation, but just the fact that I could tell them what was going on and know that they got it was enough.
I had the opportunity to be that friend recently. A good friend reached out to me and a few others after a really bad day. I called him up and we talked for over an hour. Really, he talked, which was fine; he just needed someplace to vent.
All I had to do was listen and acknowledge. When we do that for each other, we’re living out what Jesus calls us to. There’s nothing magical about it; we just need to be involved in each other’s lives.
I feel pretty strongly that we need other techs involved in our lives. Talking with wives or girlfriends can be helpful, but often times they want to come to our rescue or take up our offense, and that isn’t always what we need.
And quite honestly, they may not really get the issue anyway. A fellow tech, however, will get the issue before you even finish tell him (or her) about it.
So how do you find these magical people to talk to?
Well, like anything else in networking, it’s best to establish your network before you need it.
If you’re a full-time TD, you could join CTDRT, the Church Tech Directors Roundtable.
That group can help connect you with people across the country, and often, right down the road. Since there’s no cost to join, you really have no excuse.
If you are involved in church tech, but not the full-time TD, you could join CTANO, the Church Tech Arts Network Online.
The idea is similar, this group will connect you with other like-minded people and often you’ll find some guys nearby.
Also, never forget the support which can be found in online communities like the Church Sound Forums here on PSW.
I would also encourage you to start reaching out to other churches in your area. Find out who the tech guys are and get to know them.
Some people are threatened by that, or don’t like it, but keep looking. Most of the tech guys I’ve gotten to know around here are very thankful to have someone to get together with once in a while.
The nature of our job as TDs means we’re constantly giving away; we’re servants at heart and we solve other people’s problems.
It’s who we are and what we’re called to do.
To keep from burning out, we need someone to walk with us and encourage us. And there’s no one better but a fellow tech guy.
So, who do you have pouring into your life? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!
Mike Sessler is the Technical Director at Coast Hills Community Church in Aliso Viejo, CA. He has been involved in live production for over 20 years and is the author of the blog, Church Tech Arts . He also hosts a weekly podcast called Church Tech Weekly on the TechArtsNetwork.