If you are a church planter or a church leader, occasionally what can go wrong, will go wrong, and at the wrong moment. How you handle the pressure is all important.
Yesterday, at our smaller downtown church plant campus our tech people didn’t show up.
Pressure points: Time pressure, Lack of skill, Unable to find needed items, Having to be in front of people to do announcements and communion, Having slides for songs, Having slide notes for the speaker who happened to be the senior pastor, and Having the sound up an running.
1. All of our media is on a Mac with great new software. Pressure point, we didn’t know how to access the media or run the software. My side kick is younger and more intuitive and figured how to load software and get things up and running by 9:55am. We started at 9:40am. The meeting starts at 10am.
2. The hand held mike’s battery had dissipated over the week. Someone forgot to turn off the mike. We found a battery, got the mike up and running at 9:58pm.
3. The main projector and the large screen TV were not turned on. We had to find the key in the office to open the tech cupboard, turned them on by 9:45am.
4. The sound guy wasn’t there. So we pushed buttons, moved sliders and adjusted the sound for the band and had pre-service music playing, were ready by 9:50am.
At 9:59am we started the pre-worship video.
10:00am we stepped on stage and started the meeting. We were saved by a tech person who happened to be serving coffee. The cavalry arrived at 10:05am
Oh, of course we also had several people asking us questions, wanting answers for other issues when we were scrambling.
One lady arrived with a crisis of her own, she wanted me to give her some money to wash her clothes, I calmly mentioned we do groceries, prayer and care but we don’t do money. I encouraged her to stay until the end of the meeting for a talk.
In the end it was a good day. No one knew we were under the gun.
How we handled the pressure…
- We were steady.
- We were focused.
- We acted with grace.
- We didn’t act like it was the end of the world.
- We defused the pressure by extending to grace to people around us.
- We affirmed our care for our tech team who arrived, they are good people.
- When the crisis was over we spoke to the people who needed our attention during the pressure moment.
People are always more important than tasks or things. Some leaders would begin to be emotionally ramped up, begin the blame game, then diss their tech team in front of the crowd gathered. This is always wrong. A little humor can go a long way in such situations.
Taking a deep breath to pause, extend grace and love behind the scenes is always right. Yes, sometimes the conversation needs to be to the point, but the conversation should always mixed with grace and love. Not casting blame but focusing on the people and their emotional well being during a miss-step.
A great book, Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff, the point, It’s all small stuff.
How we are going to handle miss-tech steps in the future?
- The main leaders are going to have a tutorial on the new software… just in case.
- We are going to develop a start to finish systems instructions sheet to let those who have to step in know where things are and what to do. Titled In Case of Emergency Break Glass.
- We are going to recruit people for all the other visible pull-the-weekend-off areas.
- We are going to have a go to person on call each week… just in case.
- We’re going to keep focused on grace.
- We’re gong to be grateful for all we have. (a pastor visiting us from Africa was amazed by our post hole digger, he doesn’t have one. he also doesn’t have all the tech gadgets we use to communicate the good news.)