Guest Post by Brian Davis: Resources

dsc_4810 The following is a guest blog from my friend, Brian Davis – Media Resources Manager at Highland Park United Methodist Church.

For months I have heard Paul Rasmussen (Pastor of our modern worship service) say, Don’t let resources dictate vision”. As a resources manager, I live in a very concrete world of what we have and what we don’t have – what’s real and what’s imaginary. I know what gear we have available, and what money we have in our budget. So I have to live with the tension of what we have and what everyone would like to do. Recently in a staff meeting, Paul fleshed out what he means, and I think it’s worth a few bullet points here.

* Resources is not the same thing as money. Resources include money, but also include you (what you personally bring to the table in terms of influence, skill and other traits), systems, and human resources (volunteers).
* Most people are pretty good with the You. A talented video producer might tend to simply take all the assigned videos and crank them out by himself. That mat be because he’s a perfectionist or control freak. But it may also be that the systems aren’t in place to accommodate volunteer editors. Or maybe there isn’t a system in place to allow the video producer enough time to develop people in that role.
* Many people who may be in good shape with the You or the money, but meet with opposition when trying to expand or change systems. In church work we often tend to operate without much personal margin, so when we are met with the slightest opposition, we retreat back to what we know. It takes continual pushing against the status quo to affect change.

Andy Stanley has said “Your people are exactly where they have been led to be”. And I’ve heard it another way – “Your systems are perfectly designed to give you the results you’re getting”. Historically, our church has not had a really strong emphasis on volunteering. In some areas, yes, but certainly not in the areas of music and worship service production. We are committed to changing that. At the very least, it will require two things. First, our people have to be led to a different place. Led by our pastor, led by me, led by our tech staff. Secondly, it will require a culture change on our part. We have to change the way we think about our work – who owns it, who we’re doing it for. We’ll have to be prepared to volunteers be better at our jobs than we are (that can be intimidating). Paul told us “The reason for increasing our volunteer force is not to get free labor, but to increase buy-in of our mission”. So lastly, we’ll have to change our definition of success. Success will have to mean much more than successful operation of equipment, and “professional” performance. We’re not giving up on that, but success has to be expanded to how well we engage the body and allow our people to increasingly take leadership in our services.

I’m convinced that doing this will help our people grow. And it will help us grow, too.

ECHO Premier Is A Success

If you’re not at ECHO, you’re going to wish you were and you need to plan for it next year. It’s always a good thing to come to Dallas! I had a great time for my first day of the ECHO Conference.

I got to catch the pre-lab class on “Design” – which rocked. It was so refreshing to watch a talented artist, Barton Damer, peel back the layers (literally in PhotoShop) and show how he created the conference logo (seen above).

I then hung out with Cynthia Ware and talked with several friends that were in town from around the country. Then Cynthia and I attended a special lunch and got to hear what’s coming down the road for WorshipHouse Media.

The rest of the day was a blur of conversations, meetings, classes, talking with my friends that are exhibitors, BBQ for dinner, more deep discussions and meeting people in person that knew me from online (Facebook, Twitter or my blog).

I was most impressed with how the ECHO team and the host church, Watermark, handled the night main session with my friend, Mark Batterson. Hats off to my local tech buddies Ryan Howell (Watermark) and Jason Cole (Lake Pointe) who were making it happen, along with Les and the rest of their team. My intern, Jonathan, even jumped in on camera. So Bent Tree, Watermark, Lake Pointe and the ECHO team came together as one – it was beautiful. We have a great local group of tech directors. I saw most of them today, including my friend, Brian Davis, from Fellowship Dallas.

The worship last night was great (led by my friend, Will Pavone, from McLean Bible in Washington DC. I moved from serving in the Washington DC area to Dallas). The visuals and lighting were notable. They truly led artistically and tastefully. I was very impressed and want to get the backgrounds that they used for the songs – they were awesome.

They had created a nice countdown, made great use of a left, center and right video screen and had a cool brief conference starter video. Good stuff. Batterson brought it and was encouraging and appreciative to technical artists. It was good to see him and his digital/tech team (Dave Clark, David Russell and Jeremy Sexton).

I ended the night chatting briefly with some local friends, including new Dallas resident: Rhett Smith, and got some brief time with my college friend, Shawn Wood, who will be speaking today. I also talked with Tim Stevens and his associate from Granger. I’ll spend some more time later today with Tim.

I picked up Tony Steward last night from the airport and am looking forward to spending some time with him these next few days. I teach today and tomorrow and am looking forward to meeting more of you.

More later, including my new resource of the month: Unifyer – which is one of the sponsors for the Church 2.0 Local Forum in Atlanta next week and is a new partner with my ministry. I can’t wait to tell you more about what they’re up to!

DAY ONE: Great. Well done ECHO team. Looking forward to the rest of the conference.

The Crazy Mustache

For those of you that haven’t got to spend too much time with me: my facial hair is always changing. I get bored. Lazy. Bored and lazy. I go from clean-shaven (always with the “soul patch“) to beard to full goatee to just the Crowder goatee, etc. It’s always changing. Again, mainly because I rush out in the morning, don’t shave and the next thing I know I have a beard.

I had a semi-beard at the Church 2.0 Local Forum in Santa Cruz (see pics HERE). I let it grow from there and then got tired of it. Before shaving it completely off, I had some fun and took some pics of what I call the crazy stache. It scares the kids. All kids, actually. I think people take a double-take to see if I was that guy on “America’s Most Wanted”. We took some pics, had some laughs and then I shaved it off. Maybe I’ll grow it back next year for Moustache May??? Who knows.

For more silly pics of me with the “crazy stache”, including some of me in my new Igniter Media t-shirt and my favorite hat, go to my Flickr page and check out “Pics of Greg”.

This Sunday at Bent Tree we were rocking all new backgrounds. I love them! I just got Igniter Backs 04 and look forward to working them into the mix, too.

I was proud of my team. This Sunday we had a lot of first-timers. A stage manager, video engineer/shader, graphics operator and camera operator who all had their first Sunday serving. Sunday was a complex week and they handled it well. They are “official” now after going through what we did yesterday.

We had some friends and staff visiting from Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY and Brian Davis of Fellowship Dallas. It’s always good to have people from other churches visiting and worshiping with us. Check out Brian’s blog – they’ve done some cool stuff with their stage – using PVC pipe that looks like metal. Check it!

I’ll leave you with one more pic of me holding my 2 oldest kids. Katie, the youngest, was too freaked out to be in the picture. Poor girl needs counseling now.