As technical artists, we have many resources when it comes to gear– but not so much when it comes to navigating the relational and professional side of our job. If you’re considering a lead production or Technical Director role in a church, here are 10 questions to help you decide if it’s the right fit for you.
5 Questions to ask the Hiring Team:
- Who would I report to?
The Technical Director role by nature will likely serve multiple ministries and leaders. A definitive answer to this question is a sign of health, and will help you navigate difficult waters when the champions of those ministries drive their agendas. Also, in the corporate world, most “bosses” have done your job before and this is not often the case in a church. Avoid the temptation to over-educate those you report to, and be grateful for your unique gifting.
- Who will make this hiring decision?
Make sure you are talking to the right person. Once you have your foot in the door, try to get to the decision-maker before laying all your cards on the table. One of my greatest learnings is to never to allow someone else to cast your vision or explain your philosophy of ministry.
- Tell me about your current staff.
This one is a no-brainer. You will learn a lot in this conversation. Find out if they also use contractors and whether that would continue if you are hired. You can also get a feel for turnover and the unity of the team.
- What happened to the last TD?
This can help you become aware of what not to do, blind spots, and possible sore subjects. If that person is still on the team, it will certainly affect the dynamics. Many times, they are just great board operators who were handed a leadership position by default. You may be warmly greeted and get an earful at the same time.
- What would you like to do differently in the future?
This will give you a clear picture of success and why they are talking to you. It’s often hard for an Executive, Lead or Senior Pastor to articulate well in your world, so inquire about churches, clubs, and concerts they like, and ask for pictures and media.
5 Questions to ask Yourself:
- What does this church believe?
Start with the majors and work your way down. There are many religions and only one gospel. Remember that the “bylaws” are in place to navigate difficult times. Make sure they keep the main thing, the main thing. Do your homework. The Technical Director role is one of the best front row seats to watch God work in and through His people.
- Is this a church I would attend?
This is the icing on the cake. It will help you stay “all in” when the wheels fall off, and they often do. As a leader, you will set the tone for the rest of team. You need to lead the way in inviting people to your church and assimilating people onto your team. It’s also important that your family is considered in this process and a matter of prayer.
- Is there anything on my social media that could affect this hire?
Here’s my hot tip worth the price of admission. Social media is now the first place employers go to learn about candidates. Take the time to review yourself. Watch out for tags. Typically, the first thing our client churches do is look for red or yellow flags to vet candidates. Personal lifestyles, social connections, political agendas or any “ax to grind” can eliminate you from the process.
- Are the stated values the same as the visible values?
Make sure the spoken curriculum lines up with the unspoken curriculum. More specifically, answer the questions, “Are people experiencing what they hear? Does the reputation of the church in the community match what they say about themselves?” You will be responsible for championing the values in the technical arts ministry, so pay close attention to detail in this area.
- Does the allocated budget reflect the vision and values?
Could you discover the values simply by looking at the budget? Does the salary reflect the stated value of the position? Is the technical arts ministry well-staffed, well-funded, well-supported by leadership and, oh yeah– what kind of systems do you currently use? And for all us gear snobs, remember the true value of the technical arts is not found in the gear, but how the application of the gear communicates the gospel.