As a Church Tech Guy, a question I often get asked is “What do you do all week?”. If you’re a Church TD, you know what I mean, and you probably also know what I mean when my answer involves a deep breath before I say anything. I thought I’d write this post to let people know what I do all week as a Church Tech Director (CTD).
First off, there is no regular work week for a CTD. I work Sundays-Thursdays most of the time, giving me Friday and Saturday as my weekends. There are sometimes events that happen on one or both of those days that affect my weekend, but in those cases I take another day off in lieu of that time. As for hours, most of my days are fairly typical 9-5(ish) type of days. Sundays I am at the church around 6 or 630 and I am here until all 4 services are finished which gets me out of here at around 2pm. Tuesdays is when our worship team has its rehearsal so I stay until 9pm making it a 12 hour day. Due to that 12 hour day I often leave a bit early on Thursdays to start my weekend :).
Well that’s how I get to my 40 hours. But the question still remains, what do I do the whole time!? Well, there are a few tasks that need to be done every week. Obviously, Sunday mornings are one of my busiest times. Sundays are when I’m making sure that everything AVL (Audio/Video/Lighting) is working in all our rooms, and helping make sure our main services are running smoothly as well. Then during our 4th service I am usually editing one of the other message videos to put on our website.
Monday mornings are when I upload sermon videos and message audio to the website and also edit the music section of the service video to send out to our worship team for review/evaluation purposes.
Tuesdays I have our Service Planning meeting with the rest of our Service Planning team in the morning, and then Tuesday evenings is our worship practice.
That is all the regularly scheduled things I have to do each week. Yes, thats right, all that stuff probably totals about 10-12 hours of work. A little more than 1/4 of my work week.
This is why a CTD’s work week is so hard to explain. I fill the other 30 hours no problem each week, but each week is slightly different, which is why it’s hard to explain what I do all week. Some weeks I will have a video or videos to edit, which can be really time consuming, or just quick videos with little editing required. Some weeks I will have a stage redesign. Although I don’t do the stage design work, everytime a redesign happens, I have to take care of the lighting requirements to go along with that redesign.
Sometimes during a Sunday morning, we have a problem that I can’t fix on that morning. After developing a work around to get us through that Sunday, I will need to spend time fixing that problem during the week. It could be something as simple as resoldering a broken XLR cable, to fixing a problem in the DSP for our speakers, getting on the scissor lift to re-aim a light, change a bulb in a projector etc etc.
Along with being a troubleshooter and maintenance guy for our Tech Equipment, there’s also the part of the job that is more administrative. We are a church, with one paid technical staff member, so everything we do on Sunday morning is done with our amazing team of volunteers. What this means is that I am constantly scheduling volunteers in planning center. I am also in charge of keeping the volunteers up to speed with new software, new equipment, and re-teaching them stuff on our current equipment and software. So I am planning training sessions for all our AVL volunteers to keep them up to speed.
I also keep a section of my week open for my own personal growth. I like to read blogs from other CTD’s and tech professionals. A really good I read regularly is http://churchtecharts.org/. I also research new equipment we might be in need of, and keep up to date with my budget to make sure I’m not overspending on things.
Those are all the jobs that take up the other 30 hours of my work week. For most of the year, it works out very close to 40 hours (give or take) each week. There are definitely some weeks where I have less to do, but those weeks are more than taken care of during those weeks when I don’t think I will have enough time to get everything done. I’m lucky in that my job is setup in such a way that if I am seriously overworked, we can find a way to either postpone certain projects, or find some help for me to get those tasks done. At times like Christmas and Easter, my hours go up a bit, but so does everyone’s here, pastors and directors alike. We are about to enter an expansion phase, where we will be opening a second auditorium and will be having multiple venues running at the same time on Sunday morning. While we get our volunteers trained on the new way of doing things and the new equipment we will have, things will get a little busy for me. That’s par for the course though.
I hope this gave a bit of insight as to what it is that I do all week. Obviously every CTD has a slightly different layout for their hours and their tasks depending on the size of their church and the scope of their job, so this doesn’t apply to everyone, but I would be most CTD’s can find a number of similarities with my to do list each week.