Multi-Site Church: Be Technologically Consistent

At Conversatio Morum we’ve been doing a series on the Multi-Site model of church. Since we’re dedicated to Theology, Technology, and Missiology, we’re spending the last two posts on the Technological side of things. The last post dealt with the practicals of thinking through technology and viewing it as an investment. You can read that here. This is the final post in the Multi-Site Church series and I want to take some time to deal with the final piece, consistency.

With any organization you need to be consistent and standardized. Specifically when it comes to the technology that you use. When dealing with multi-site church’s this is even more true. I’ll illustrate the reasoning here. Let’s take a hypothetical multi-site church with 3 locations and lets call it Paper City Church. So on any given Sunday, you’re going to need AT LEAST 3 video and 3 audio people. Let’s say you’re the primary technician/administrator for those systems, but you’ve successfully delegated the Sunday morning tasks out to a team of volunteers and you go to the primary campus for worship. Now, it’s Sunday, you’re at the building 15 minutes before the service, and there’s a problem with a satellite campus that is 20 minutes away. You obviously don’t have time to drive if it’s an audio problem, if it’s a video problem you may have given yourself an extra 30 – 45 minutes depending on the length of your music. So you have a very specific time frame in which you need to work speedily. The best option is to have very similar systems to make the troubleshooting that much easier, given that the systems really need to be back up and running ASAP.

Now that isn’t always the case where you can fix it (if it’s a connection problem between locations then you probably can’t fix it) and usually if your staff is trained well then you won’t be required unless they REALLY hit a roadblock. A few years back I started to work myself out of a job on the technical end of things, and now I’m rarely needed to fix some odd video problem, but there is still the occasional call about it. So hopefully you’re training your people well so that there’s less reliance on you. If you’re insecure about doing that because there’s some security in being needed, then you probably need to examine that on an introspective level and maybe on an organizational level to determine if there’s something unhealthy there. In a healthy organization, if you always work towards multiplying yourself out, there will always be a place for you.

Also, notice in the last sentence of the second paragraph that I didn’t say SAME but I said SIMILAR systems. The reason is that usually, due to campus size/stage of life, there may be a reason NOT to have the same exact technology. When dealing with Multi-Site Church, the same brand of equipment is probably a better way of going with that. I.E. The campus that just started and is meeting in a gym, unpacking a trailer every week, with 500 people probably doesn’t need the same size sound board as the main campus that is at a permanent location with 3000 people. So you need to think to the scale and life stage of the campus. Having similar equipment that is made by the same company, but is scaled to the size and venue will go a long way towards helping with costs and saving in effort.

So what about you? Do you have any thoughts about church technology? If you’re at a Multi-Site Church, then what technology do you use? This was a broad overview of one part, so do you have any other advice about implementation that I missed here?