5 Mistakes Church Tech Directors Make (and How to Avoid Them)

5 Mistakes Church Tech Directors Make (and How to Avoid Them)

Church tech directors ensure that your technology enhances—rather than hinders—your ministry. When a mic cuts out, a speaker has feedback, or a slide doesn’t show up, they’re the first person everyone blames. (Even when it’s not their fault!)

When you depend on technology, technical issues are inevitable. But there are other kinds of mistakes church tech directors make that often go unnoticed—even though they can create costly problems for your church.

Here are five mistakes church tech directors make, plus how to avoid them.

1. Assuming people know things

When you know a lot about something, it’s easy to forget what other people don’t know. A church tech director may have first learned the basics of sound equipment and complicated software while they were still a teenager. And they use the same church tech every week. They may forget that the reason they’re so familiar with your tech is because they’ve always been interested in it, they have a knack for it, and/or they deal with it all the time—not because that tech or the knowledge required to use it is intuitive.

Assumptions lead to bad decisions, misunderstandings, and in some cases, broken equipment. Church tech directors need to be wary of using jargon with volunteers and fellow staff, and they need to learn how to make complex concepts and processes simple, so they can explain them to others.

2. Doing everything themselves

Staff burnout is a constant challenge for churches. Ministry is exhausting, stressful, and seemingly endless. One of the best ways to fight burnout is delegation—sharing the load. But when you care a lot about your job and feel personally responsible for the success or failure of your area of ministry, it’s easy to wind up doing everything yourself.

Good tech directors invite others to serve your church alongside them, cultivating and instilling in others the same passion for excellence that led them to this role. It’s an important safeguard against burnout, and it also ensures that everything can still run smoothly if your tech director can’t be at an event or service.

3. Not developing interpersonal skills

Church tech directors are typically in the best position to advocate for the tech your church needs to be effective. They know how new equipment or better software would impact your staff and empower your ministry.

Unfortunately, many tech directors lack the communication skills to advocate for useful tech that requires a bigger slice of the budget. Whether your tech director is an introvert or an extrovert, they need to be able to operate as part of a team and discuss when, why, and how your church needs new tech and equipment—or when it doesn’t.

4. Buying equipment that doesn’t last

When you have a limited budget to work within, it’s easy to start cutting corners. But tech is an area where cutting corners hurts your church in the long run. Buying cheap tech may help cover your bases now, but if you have to keep buying replacements, that adds up. Not only does your church have to get used to working with less-than-ideal software or equipment, but you may wind up paying as much as—or even more than—you would’ve paid if you just bought something that was built to last.

5. Ignoring changes in church tech

You don’t have to invest in every church tech innovation. But if you want to be as effective as possible, your church needs to pay attention to what other churches are doing and how technology is evolving to meet your needs. Your church tech director is best equipped to evaluate new tech and determine whether or not your church would benefit from adopting it. 

But that can only happen if your tech director keeps up with what’s happening in church tech. That could mean meeting with other church tech directors, attending conferences, testing new software, getting involved in online communities, or simply reading articles and following tech brands. However they stay up-to-date, they need to be prepared to help your staff discover new solutions and reject unnecessary expenses.

Make wise choices about church tech

Churches today have a lot of options when it comes to new technology and equipment. But they often lack a process for determining what that new tech or equipment is worth, and when it’s time to make a change.

In our free ebook, The Church Tech Buyer’s Guide, we’ll help you:

  • Identify your church’s actual tech needs
  • Recognize when old tech is costing you more than an upgrade
  • Determine who should help you decide what to buy (and who shouldn’t)
  • Measure the return on investment a piece of tech would provide your church

Download your free copy today.

Ryan Nelson

Ryan Nelson has been a volunteer youth leader with Young Life for nearly a decade. He writes in the Pacific Northwest, where he lives with his wife and twin boys.