The Stage and The Booth

Why Your Relationship with Your Production Team Matters

The Stage & the Booth

On any given Sunday morning, there are many teams of volunteers working to provide a place for people to gather at your church.  These teams all work in concert with one another (ideally) to create this environment for people to come into.  However, there are two teams that work together so symbiotically that the other wouldn’t be able to function without the other:

The Music Team & The Production Team

Without the Production Team (meaning in this post those who run any tech for a gathering, i.e. Audio, Lights, Screens, Streaming, etc), the Music Team wouldn’t be able to practically lead the church.  They wouldn’t be lit, easily heard, or even able to communicate clearly to a group of people like that.

Without the Music Team (meaning the band that leads during a gathering), the Production Team wouldn’t have a compelling presence on stage to communicate with & through.  They could roll videos or make the stage look cool, but they wouldn’t have a person to help them connect with their church family from stage.

Essentially these two teams NEED each other to be successful.  However, too often, there is a tension that can be found between these two groups, if not lead well.

The band may view the production team as people who are simply there to make them look good or to do what THEY need them to do.  After all, its the band who ACTUALLY leads people during a gathering.

The production team may feel taken advantage because of the behind-the-scenes nature of their service.  After every gathering, you can often hear people saying “the music was great today,” but you rarely hear praise for the lighting or camera shots.  Resentment and even jealousy can easily grow in that soil.

While we know better, that neither of these perspectives on their own are healthy, realistic, or even true, this is a reality that all too many churches live in.  What can we do to avoid this painful reality?

Here are 3 suggestions for cultivating a healthy relationship between your Music & Production teams:

1. Teach Unity

Whether you lead all of Creative Arts (our term for both Music & Production together) or just one of the teams, you must consistently teach unity among the teams.  There is NO us & them; only we.  One team only succeeds when the other is fully supporting them.

Whether in a casual conversation or at a team meeting, you must continually teach the importance of unity among the two teams.  Not only because it is a key dynamic of healthy teamwork, but because this is the expectation of the body of Christ:

For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ.

1 Corinthians 12:12 ESV

Unity among these two teams must be a presupposition, rather than a lofty ideal.  Teach it as people join your team. Teach it as disagreements or conflict arises.  Value unity in how you deal with these issues, and you will see unity spread throughout your teams.

2. Encourage Collaboration

Beyond unity, we need to help facilitate collaboration among these two teams.  Once unity is a foundational bridge between these two teams, collaboration is a healthy next step.  Both teams working together to create something better than they could on their own.

  • What if the audio engineer was proactive about facilitating monitor changes as a way of serving the music team?
  • What if that same music team worked with the audio engineer to help develop their individual sound within the group?
  • What if the lighting director worked with the worship leader to find ways to help the lighting emphasize what is happening during a gathering?

These are all examples of teams collaborating together to create something greater than they could on their own.  Do you know what results from this kind of collaboration?  More unity.

When you’re working with people to create something together, rather than independently, the burden of misses are shared & lessened and the victories are amplified and celebrated among both teams.

3. Spread the Love

Finally, be intentional about spreading the love between both teams.  This isn’t just about making sure that you’re praising everyone equally, but rather helping each team understand how to celebrate and love the other well.

Help your musicians understand how to spot technical successes of the production team, like flawless transitions and a perceived invisible performance during a gathering.  Help your techs to understand how to encourage the music team with more than a “music was good this morning.”  Don’t assume people always know how to do this, help them to learn how to do this as second nature.

People will follow your lead in this.  If you’re consistent in finding ways to celebrate wins on both teams together, they will begin to learn how to spread the love.  Again, when there is unity and collaboration, the love is spread easily.  When one team wins, all teams win.

If you’re in the middle of a situation where there is tension and conflict among these two teams, I don’t envy you.  It takes time to build trust, to teach unity, to encourage collaboration.  My advice: take your time & use LOTS of grace.  Help each team to see the value of the other and do your best to foster forgiveness where needed.

As leaders, it is our responsibility to go first.  Lets be the first to ask forgiveness, to extend an olive branch, to foster a healthy community among these teams.  This relationship, between these two teams, directly effects the quality and atmosphere of our gatherings.  Lets do that hard work and build this relationship well.

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