Value #6 of 37signals reads like this:
No hidden fees or secret prices – We believe everyone is entitled to the best price we can offer. Our prices are public, published right on our site, and the same no matter who you are.
There is a lot here that I really love and that applies to our role as technical artists in the church. Even though we don’t have fees or pricing structures, there are a few great lessons for us to learn about how to provide great production support for our churches.
The best we can offer.
Your team, your congregation, your leadership, is entitled to the best you can offer. Many times that feels like more than we have to give. But that is what I love about the wording of this. It doesn’t say the best we can’t really offer. It doesn’t say that we need to kill ourselves in the process. The question is: what is the best you can do? Then do that.
For 37signals, they are a business, so they aren’t going to give you such a great price that they lose money and then go out of business. They are giving you the best they can offer, which includes enough for them to keep the doors open.
Many times, as technical artists in the church, it is easy to get caught up in doing more than we really can. To pull a bunch of all-nighters. To put too much effort into something that won’t yield a high enough return. To over-extend ourselves and violate our boundaries in an effort to give our “best”.
Not that there aren’t times to pull all-nighters, but a steady diet of that will eventually push you into not giving your best. You can hardly function, let alone give your best. Killing it all the time is a very short-sighted way to look at providing production support to your church, since over time, killing it will eventually kill you.
It takes vast amounts of discipline to figure out what “the best you can offer” looks like. Get disciplined.
Public. Published. The same.
Production is a mystery to most non-technical people. Some of this is natural. Some of it we create. It is easy for us to hold our cards close to our chest and not reveal too much about what we do. If people knew, they would ask for more. If people knew, then I would have to provide it to everyone. If people knew, I’d have to work all night to pull it off.
Unfortunately, tech people are known for being secretive about what can and can’t be done. I used to be vague, out of a sense of fear. What will they ask me to do if they knew? How much work will this translate into? I already have enough going on.
This kind of posture lends itself to mistrust, and that is no way for us to function optimally on our teams.
What this translates to, also requires lots of discipline. To be open and honest. To treat every situation with the same intentionality but not necessarily the same results. Andy Stanley has a great principle called “One, not everyone.” The idea is to do for one what you wish you could do for everyone. For me, in production, this means that each situation is different and that one rule can’t apply to everyone. If I only did what I could do for everyone, nothing would happen at my church.
So, to treat every situation intentionally, but with potentially different outcomes is a tough spot to be in. However, this is what it means to become a mature adult and a vital team member, and it is a muscle that needs to be exercised.
We need to let go of the fear of what might be asked of us, and become intentionally public, published, and the same; knowing that every situation is different and will require me to engage with each one individually.
Relax about what might happen. Learn to be disciplined with an intentional response.