10 Valuable Lessons Learned Mentoring Church Media Teams

10 Valuable Lessons Learned Mentoring Church Media Teams


Before I get into some of the lessons I have learned when mentoring church media teams, I thought it might be helpful to give you some history on why I am passionate about this and why I started Media Mentoring, my mentoring church media teams consulting group.

I have worked in Christian media for over twenty-five years. I started that journey by joining the first daily Christian television station established in the UK the day after it launched. In those days, we were pioneers; no one had done what we were doing, indeed the law had to be changed to allow us to launch. That meant there weren’t people around who could help us figure it out.

We made many mistakes (and that was before we could use YouTube as a knowledge resource that would help us make even more J), but thankfully we also got a lot right. Through that process, I realized how useful it would have been to have a “mentor” to guide me and keep me away from my mistakes. Since then I have actively sought out people who can mentor me in different aspects of my life – I recommend you do the same.

Because of my history though, I have chosen to become that mentor to other church media servants starting (or floundering) on their media journey. God challenged me a while back by asking me, “What are you doing to equip those coming after you?”

Whilst I love the hands-on side of producing and directing content and all things creative, I believe that as well as doing that in this season, I need to be involved in equipping others (people JUST like you) to go higher and farther than I can. How else are we going to utilize the incredible opportunity media gives us fully? I can’t (and don’t want to) do it all…

Church Media is a Tool

One of the things I am passionate about is that we keep focused on the fact that media is a “tool” to connect people to the Good News of the Gospel. It is NOT the end in itself. It can be very seductive as it is beautiful to see our creativity impact people’s lives, BUT we must keep the main thing in focus all the time – and to do that, we often need external “voices” to help us.

In the process of setting up Media Mentoring and starting to work with church and ministry media teams, there are a few things I have seen that generally are true in most environments I work in so I wanted to give you some of that insight and ideas on how you can overcome them.

Here are ten valuable lessons learned that seem to be true for most church media teams:

Valuable Lesson #1 – Obtain More Skills

Many churches don’t have the skill set needed to get the most from their equipment.

Many churches face this common challenge when it comes to utilizing their media equipment effectively. Many have invested in expensive equipment essential for producing high-quality media content. Still, it’s more important to have a skilled team who can operate and harness the full potential of that equipment. Indeed, a skilled team can get more out of substandard equipment and will take you further than the other way around. Without the necessary skills, your church may face frustration and disappointment due to disappointing media output. To address this, churches need to provide training for their media teams to enhance their technical abilities and creativity, ensuring they can use their equipment’s full capabilities.

Valuable Lesson #2 – Avoid Competition

Too often, a church wants to compete with another church they see rather than find its unique place and unique voice.

Individuality and authenticity are crucial for success in your church’s media endeavors. The temptation to copy what other churches are doing will lead to a loss of creativity, identity, and originality. Each church has its unique vision, mission, and community; it is crucial to emphasize and magnify these distinct characteristics in your media. By finding your voice, your church can connect more deeply with your congregation and the broader community in a way that copying what someone else is doing won’t achieve.

I always encourage church leaders to work out their unique place in this sphere and stick with that, as I believe it is when we connect with what God says to us that is where we will be most effective.

Valuable Lesson #3 – Nurture Creativity

People on church media teams often are stifled in their creativity, and leaders don’t realize what that creativity can unlock.

Creativity can be a powerful force in media production. Still, team members often find their creativity limited, which stifles their potential for innovation and for your digital ministry to flourish. I see this often when there isn’t an “up and down” flow of ideas. As a leader, you need to encourage your team to be creative. Don’t give them solutions; give them problems and encourage them to solve them. Give them the freedom to succeed and fail – creatives need both.

Of course, that requires you to learn how to lead creative people.

Here are some quick tips on encouraging and empowering team members to explore and experiment with their creativity.

  • Provide a supportive environment for them – safety is essential for creativity.
  • Recognize their achievements – celebrate their creativity.

This will help your team members break free from self-imposed boundaries and discover the full extent of their creative talents.

THEN your digital ministry can flourish!

Valuable Lesson #4 – Avoid Bad Habits

People have picked up a lot of bad habits by relying on Facebook forums and YouTube videos for advice; those bad habits then get passed on.

OK, so this is a real bugbear of mine…

There is abundant information available online, including a ton of advice and “help” on social media platforms. If you ask a question on certain forums, you will get lots and lots of answers – but not all of it will be helpful.

Not all sources provide accurate or reliable information. That’s why getting guidance from experienced professionals with real-world knowledge in church media production is crucial.

Focusing on reliable training and learning resources, rather than random posts on Facebook groups or YouTube videos – neither of which I am against, can help your team members avoid harmful practices and techniques.

Valuable Lesson #5 – Be an Encourager

The people on your teams need encouragement and support, particularly post-COVID, where they were the “heroes” who kept the church going.

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges to churches and their media teams, which were critical in maintaining communication and connection during difficult times.

Now that it is over, though, it’s easy to forget the dedication and hard work of the team quickly. Don’t; they were heroes then and can continue to be heroes now!

Providing ongoing input, encouragement, and support, especially in the post-pandemic recovery phase, will boost team morale and help them overcome any lingering burnout or stress.

BUT also challenge them afresh, what can you do WITH media next, where can your digital ministry go, and what new challenges can you take on – let’s go again!

Valuable Lesson #6 – Stay Focused on Your “Why”

It is easy to get disillusioned, BUT vital that you keep your “why” at the forefront of what you do.

Feast on testimonies of your results; we must be responsible for our encouragement. Working on a church media team can be demanding, and setbacks or obstacles can lead to disillusionment.

To counter this, we must continually remind our team members of their core purpose and the positive impact their media efforts have on the church community and beyond.

Sharing success stories and testimonies of how your digital ministry has impacted individuals can rejuvenate the team’s motivation and help them stay focused on their mission.

Valuable Lesson #7 – Celebrate Wins

Comparison will kill you; Instead, see how far you have come and celebrate small wins.

Drawing comparisons with other churches or media teams will only be detrimental and lead to discouragement.

You must encourage your team members to focus on their progress and growth, celebrating even minor achievements.

By acknowledging and valuing the team’s unique journey, you can maintain a positive outlook and foster a healthy and productive working environment.

Here is a tip for you, if you want to “hold up” an example for your team to strive to emulate, don’t use something from the church media world. Instead, look at what the mainstream media is doing and learn from that – they will be far ahead of what is happening in the church space and can be far more inspirational for your team to see.

Valuable Lesson #8 – Build Community

Build community in your teams, give them space to learn and grow together, and encourage them in their relationships; don’t make it about what they do but who they are.

I often see media teams focused on “getting the job done,” and whilst that is important, it can be detrimental to the long-term success of your team. You may find you don’t retain your people if you are too focused on what they MUST achieve.

Instead, create a sense of community within your church’s media team. This will be essential for building collaboration and camaraderie. You must encourage team members to support each other’s personal and professional growth.

Develop team-building activities, have regular “social” meetings, and ensure accessible communication channels. These can help create a supportive environment where team members feel valued not just for their technical skills but as individuals with unique perspectives and experiences.

Valuable Lesson #9 – Work on Yourself

If you are leading a church media team, the best thing you can do is work on yourself and your leadership; a team will only ever rise to the level of its leader. And part of leading well is admitting when you need help and getting that help.

As a leader, personal growth and development are crucial in guiding your church media team to success. Leaders should invest time in improving their leadership skills, as the team’s growth is directly linked to the leader’s abilities.

Additionally, leaders must be humble and open to seeking help when needed, as this sets a positive example for the team and creates a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

Not knowing something isn’t a weakness; the problem is when you don’t know and carry on like you do. That’s one of the reasons I am so passionate about Media Mentoring; we can be there to help, support and see you grow and flourish in your leadership.

Valuable Lesson #10 – Find the Right People

When building a team, don’t concentrate on skills and talent; instead, focus on finding people with commitment and consistency. Skills can be taught; character is what counts.

Assembling a church media team isn’t easy, but it’s vital to prioritize character traits such as commitment, consistency, and dedication over technical skills.

While skills can be taught and refined over time, a team built on a foundation of strong character is more likely to endure challenges and pull together to achieve more than their individual “sums” might be capable of. As I mentor leaders and media teams, I always encourage them to look for passionate individuals about the church’s mission and values, as this shared commitment will drive the team’s success and impact.

Growth is the Natural Result of Good Team Dynamics

I love mentoring church media teams and their leaders, but I realize it is a multifaceted endeavor. I want to impart technical skills to them, encourage their creativity, build their team dynamics, and support their individual growth. That is where we will see success.

This was also the driving force behind my writing my eBook “Let’s Make it Better: My Top 5 Tips to Move Your Media Ministry Forward:”

If you are a leader or part of a church media team, I hope these ten lessons will help you. And if I can help you, please reach out to me too.

The success of your church media strategy can only be achieved by having people pulling in the same direction. As a leader, you can guide your team towards that and see your digital ministry succeed – and if that’s something I can help you with, I’d love to know.

Graeme Spencer is the founder of Media Mentoring and a pioneer in Christian Media with over 25 years of experience. With a particular skill in live television, he has produced and directed some of the largest Christian events over the past three decades. Having worked in the USA, UK, Europe, Africa, Israel, Hong Kong, India, South America, and Australia, Graeme is highly regarded within the industry as a Christian media professional. Grab his free ebook on media mentoring here. He has produced thousands of hours of world-class Christian television, won numerous awards, and worked with some of the best-known Christian ministers. Before founding Media Mentoring, Graeme was the Chief Operating Officer of GOD TV.