As a software administrator, I found myself in a position that wouldn’t be considered ‘healthy.’ I was managing the software alone. I input events, made sure the event image matched the print and web site materials (especially if the event was linked to the public web site). I made sure all event information was communicated the same across all platforms. I also checked financials and ran financial reports for our finance team, controlled who had access to the software and at what levels. I managed our physical resources (using the software) – including rooms and other resources (tables, chairs, A/V equipment, etc. I built the check-in system for events. I built forms for registration. Almost no one else used the software, yet everyone knew it was there. Working for them.
That was a long paragraph.
With a lot of “I”‘s.
Something needed to change.
So I began to train people.
I taught our children’s leaders how to build check-in systems. I taught our ministry leaders how to schedule events. I taught our hospitality leader how to manage rooms and resources. I taught our finance team how to run financial reports. I taught a youth leader how to build sign up forms which linked to events.
And they began to work together. Each person saw that their actions within the software didn’t only impact their area of ministry, but how it impacted others. Soon, a team began to form.
I was always available for back up. They know that I still am available for back up.
I was watching band practice one day and watching the sound board operator.
“Hey [guitarist] could you adjust your amp?”
No. Not quite right. Another adjustment.
The guitarist adjusted some pedals.
The sound guy made some adjustments on the board.
They each worked together making adjustments until it was right.
The sound board person continued to make adjustments with each person in the band – checking each instrument individually.
Then the band began to rehearse. Together. Each person playing a different instrument.
The sound board operator stopped them. More adjustments.
They all worked together until they got it right.
What struck me in this was the person with the most control was the sound board operator.
He didn’t jump on stage trying to be the lead vocalist. He didn’t play guitar. He didn’t play drums. He didn’t play any instrument at all. And he didn’t tell each of the band members how to play.
But he made sure that in the end, it sounded right to the audience.
I think software administrators are a little like sound board operators. I recognize that I’m not a great leader in many areas. There are a lot of instruments I cannot play. Most of the time, people are not going to see my name or know I’m there. But I want to help all of my ministry leaders get the most out of the software. I want them to know that I’m always there to help them make minor adjustments or back them up if needed.