The parable of the talents in Matthew 25 tells a story of three servants and talents. It teaches a lesson on stewardship and responsibility that is just as applicable to our finances as it is to our ministry resources. How we use, store, maintain, and repair our equipment and backstage space is a direct reflection of our commitment to our stewardship of the assets we have been given.
Well Organized Space
Developing intentional processes to care for your ministry’s equipment, stage props, and backline instruments isn't exactly the fun part of what we do. Few people will ever see the fruit from this labor. Tidy storage closets, equipment lockers, and backstage areas allow our teams to quickly and confidently respond with a solution-sided yes, whenever a need arises. It optimizes our team and gives them more time to focus on the work at hand rather than the boxes of old equipment that need to be put away. Bringing control to our behind-the-scenes chaos also allows us to invite volunteers into meaningful roles because there is never a question of where to find the tools they need. Efficient storage spaces empower others to join in and fully own their piece of ministry.
Maintaining Our Resources
Regular maintenance schedules and inventory control ensures that we can carry out plans without delay. Respecting our spaces and equipment demonstrate good stewardship to our teams and our church leadership. How can we expect to receive newer, better tools if we don't first demonstrate that we are trustworthy with the resources we currently care for?
Here are some practical tips for maximizing resources and work flow:
Keep it simple: Be sure that whatever system you put in place is easily maintained. If previously quick and easy tasks now require twice as much effort due to added organizational steps, the process is too complicated and lacks longevity. The benefits don't outweigh the cost.
Keep it flexible: If the system falls apart because a few new pieces of gear are added to the inventory, it's not flexible enough. Make sure your new system can grow and change easily with the needs of your ministry.
Keep it updated: As our ministry needs change, so do our tools. Technology changes and “cutting edge” quickly becomes outdated. Old equipment cluttering our closets and lockers makes it more difficult to find the tools we need. Outdated gear will only get older and less useful. Annually assess your inventory and get rid of stuff that isn’t being used. As an added bonus, we can often donate much of this older equipment to benefit less-resourced ministry partners.
As technical artists, we are often down in the details of how to make something better, louder, and brighter. Colossians 3:23 says, "Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters.” This could be the theme verse for any production team! Even in the seemingly small ways—keeping our space neat and tools in their best shape—we are instructed to bring our very best to the table. Let’s do it!