Forget the New Year’s resolutions that you never keep. Instead, consider these ten methods of improving your audio ministry as a list of action items for 2011.
Action items, well, demand action!
I’m not talking rocket science, however, I am talking about the fundamental steps required for growing and improving a team!
1. Add a new volunteer
Advertise in the church bulletin, newsletter, video announcements, whatever it takes to show that the audio ministry is serious about adding a volunteer.
Let people know they can stop by the sound booth after any church service to find out more.
2. Bench a player
A volunteer on your team who is also volunteering in other church ministries so much that you rarely see them sitting in the congregation might need to be benched for a season.
Before benching them, talk with them and explain how you see them giving a lot to the church but not allowing themselves to be fed by the church which will certainly lead to burnout.
This is part of caring for your team members.
3. Get a budget
First, find out if you even have a budget.
Then. find out how much it is and what it covers; new or just fix old. Find out if the money rolls over from the previous year.
Create an audio budget if you don’t have one.
4. Review your Christmas production
It’s definitely not too late to do this. Determine if you need more microphones or monitors for next year and add that into your budget items for this year.
If there is a need for a piece of equipment for the Christmas production, determine if it’s equipment you can use throughout the year. Buy if you can use it a few times a year. Rent if it’s only needed once a year.
Review the production quality and determine how to improve for next year.
5. Develop a training schedule
Once a quarter, hold an evening training session. Once a month, have a team member present a technical topic in detail.
Create an email list so whenever a team member runs across a useful article on the internet, they can forward it to the group.
6. Review your scheduling process
Do you have problems scheduling people for certain holidays? Are people scheduled far enough in advance?
Do people often forget when they are assigned? Send an email out to the person a week ahead of the scheduled date so they know they are scheduled.
Our secretary does this with all volunteer positions. Schedule people for three-to-four months in advance. Use a scheduling program or see if the church secretary can incorporate this task with other scheduling tasks.
7. Set and explain expectations
Set the expectations of your team and the production quality. This can include timeliness, behavior, competency, continual improvement, and even weekly reviews if you want.
8. Replace any broken or unreliable equipment
Do I really need to say more?
9. Meet with the musicians and worship leaders
Find out if they are having problems with equipment, processes, or needs not being met by the audio crew.
Work towards rectifying the issues, whether it’s through working with your audio team or through educating the musicians on areas where they have to take responsibility.
10. Look to the future
Picture yourself in the same place next year and write down the areas you wish you had tackled/resolved/fixed/improved. That’s your extended action list for this year.
Which of these ten do you think you’ll tackle first? Let me know in the comments below!
Ready to learn and laugh? Chris Huff writes about the world of church audio at Behind The Mixer. He covers everything from audio fundamentals to dealing with musicians. He can even tell you the signs the sound guy is having a mental breakdown.