Top 5 Tips to Improve Church Production and Your Volunteer Morale

Sometimes, as tech directors on staff at churches, it’s easy to forget that we are the only ones getting paid to be at church making it happen each Sunday.  A lack of preparedness or leadership when directing volunteer teams is just completely unacceptable when it’s “go time” on a Sunday morning.

1.  Connect with your team during the week

It doesn’t matter how you do it, just that you do it.  Connect with them in small groups (whether it’s one you lead or just participate in that happens to include some of your team members), comment on select, daily things on social media to let them know that you care about their every day life, or keep your team updated on what’s being changed, improved or share small status updates on projects that effect them directly via email or social media.  It helps cultivate relationship between team members and leaders as well as allows them to feel a sense of ownership in the ministry they work to support on Sunday mornings.

2.  Be Cheerful

At least smile! :-)  Sometimes, it’s difficult to be that way on Sunday mornings simply because of stress of making sure everything is ready to roll and because of other conflict or problems that arise.  Don’t expect your team to be happy, cheerful, and easy to work with if you, as the ministry leader, are not.  As the leader, your team will mirror your attitude and outlook, so make it a good one!

3.  Know your gear

The gear you use and run production with is your tool for making it happen.  While your tech gear will not LEAD YOU INTO worship, it certainly will keep you from ENTERING INTO worship.  To overcome this is to have things set up and prepared beforehand to reduce problems.  This will help you with last minute changes and service flow modifications because you’re already pretty close to where you need to be already.  But, when there are serious problems or failures, knowing exactly how your systems, setup, design and gear works is critical in troubleshooting problems and getting fast results.  Production errors tend to get way more notice then anything else over the course of a church service.  That understanding will help you get out of sticky situations quicker!  I wrote about when one nightmare came true for Sunday| Magazine a little while back.  Check it out here.

4.  Don’t be afraid to call shots

You’re the tech director, it’s your job.  So many times, I talk to people who are afraid to make a judgement call because they are afraid that they’re going to make the wrong call.  Then, instead of actually making a decision, they don’t do anything thinking that it will just work itself out.  If you’re really directing and coordinating this thing, do something and say something.  Weigh the pro’s and con’s taking the time frame into consideration and make the call being as intentional as possible.  If you make the wrong decision, evaluate your performance and learn from your mistakes.  Then, change how you make decisions for next time.  If you’ve done something well or made a tough call that ended well, then take what you’ve learned from that and see if it can be applied to anything else you may be struggling with.

5.  Circle back afterwards

Bring your team together if possible after you execute a service together and talk about what went well, what didn’t go so great and could be better, and what was a total failure.  Allow them to give input from their perspective and from the specific roles that they served in.  Weigh their input and take it into consideration as your prepare for the following week.  You don’t have to use everything, but you may still hear something or realize something that you missed that can help you create a better experience for next time.

 

What other tips and ideas do you employ at your church?  What other tips can we all learn from?  What things have you learned to avoid?

3 Responses to “Top 5 Tips to Improve Church Production and Your Volunteer Morale”

  1. David Brock, Sr December 30, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Jason…..what a great post. I wish every tech director would read this and put into practice. This concept is also applicable to so many other areas of ministry. Great!

  2. Jason mckelvey February 1, 2013 at 9:26 am #

    Hi! Nice list. Just wanted to add: protect your crew from leadership above you… When they come to crack skills for a mistake, always take the blame. And, feed them something! Even a free donut can make being there awesome!

    • jasoncastellente February 1, 2013 at 10:17 am #

      Great points Jason! I agree with that. As a tech director/tech team leader, you’re responsible for what goes on…that includes the mistakes and the problems. It’s also your responsibility to solve the problem. Volunteer-based church teams will always have mistakes in spite of how well you train people…heck, even I make mistakes from time to time. Like you said, the important part is taking the blame and responsibility on yourself. That will also help diffuse an intense situation much more quickly. Thanks for reading and commenting. Feel free to hit me up on Twitter too!

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