Thursday, July 20, 2006

Sound Teams 101 -- Any Ideas?

Today's Topic: Team Building

If you're here to read about including teens in your tech and media teams, I'm so sorry. I decided to postpone that post one week in order to selfishly seek the help of my small clan of readers. And I need the help, believe me!

In a few weeks, I'll be participating in a panel discussion seminar at the WorshipGod06 Conference called Sound Teams 101. Every time I'm asked to teach a seminar, I have a feeling of desperation for God's help. In many cases, the people I'm teaching could teach the same topic better than me. And even though I'm not really teaching this time, I still have that sense of need because I really do want to serve these folks in spite of my youth and inexperience.

That's where you come in. You get to be a conduit of God's grace to me.

I was asked to submit some notes in outline form on two topics we'll be discussing: On-The-Job Training and Growing Your Team as the Church Grows. Even though I probably don't have time to change the actual outline, I still have time to learn from you on how to help folks.

Here's the outline. I won't write out the explanation of the points. If there's anything that seems really mysterious, that's because it's not clear. So, tell me what seems mysterious, so I can clarify it. And let me know what should be added, deleted, or changed. Thanks so much!

On the Job Training

On-the-job may be the only chance you get to train.

Never do anything alone. Always be training.

On the job training “plan” (stolen from my friend, David Sheets):
  1. I do it. You watch.
  2. We do it together.
  3. You do it. I watch.
  4. You do it.
Make sure you transfer values and decision-making as well as functional procedures.

Evaluate after each step.

Why can’t we get past “I do it?”
  • Time: there isn’t time to train while we’re actually trying to do the work. Remedy: start earlier
  • Excellence: I can’t let a trainee do this because we can’t afford to make mistakes. Remedy: search for (or even create) contexts where mistakes are “allowable”
  • Selfishness and Pride: I like to do this and I can do it better. Remedy: Repent, by the grace of God
Growing the team as the church grows

Small Portable Church

Benefits:
  • Simplicity
  • Understanding for mistakes that comes from “family” mentality
Challenges:
  • Set up, tear down everything.
  • Budget is limited.
  • Manpower is limited.
Recommendations for Team Building:
  • Focus on recruiting labor, so that three or four technical “experts” can concentrate on their part.
  • Find people who are resourceful and good problem solvers.
  • Make sure to learn beyond your current needs, because you’ll use that knowledge soon.

Larger Portable Church


Benefits:
  • Larger pool of manpower.
  • Budget is bigger.
Challenges:
  • Set up, tear down everything.
  • Expectations for excellence are increasing.
  • Attempting to make your “smaller” system work for a bigger church.
  • More musicians.
Recommendations for Team Building:
  • Focus on increasing your technical “expert” base, but don’t forget labor.
  • Begin to instill the value of flexibility and use procedures that allow for flexibility.
  • Begin to specialize by assigning people clear roles.

New Permanent Facility

Benefits:
  • Don’t set up and tear down each time.
  • Opportunities to train outside of Sundays.
  • More events outside of Sundays.
Challenges:
  • What do I do with the extra volunteers?
  • Expectations for excellence are increasing.
  • The permanence fosters creativity.
Recommendations for Team Building:
  • Specialize! Make everyone’s job easy but meaningful.
  • Begin to create a more specific leadership structure.
  • Insist on procedural and personal flexibility.
  • Train outside Sundays.
  • Train a lot. Then train some more.

Multi-Venue Facility, Multi-Program Church

Benefits:
  • Many opportunities to serve.
  • Many opportunities to train.
  • More people, bigger budget.
Challenges:
  • Multiple sound systems to understand.
  • Many “openings” to fill.
  • Volunteer pool busier.
Recommendations for Team Building:
  • Assign leaders to either “season of life” ministry areas, or sound systems.
  • Assign leaders for each meeting context.
  • Delegate as much as possible to those leaders.
  • Encourage people to decide how they will serve, at events they normally attend, or at ones they don’t normally attend.
  • Specialize even more.
  • Reserve your best people on Sunday mornings.

When should we hire a part-time or full-time sound/technical person?

Wait as long as reasonably possible.

Some possible gauges:
  • Building a new facility
  • Over 50 volunteers
  • More than 2 other ministry areas that require Sunday-level technical support
  • When regular creativity becomes a priority for the senior pastor



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