Friday, August 10, 2007

Volunteer Roles

I got a bunch of comments on last week's post, Made it to Monday.  Here's another from Josh:
David, You mentioned in your post that you had over 150 volunteers for you Sunday morning services. I was wondering how you organize the scheduling of those volunteers and how many people were assigned to each area (audio, video, lighting, etc.).
Thanks for the question, Josh.  I will try to break my answer up into four different quick posts:
  • The different roles volunteers play.
  • The rotation on which they serve.
  • The way we recruit for specific events.
  • The way we communicate requirements for these events.
Today, I'll tackle the different roles our volunteers fill.  I'm feeling very close to the topic today, since I've been working on creating and updating and improving the checklists for each of these roles.

First, the tech volunteers serve in two different rooms on Sunday, our main auditorium and our Discovery Land production (children's ministry) for 2nd-5th graders.  So, here's a quick list of our roles and a brief description of their responsibilities:

Auditorium Sound
Audio Producer | leads the sound team
Mixer | runs the FOH board
Assistant Mixer | is in training on the FOH board
Monitor Operator | runs the monitor board
Monitor Assistant | is in training on the monitor board
Stage Manager | runs soundcheck and helps translate the bands requests to the monitor operator
Stage Tech | helps set up the stage, and solve problems as they arise
Setup | we have two slots for newer people to get their feet wet by helping set up the stage

Auditorium Lighting
Lighting Operator | aim lights and run the lighting board during the service

Auditorium Video
Video Producer | leads the video team
Camera Director | calls camera shots and runs the camera switcher
Assistant Director | sets brightness on cameras and helps call focus
Cameras 1-3 | three people operate cameras to get amazing shots
Playback Operator | plays videos and slide shows as well as records the videotapes
House Director | runs the graphics switcher that determines what goes on what of our three screens
SundayPlus Operator 1 | puts lyrics up on the screen
SundayPlus Operator 2 | does the same in case the first computer crashes!

Discovery Land Tech
Discovery Land Producer | leads the Discovery Land tech team
Mixer | runs the FOH board
Monitor Operator | runs the monitor board
Monitor Assistant | is in training on the monitor board
Stage Manager | runs soundcheck and helps translate the bands requests to the monitor operator
Stage Tech | helps set up the stage and solve problems as they arise
Lighting Operator | aims lights and runs the computerized lighting system
SundayPlus/Video Operator | puts lyrics and DVDs up on the video screen

We also try to have five people each week who come in to tear down all the equipment and get the storage areas back into a usable state.


Josh said...

Wow, that really is an army of servants!

It's great to see that you have built in positions for people to learn and the well-defined job descriptions must help the meetings run smoothly.

Reading that post made me curious about how you raise up new mixers at CovLife. I know that's now a quick response, so If you have some free post slots I'd love to hear about what it takes for someone to go from plugging in cable to mixing FOH at an event.

And if more post slots open up, I was also wondering what sound check looked like for you at CovLife (how long is it, who does what, does the stage manager refer back to FOH and monitor world, etc.).

I also wanted to thank you for your willingness to answer some of my questions which are longer than one word answers. I in no means want to drive the topics of these posts, but I am anxious to learn from you because of what I've heard about you and because of your many years of experience successfully running the media ministry at a church as large as CovLife.

Thank you,


Anonymous said...

I love hearing how tech teams run in other churches. We are in the process of building our volunteer team, and hearing how you do it is a huge inspiration. Thanks Dave, for sharing your experiences with us.

Brian Van Volkinburg
Church in the Son
Orlando, FL

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. I'm also building a volunteer media team. Would love to get to the point where we have permanent developmental positions.

Looking forward to hearing more on this subject!

I have a question on a different subject. Do you maintain the Covlife web site? I like the simplicity and format.

Dave Wilcox said...

Josh, I'll see what I can do to pull together some posts on your questions here. I'm happy for outside inspiration these days, so keep sending requests!

Roger, I'm glad to hear that you like the simplicity and format of our website. You can rest assured that I have nothing to do with it, and that I will not make it confusing and ill-formatted. However, keep your eye out for 4.0, which is coming "soon."