Forget the New Year's resolutions that you never keep. Use these ten ways of improving your audio ministry as a list of action items for 2011. Action items demand action. I'm not talking rocket science…I'm talking about the fundamental actions 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…they 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. A certain means to burnout. This is part of caring for your team members.
3. Get a budget. Find out if you have a budget. 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 not too late to do this.
Find out 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 it for 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, a team member presents a tech 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. Need I 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. 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.
Question(s): Which of these ten will you tackle first?