Opening the microphone case, I was shocked when I noticed a microphone was missing. I checked another box. I checked the sound booth. I checked the microphone stands. That’s when I remembered the women’s retreat. The women’s group held a retreat over the weekend and even though the retreat went from Friday night to Saturday night, they hadn’t returned the equipment.
That’s not the only time my equipment had vanished on a Sunday morning.
Around the same time that happened, a new ministry started at our church. All of their ministry work occurred outside of the church and required microphones and cables. While they were good about returning equipment, they didn’t always return cables in a properly wrapped way.
Time for an equipment loan policy! Using a few free minutes of my time, I had my policy created and in place.
You can create a simply equipment loan policy using three areas;
1. Establish guidelines.
- Borrower must notify you at least one week in advance for scheduling/verifying equipment availability
- Borrower must list out all requested material and leave a list of said material on a clip-board in the equipment storage room.
- Borrower must be trained (by you) in simple equipment usage. This might include cable wrapping, microphone care, and electrical safety.
2. Establish expectations.
- Borrower will properly care for all equipment.
- Borrower will return all equipment as soon as possible so as not to cause problems with other equipment needs.
- Borrower will report any problems when equipment is returned.
- Borrower will contact you if any critical problems occur when setting up / using equipment.
3. Establish ownership.
- Borrower recognizes equipment is on loan from the church.
- Borrower (the ministry / church group) recognizes that repeated use of equipment on a regular basis may constitute the need for the ministry to purchase their own equipment.
Your equipment loan policy can be as simple or as complex as you desire. My recommendation is keeping it easy-to-understand and that everything should come under the headings of guidelines, expectations, and ownership.
In the case of my church, we still loan out equipment to the women’s retreat once or twice a year. And that new ministry went on to purchase their own equipment. You want ministries to borrow audio equipment when they need it. Using an equipment loan policy, you are allowing that to happen while reminding the borrowers of good stewardship.
Questions: How Have You Deal with Lending Equipment? What Problems Have You Experienced?