Assembling a team of audio and visual technicians for a small church can be quite the challenge. Usually most technicians are volunteers, there is not much feedback until something goes wrong, and the team experiences a lot of turnover. Below are some strategies designed to assemble and retain a team of talented church audio and visual technicians.
Dealing with volunteers who have gone through training or who are going through training to become paid technicians is a good place to start. Their volunteer work at your church presents the possibility of community networking and securing opportunities for their careers.
Vision/Expectations: When meeting with new volunteers, be sure to communicate your goals, vision, and commitment requirements. If you and a volunteer come to an agreement for moving forward, you should place them on a one-month trial period for orientation and training. After the completion of this trial period, you should meet with the volunteer to review progress and decide whether or not to keep them on your team.
Team Structure: Rely on structure and empower your team leader to oversee all aspects of your audio-visual capabilities and presentation. Your team leader is responsible for orientation and training while reporting to the Technical Director. Depending on the amount of equipment your church needs, scheduling your team in rotating shifts might be the best way to keep organized and spread out the workload. Make sure that volunteers have enough responsibility to be truly involved with their work, but not too much as to burn them out. A good rule of thumb is to have volunteers serve two to three times per month.
Training: A good team is built with passionate people who want to be part of the organization, and proper training allows you to highlight these people. Pairing new volunteers with experienced veterans for the trial period allows for observation and then actual practice. The final step in training should be to allow the trainee to teach a lesson to someone else, as teaching reinforces learning and existing knowledge.
Community: Community is vital and monthly community nights can serve to build professional relationships between paid and volunteer personnel as well as those outside the church audio-visual team. Having a sense of belonging to a team unites people in your ministry. People recognize the value of being included and the value having a leader whom they can approach. Building relationships with your team gives you personal and professional leverage.