by: Brad Herring
Almost every church we visit has the same struggle within their technical ministries – finding good committed people to do the work. Most churches have one or two people that volunteer in A/V. Many of these have over the years taken possessive ownership of the ministry or become burnt out.
Most of our clients come asking how they can get more people involved. We believe that rotation is key. Your people need down time. They need time to be with their families and absorb the word.
I recently saw an interesting poll. The polling question was this:
My Biggest Challenge as a Church Sound Operator is:
- Subpar equipment …. 18%
- Lack of knowledge/experience … 18%
- Uncooperative Staff/Worship Team … 24%
- ALL OF THE ABOVE … 40%
Wow. 40% of the people polled saw all three areas as their biggest challenge. I expected to see “Subpar Equipment” take the lead, but if you look at the list (aside from the “all of above” answer, you see the biggest offender is an uncooperative staff and worship team.
This resonated with me. It should you as well.
As a leader in Worship & Creative Arts it’s critical to remember that we are still about people.
How to Get People To Serve: If you want people to work in your ministry – make it a good ministry to work in.
Don’t kill your people. A lot of people want to serve. Few people want to be at the church every night of the week. Realize that people are all in different places in their life. Find a way to reach those people in a non-threatening way. Here are some ideas:
- Start off with a 8 week commitment – or some manageable trial basis
- Work for a rotation so your people aren’t on EVERY week. Give them rest.
- Look for people that tend to hang around looking at the toys (they are already showing an interest)
- Remember to minister to your flock (the ones serving in Worship & Arts ministries)
- Make it fun – find things to do together and live life together – don’t just make it about doing a task
- Find introduction jobs that aren’t mission critical to ease people into it
I’ve seen many talented A/V people give up on serving because it was just too much work. Either they felt that no one listened to them, no one appreciated them, or it was just too much effort for the return. In other words – they get burned out. Recognize this and step in to insure it doesn’t happen to your people.
Many people are intimidated at the responsibility and the technical complication of the ministry. Ease their fears by bringing them on for support tasks – setting up the stage, rolling cable, taping cable, serving as an A2 for the main sound person, preparing the slides, proof-reading the slides and so on. There are many roles that you place a newbie into without adding pressure or stress to their life.
Another great time to bring people into the ministry is right before a major training weekend. We always encourage our churches to do a “Help Wanted” campaign before our visit for training. It’s real easy to say, “We’d love for you to help, AND we are about to have a guy come in and teach us all for the weekend how to do this – would you like to come and try it?”. Getting people to serve is hard. But I believe the key to getting people to serve is making the ministry much more than just turning knobs and pressing buttons. Use the opportunity to build a family and to disciple a fellow believer. Make it fun. Enjoy each other. Love each other. And, when needed – extend grace to each other. When people love what they do, they keep doing it AND they invite others to come do it with them.