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If the sound guys are having a hard time differentiating between monitors and house, do you think the monitors may be too loud? Perhaps the house speakers need to be placed differently, perhaps the monitors could be repositioned. I have seen it where you could pull the house all the way down and have close to 90Db out front. Seems like on occasion, we have to pull everything down to nothing and start over. Weekly the monitors just creep up and up and up. Sound is not easy, hearing that something is wrong and knowing how to fix it is really an art. I enjoy sound, but I am not good enough to quickly solve a problem. I will eventually get it, but not fast. Something I would like to work on.
Have a team meeting to discuss ways to make improvements. If the volunteers feel they are involved in making these choices, then they may be more be likely to follow through. Even if these are policies already in place - in theory.
Perhaps, this meeting should be mandatory for continued service, if someone doesn't care enough to show (without a sound reason). . . that way they will be making that choice, not you. But this should be presented in a positive light like "let's move forward" - definitely not as a threat.
(. . . the view of a volunteer team member concerned with the same issue)
teresa@WORDpictures visual media
ok, i'm starting to see your problems.. you might need to clean house and start over. Have a team meeting where you explain the need for quality in ministry, and you need to know who shares your vision for "transparent technology" Let them know in no uncertain terms that being at band practice is required, and you hope they all will see how much it helps the worship service.
hopefully enough will play along until you can replace the ones that dont.
Another thought to keep in mind - I'm switching gears a bit: For those of us with media- or tech-focused lives, we have higher standards for acceptable quality and performance in this area. I get frustrated, for example, when the leadership I serve under may have lower standards than my own at times. So I have to put myself in other's shoes and realize that other team member's may be playing a significant role in this ministry as well as touching the lives of others through it - but in a different way than is my service in this same area. (For example, we have a tremendously positive encourager on the team that I need to have that influence from weekly as do others, but whose technical contribution is simply that they are willing to help.) Some beautiful people may just require careful & tactful placement in a "lower-risk" position. Hopefully that can be said of any of us, as I'm sure I'm not on Spielberg's map.
But yes, there should be an expressed concern for quality performance from anyone who serves in tech. Just saying that capability may vary because of many factors - namely, this isn't a primary life function of many tech volunteers.
teresa@WORDpictures visual media
This isn't a new topic. Here is a poll we ran in 2004:
On average, how many mistakes relating to media are made each week?
As you can see, only 2.8% of people "claim" to pull off a perfect service on average. The majority of people who were polled make 1 or 2 mistakes per service. It's just going to happen! I think most of the suggestions here are great, but I still say it all boils down to leadership. Sorry to do this, but here is an excerpt from my book:
Chapter 3—Building a Strong Media Team
An Effective Team Begins With the Coach
As with any group, the person in charge can make or break
the team. It is essential that a media minister not only have
technical and creative skill, but also possess the qualities of
a good leader. In high school I was a member of a championship
football team…a flag football team. I played in a
Christian league for the school that I attended, and we
were undefeated for two years in a row. Our team, the “Son-
Blazers,” was the team to beat! This wasn’t always the case,
however. In our first year, the team won only one game during
the whole season. We were terrible! The following year
the school hired a new coach, Coach Cline, who proved to be
a tough coach. He trained us like a regular tackle-football
team. Our calisthenics program was rigorous; I’ve never
been in better physical shape since. But Coach Cline knew
that being physically fit was only half the training. He also
concentrated on building us into a working unit and
increasing our self-esteem. He may have been handed a
losing team, but he saw winners in all of us.
One boy on the team couldn’t throw or catch and did not
seem to be a natural athlete. The ball would bounce off his
chest every time. He seemed hopeless. Though he tried to
quit the team several times, Coach Cline wouldn’t let him.
This kid did have one talent: he could outrun anyone on
the team and would have made a great receiver…if he
could only catch. Rather than giving up on him, Coach
Cline decided to capitalize on the boy’s speed. If he could
develop this kid’s ability to pull flags from the opposing
team, he would be a valuable asset. The coach ran special
drills just for the boy, and his skill at capturing flags eventually
matched his talent for speed. He became a star
defensive lineman in the league and was a formidable
opponent to any offense attempting to cross the goal line.
Coach Cline could have easily said, “This kid isn’t made for
sports,” and let him go. I was that kid. Coach Cline had the
vision to work with my skills and develop me into a valu-
able athlete. If he had not, I never would have played on a
championship football team. I would not have tasted victory
as a result of hard work. I learned that every member of
the team is extremely important, even if his position is not
as glamorous as others. Most of all, I base my fundamental
principles for building a media ministry team on this
foundational team experience.
The leader, or “coach,” of a media team needs to have the
vision to see beyond the surface and the ability to recognize
potential team members. For example, let’s suppose
that someone enthusiastically approaches the media minister
after a service about the presentation software used
during worship. He asks, “What do you do for a living?”
She says, “I’m a housewife with a ton of time on my hands.
I’m into decorating, but I don’t know a thing about computers.”
That’s when he introduces her to the “Compu-
Geek”3 on the team. The CompuGeek is a great whiz kid
who speaks in acronyms and knows everything about computers.
By combining their gifts and talents, these two
very different people become valuable team members. The
housewife has an eye for design and color, while the Compu-
Geek knows the ins and outs of the software. If the Compu-
Geek teaches the housewife how to operate the software,
then the media ministry now has an extremely powerful
The success of that flag football team exemplifies the
importance of quality leadership. All team members—even
those whose talents seem less suited to the task—can
become potential champions in the hands of an effective
leader. Remember that a media minister leads one of the
most visual and crucial aspects of a worship service. He or
she should be a strong and compassionate leader, able to
see the potential in team members and help them develop
their natural skills. In time, any group can become a championship
If the team members cannot catch these things from you and the Worship/Pastoral Teams, then you could always be fighting for the extra edge that separates the mediocre from the excellent.
Training, communication, and direction ... are all critical. But the need for quality comes from inside a person. It can be inspired, fanned, and fed, and it needs to be. Ownership is a part of this, too.
Goals keep us working and looking ahead, whether it's what the next song will be, or what we want to add to the service this quarter.
Honestly, I think all the responses here are just great ones. But mistakes will happen, and how to handle the mistakes is critical to pulling off a quality service. Train for errors and surprises - I loved the comment about what the person would do in an emergency.
Details: We're still using the planning center online, too - I'll attach a copy of the script/outline for the day I made with it for yesterday. Before we went to this format, we used a DETAILED script. It was when we moved into the new building and the new equipment. It included cues for lights up and down, whose mic was supposed to be turned on, what was on each computer at the time, as well as what was going on onstage. It was all done in columns.
Everyone got used to it, and they are well-trained now. Vacancies can be filled by one on one training by team members, so we went to the more compact format of http://www.planningcenteronline.com/ - you'll notice no instructions for lights (they just know what to do) and minimal direction for the sound guys - again, they just understand how it goes.
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sevver (Monday, April 7th, 2008)
Positive, critical feedback is a darn good thing. Compliment sandwiches work wonders - "Hey, great job with the (whatever). Don't forget the solo mic next time. Nice EQ on the pastor's mic though" (but nicer than that of course).