Finding new volunteers can be one of the most difficult tasks to achieve for a Sunday morning tech leader.
A lot of new potential volunteers are obviously intimidated by the learning curve.
Whether you’ve cried and begged all who dare walk by the tech booth or even offered free cookies to entice some willing volunteers, the chances are you’ve had mixed success in your recruitment efforts.
It’s OK. I have as well, where I’ve gone long seasons without any new help.
It really does happen to the best of us.
There are three important things that I always look for in a new volunteer: a technical mindset, a musical/creative mindset, and most importantly, a Gospel mindset.
A lot of new potential volunteers are obviously intimidated by the learning curve, though, set forth by sound boards and video switchers. Even the idea of turning everything on and off can be daunting for some.
A great place to start, is by creating some easy-to-follow checklists, that spell out how to turn on the sound board, the cameras while checking the white balance, and check all the ProPresenter content for each Sunday, etc.
Don’t make such a checklist too complicated, but have it detailed enough that if, God forbid, you had to take a Sunday off, your team could easily go through the list, to at least get things going and hopefully troubleshoot their way through any issues.
Another great on ramp for new volunteers is to record a series of “Welcome to the Booth” videos (or some instances, “The Cave”). Don’t have a heart attack just yet. These don’t have to be anything fancy, they could be as simple as having you record yourself on your phone explaining where all the gear and switches are, and even possible troubleshooting areas, while also including all the inside jokes and humor a booth naturally creates. (Have fun with it!)
Record a series of these videos and create a video account on YouTube or any number of video platforms, where you can make the videos private and share them with your new recruits.
But even with the best checklists and videos, we can still find ourselves all alone. (Cue Celine Dion’s “All by Myself.”)
It’s easy to get a little desperate in filling the Planning Center roles of a tech team, especially when no one shows up.
I’ve found in my quest, that I’ll start seeing volunteers as just positions and not people. Our volunteers have lives outside of church (gasp!), and we need to be sensitive to what may be going on behind the veil of their smile. Their whole world might be crumbling and we’re only seeing that they were 15 minutes late to call time.
This is where it’s important to make sure that in recruiting and training volunteers, it’s more than just the tech. It’s so easy to focus on the technical and miss the Gospel opportunities we have for each other on a Sunday morning.
When we begin prioritizing the Gospel over tech, we begin to change the culture of the booth. Where it was once a place of “fill a role,” it’s now a place of “fill your soul.”
In these moments of training and conversations, take a moment to talk about something personal, ask about their life, family, job, and my favorite ice breaker, “What’s God doing in your life these days?”
Once we zoom out from the console, and see we are representatives of the Gospel as much as the preacher is, we begin to see all the Gospel opportunities God has provided for us right there in the booth.