By now you probably know that I'm all about the volunteers. I keep tweaking my systems, formulating new processes and trying to come up with new ways to make life easier for our volunteers. Recently, we implemented something that has gone a long way to lowering the blood pressure of our ProPresenter operators. It's so simple, yet so effective, it's a wonder we never made a habit of it before. Once in a while we might do it, but never regularly. It works so well, it's even in the schedule!
What is this magical ritual, this secret formula for solving the world's ills you ask? In a word, collaboration. We now have a dedicated time slot for the worship leader to physically walk up to the tech booth and stand next to the ProPresenter operator and walk through all the worship tunes. Yup, that's it. It's brilliance is in it's simplicity.
We've been getting great charts from our worship leader, with equally good "scans" (aka. verse, chorus order) for a long time. But even with that good bit of information, there always seemed to be a few things missed. Perhaps I forgot to insert a chorus repeat, or he forgot to note one. Now, he and the presentation volunteer walk through the songs together and make sure they're on the same page.
They get to note instrumentals, bridges, breaks, repeats, whatever the needs of the song. He'll tell them when he's going to talk before a song begins so they know to hang on the blank for a bit. And they get to ask any questions and clarify whatever they need. Like I said, it's brilliant.
It only takes about 10 minutes to go through the entire set, but that 10 minutes saves us twice that in run through. I know this because we have been able to shorten run through to include just the ins and outs of each song (mainly so we can check lighting transitions). Cutting almost 20 minutes out of run through means we're done earlier, which means we now have plenty of time to relax, hang out and pray before the service starts. And that makes everyone sharper.
I know it doesn't seem like an earth shattering revelation, but often the greatest improvements come from the smallest steps. Give it a shot.