I hate recruiting. I’m really not good at it, and I’ve always found it difficult. But, as TDs, it’s something we need to be doing. Somehow, we need to be finding ways to expose people to our ministry and offer them a chance to get involved. Like most TDs, I’ve tried bulletin announcements, personal recommendations, walk-in slides and ads on the church website. Most efforts don’t go so well. I have been convicted this year however, that we need to put serious effort into building our volunteer tech teams. I remembered something Daniel Murphy said some time ago. When he found himself in need of volunteers, he prayed and asked God to provide some. So I did. And we came up with a creative way to let people know about our tech serving opportunities.
In our weekend planning meeting, we considered having me come up on stage during announcements and having my boss Todd, who is the Pastor of Weekends & Communication interview me. But the more we talked about it, the more it sounded pretty pedestrian. Someone, and I don’t recall who, suggested that I show up on the big screen, all Hal 2000 like. Perhaps I could take over the service and do the announcement from there. We all loved the idea and set to figuring out how to make it work.
We chose to run this on a weekend when Todd was announcing and I was mixing FOH. We placed one of our Sony Z1s on the left NS-10 monitor at FOH. A little tweaking put the lens pretty much at my eye level. We found that the LED lamps on the SD8, when turned up, provided nice illumination for my face. We took the S-Video signal out of the Z1 and ran it into the Blackmagic Intensity Pro card we have in our ProPresenter Mac Pro (that’s a lot of “Pros” now that I type it out). We created a slide with a live video input on it and loaded it into the announcements presentation.
Todd and I worked out a loose script (and when I say “loose” I mean it was really a very rough outline of what I thought might happen). After greeting, Todd went up to start announcements as usual. Except, his mic was not on. I let him hang there for a minute, until he started waving his arms around. I brought his mic up and he started into a goofy story about his self-proclaimed “mustache March.” After about 20 seconds, I brought his mic down and started the Jeopardy theme. A few bars in, my presentation coordinator, Monica, brought me up on the screen. With his mic still off, I said, “What are you doing, Todd?” We then got into a little banter (after I turned his mic back on, making a big show about how we’re always the ones really in control), that led us down the path of me explaining what we do, and how we had a few openings it the tech team.
The congregation loved it. There was a ton of laughter throughout the announcement and I think it put us on the map, so to speak. Technically, it wasn’t that hard to pull off. The biggest challenge for me was dealing with the 90 msec of delay from the PA to my ear. To solve that, I put in my UE7s just before starting and soloed it up so all I heard was Todd and me directly with no delay. I had already pre-built my snapshots so I knew my levels were good. My biggest challenge was looking into the lens, and not all over the room. I got better at that as the weekend wore on.
So how did it work? In a word, terrific. We picked up 3 prospective new sound volunteers and 3 new presentation techs. Since those were the only two areas we were shooting for, I feel like it was a huge success. Since then, we’ve had a few other people contact me with an interest as well. Given that we ran a bulletin ad for 4 weeks prior to the video announcement and received 0 responses, I’d say it worked pretty well.
The goal was to present the tech team in a positive light, with a good dose of humor. I think we succeeded in that. I hate the, “We need volunteers otherwise the lights won’t be on” approach. I wanted to say, “We have the best job in the church, and we’d like to share that fun with a few of you.” Now, will everyone who expressed interest stick around? Probably not. But we still have a great boost to our teams, and that alone will generate more interest and momentum.
So how about you? What creative means have you used to get the word out about the great opportunities in the tech ministry?