Old Production Takes From an Old Guy

Month: January 2009 (Page 1 of 2)

New ProPresenter Features

It’s been a while since I’ve written much about ProPresenter, but the guys at Renewed Vision have been busy. They have been coming out with a pretty constant stream of upgrades that make our lives easier, and for that I’m grateful. The latest version, 3.5.1 as of this writing, has a few cool new things (that didn’t necessarily come out at 3.5.1) that I really like.

Song Importing

I’ve written before about the “New Presentation (song) from Copied Text…” feature, and how much I like it.  Normally, what I’ve done is do a quick internet search for lyrics of a new song, or take the cord sheet from our music director, clean it up and copy it in that way. Both those methods work great, but I think the new Song Select interface is even easier. Assuming you have a CCLI account (you do have a CCLI account, right?), you can now access the CCLI song library right from ProPresenter. Search for the song you need and click the Export button on the Song Select tool bar. That launches the Import feature of ProPresnter and the song appears. Just like other import methods, the importer is smart enough to pick up on lines like “Verse 1” and uses them as labels, not lyrics. It’s really fast, and super-convenient. 


New Media

Through the Resources button in ProPresnter, you can also access background media from a number of vendors including Igniter Media, 12 Inch Design, WorshipFilms, Highway Video and Midnight Oil. Using the built-in browser feature, you can search their catalogs and find what you’re looking for. A couple of mouse clicks and the media is purchased, downloaded and inserted into your library. Very cool.

Subtle Improvements

They have also made some subtle changes to the preferences panel that make is easier to get Pro configured the way you want. In fact, there are a number of very subtle changes throughout the interface that just make it easier to use. One such example is a feature request I made on their forums some months ago (not that I take credit for it, I’m sure others asked, too). There is a transition time setting at the bottom of the presentation window that controls how fast one slide fades into the other. While you could always click in the box and enter an exact number, the up/down arrows incremented in 1 second steps. I felt this was far too large a chunk; normally I’ve found times between .3 and .6 seconds work best. That used to take a lot of clicking and typing. Now, the arrows increment in .1 second steps, which is far more useful. Thanks guys!

Remote Control

Finally, perhaps the coolest feature is the iPhone remote. A $4.95 app you can buy through the iTunes store, the Remote gives you the ability to observe or control Pro right from your iPhone or iPod Touch. I have been playing with this a little, and it’s extremely cool. Since it works over Wi-Fi, you can control Pro from anywhere on the network. It’s instant-fast, meaning no lag time between a touch on your iPhone and the change in Pro. When in Observe mode, it’s possible to scroll through the entire library or playlist to see what is coming up next without affecting what’s on screen. In Control mode, it’s as if you were sitting at the keyboard. This would be great if you find yourself down a volunteer some weekend and have to run ProPresnter while doing something else. Or to be able to review sermon notes with the pastor without shouting across the auditorium. Or checking lyrics with the worship leader. Or…



I’ve not been shy about telling you that ProPresenter is my favorite presentation app, and these enhancements only strengthen that opinion. Remarkably, they’ve continued to add features without turning Pro into a lethargic beast of code. Clearly, they’ve been careful in designing it well. The best part is that all these enhancements have been free (save the iPhone app, but it’s $5…). Keep it up guys!

DTV Transition Set for Feb. 17 (Again)

Well, once again our government has disagreed with itself. The House failed to pass the bill that would have delayed the DTV transition for another 4 months. So that means, barring any significant activity from the White House (which seems unlikely), the transition will move forward on Feb. 17. 

Jason Cole wrote the following in the comments section of Monday’s post regarding the transition, but I thought I’d bring it up here for those who don’t dig through the comments.

Just a quick update again for those who don’t follow my twitter feed.  The House did not pass the DTV delay bill after the Senate did which means we are back on track for all the changes.  While ATT may not make any of the new technology available to the public, they do have gear deployed to begin testing.  Verizon has said in the past they plan to start testing on the 18th as well, but I have not been able to verify that as it was just a statement made back when they won the auction.  Anyway, it could be a real mess for the next year.

So there you go. The next few months will be interesting!

Our New Server Pt. 3

Still carrying on with this series on our new server, today I’ll look more closely at the two main administration tools; Server Admin and Workgroup manager. Each of the screenshots can be enlarged by clicking on them (and if you pay close attention to the names in these screens, you might pick up on a little geek humor)


Server Admin

When you launch Server Admin, you’re presented with a list of all the servers on your network. Once you select one and authenticate in, you get a nice overview of what is going on currently with that server. You see what services are currently running and have access to each configuration pane. I’m really impressed with the organization of the admin app. Hard-core sys admins may be frustrated with the number of clicks it takes to get something done, but I appreciate the very visual, even attractive, presentation of controls.


This is a look at the file sharing configuration. Once you turn start various file sharing services (AFP, SMB, FTP, NFS), you share volumes or folders. You have standard POSIX rules, just like we’ve had in Mac OS for a long time (Owner, Groups, Everyone), as well as ACLs (Access Control List). It’s easy to set up highly granular control over the sharing of sharepoints, folders and files. 


Users and Groups

Again, as you’d expect, Workgroup Manager is where you administer the user and group accounts. Again, it’s very visual and intuitive for the most part. It would be easy to conclude Leopard Server lacks power because configuration is so easy. That, however, would be a mistake. While we don’t have need for many of the advanced capabilities it provides, there is a lot of power under the hood.


Users can be managed right down to individual system level preference panes; network and portable home directories can be set up; mail and print quotas are easy to set and monitor. Software updates can be deployed over the network and there are some pretty solid security features, including single sign-on Keberos.


Now, we’ve only had the server running for a few weeks, but it’s been rock-solid. I’ve not had a single service hang, and it’s plenty fast for our uses. In fact, it’s considerably more hardware than we really need right now, but my plan was to grow into it, not out grow it in a few years. We set up VPN through our Astaro firewall (which works great, and may come up again in a future post), and I’m able to manage the server remotely with no problems. The main reasons I chose Leopard Server were reliability and ease of management, and so far, it is a great fit.

There are a few things that aren’t perfect, of course. The most glaring omission is the ability to push out calendar synchronization to the iPhone and iPod Touch. This is slated to be updated in Snow Leopard, and I’m eager awaiting that upgrade. We won’t really use iCal server until then. While the applications give most users access to the configuration tools they will use the most, some things still require a trip to Terminal. For example, I wanted to send my log files to a smaller partition of my backup drive, instead of to the boot drive in case a runaway process starts logging like crazy. While it’s easy to view the logs from Server Admin, there’s no way to send the logs to another spot. My pal Erik was able to accomplish it by creating a symbolic link in Terminal, but have no idea how. To be fair, that’s a pretty arcane task, so I’m not sure it makes sense to build it into the application. 

Other than those few things, I’ve not found anything I have wanted to do that I can’t. It fits the bill quite nicely and should serve us well for a long time to come. The fact that someone like me with a very solid background in using and working with Macs (23 years this year!) was able to get it set up and running with minimal fuss in a few hours speaks volumes. I’m pretty sure that after a few hours on a Windows Server I would still be trying to get it to connect to the network (granted, I don’t like Windows and use it as little as possible). I’ll keep you posted as we roll out more services.

Our New Server, Pt. 2

Picking up from where we left of yesterday with our new server configuration, today I’ll talk about actually getting Leopard Server installed and running. 

Three Possible Configurations

When you first start up Leopard Server, you are asked to make a choice between three server configurations; Standard, Workgroup and Advanced. Standard is the most simple to configure–it gives non-server admin types the ability to get the server up and running quickly without getting into trouble. You can’t do a whole lot of custom configuration in Standard mode, but you would have a hard time breaking it. Workgroup mode is more specialized, and would only be used if you had multiple servers on the network. Advanced is, as the name suggests, the most powerful mode and gives the user access to all the features. 

I initially set up in Standard mode, mainly because I wanted to get in and play around. Admin in this mode is done through a simple Preference Pane interface that is very easy, and very basic. I would guess that just about anyone who is proficient in the use of the Mac OS could get the server running in this mode.

Being a true geek, however, I wanted more control. It wasn’t long before I made the one-time, irreversible switch to Advanced mode. And that’s where my first troubles began.

Mistakes Were Made

Yeah, I’ll admit it, I messed up the first configuration. Really, I was anxious to start playing with it, so I installed it and started configuration of the server before I had really decided how we were going to deploy it. I’ll also say right up front that CPC’s IT guru, Erik, was a huge help in getting everything up and running. 

When I first installed the software, the MacPro was still sitting on CPC’s network, which tainted the initial configuration. Basically, it messed up the LDAP and Open Directory, which pretty much hosed my set up. I didn’t figure that out until later, when I was going through some final set up. So, I re-formatted the drive and started again. This next part is actually impressive.

Set up, Part Deux

I went from a blank hard disk to a fully-functioning server in less than 4 hours. That’s complete with all my user accounts set up (granted, there were only 11…), DNS, DHCP, file sharing, printer sharing, FTP, Open Directory, iChat and SMB access. And about 40 minutes of that was the installer running! Keep in mind my disclaimer from yesterday that I’ve never set up a Leopard Server before. Now that I’ve done it twice, I think I could cut the time in half. That’s the real beauty of Leopard Server–it packs tremendous power into an interface that is accessible by mere mortals. 

While the server can be run an administered via the command line, the way the rest of us will access it is via two applications–Server Admin and Workgroup Manager. Server Admin does just what you’d expect, administer and configure the server. The basic process is to enable a service (say, AFP file sharing), configure it, and finally start it. It’s very easy and intuitive, even if you’re not an expert. Some services, such as DNS require some knowledge of creating forward and reverse DNS lookups, but that’s relatively easy to figure out. 

Tomorrow we’ll dive a little deeper and look under the hood.

Digital TV Transition Date in Transition?

Looks like our new government is hard at work already. A scant few days into the new administration’s reign and they’re already rocking the boat. The Senate passed a bill today that would delay the analog to digital TV transition for another 4 months. This is rather comical because the first deadline for the change was sometime in 2001. Most people have forgotten about that one.

It’s looking like the White House doesn’t believe people are ready with their converter boxes, coupons are gone and some people still haven’t figured out how to stop their VCR from flashing 12:00. Apparently, another 4 months should fix that. Yes we can!

Anyway, to some extent, that’s good news for churches using wireless microphones. Well, that could be good news, that is. The bill still needs to pass the House (which seems likely), and since the Obama administration is calling for it, it’s likely to be signed.

Should there be a delay, June 12 is the new target date. There’s still no word from the FCC what the migration plan out of the 700 Mhz spectrum would look like, but that’s just how they roll. 

Regardless of how this turns out, if you have wireless mics operating in the 700 Mhz range, start making plans to move. Shure, Sennheiser, Lectrosonics and AKG are all offering re-tuning or rebates. I know we’re in tough financial times and no one wants to replace perfectly good equipment, but you need to start making plans to do so. Whether it’s Feb 17, June 12 or next year, we’ll have to be done with 698-806 Mzh eventually.

And remember, there are always those old-fashioned wired microphones!

Read more on the bill at MSNBC’s web site. Hat tip to Daniel Murphy for Twittering about this bill.

[Update 10:09 PM] Jason Cole has brought it to our attention that the DTV transition and the 700 Mhz migration are separate issues. So, even if the FCC (or the White House) holds off on the DTV transition, AT&T and others are just waiting to flip the switch on Feb. 18, as they presumably take over the 700 Mhz band. I’m not exactly sure how this would affect TV stations that are still broadcasting in that band, however, it is sure to have negative implications for wireless mic users. So the advice still stands: Get out of the 700 Mhz band ASAP. Like a leaky faucet, it’s not going to get better if we ignore it.

Thanks to Jason for pointing this out. When the government gets involved, it takes a village to keep all the facts straight!

Our New Server

This post may be considered a bit off-topic by some, but I operate under the assumption that geeks are geeks and we like to learn about technology of all kinds. And since I’ve assumed the IT Director role in my job, my time is now divided between A/V and IT related tasks. So I thought I’d write a little about my new experiences in setting up our server.

As Upper Room prepares to launch off on our own, we needed to set up our own server. Since all but 2 staff members were Mac users already, it made sense to go with Leopard Server. Now, I’ll put a little disclaimer out there right now: I’m not a hard-core Sys-Admin type of guy. I’ve been networking computers, installing premises wiring and setting up peer-to-peer sharing for over 20 years, but I’ve done precious little server admin. This was another strong driving force for choosing Leopard Server over a Windows Small-Business Server. So no hate mail from command line commandos, OK?

The System

First, let me run down our equipment list. My original plan was to go with an XServe, largely because it comes with the unlimited client version of the server software already on it (a $1,000 value). However, when I looked at it more, the cost of adding anything to the XServe is more expensive because it’s a 1 rack space unit, and that compact size is costly. For example, AppleCare for an XServe is over $700 (at non-profit rates!). It only has 1 full-length PCI-e slot. Drive bays are expensive and can only be sourced from Apple. In the end, I came up with a better plan.

We already had a 2.66 Ghz Quad-core Mac Pro as our edit machine. I found a 2.8 Ghz 8-core MacPro on Apple’s refurbished site for $2,400. I swapped out the 8 core for the Quad core and now I have a faster edit station and a solid server platform. I installed a HighPoint RocketRaid 3522 hardware RAID card in the Mac Pro and connected it via Mini-SAS cables to an Enhance Technologies M8 8-bay SATA RAID enclosure. I filled that up with Western Digital RE3 Enterprise-Class 1 TB drives and configured it in a RAID 6. That gives me approximately 6 TB of online storage that can survive 2 drive failures without data loss. Cool!

I also dropped in a FirmTek e-SATA card to connect a SansDigital e-SATA 2 bay enclosure for off-site backup. This part has been a bit problematic, as the first SansDigital enclosure died after 2 days. I’m still waiting for a replacement (Directron.com is not on my recommended vendor list, in case you were wondering). I have  1 TB and 1.5 TB drives ready to go in the e-SATA enclosure whenever it comes back. Just because I can (and it was cheap) I put three identical Seagate ES-2 250 Gig drives in the MacPro. Two are configured as a RAID 1 and act as the boot drive (RAID 1 means 2 drives that are mirrored, so all data is written to both all the time). The third is yet another backup of the boot drive, which is cloned every night using SuperDuper!. My theory was this; in case the server MacPro dies, I can pull that drive sled out, pop it into my edit MacPro and be back online in a few minutes. Plus, it was $52 to get another copy of the boot drive, so why not?

The system is rounded out with an Astaro HD-120 Security Appliance (firewall/gateway), a NetGear 16 port gigabit switch and an Airport Extreme for wireless access. I’ll say right now that the Airport is wicked fast. If we didn’t already have the new office wired for gigabit access, I would skip wires altogether.

Speaking of fast, I ran BlackMagic’s HD speed test on the hardware RAID and got read and write rates of 160 and 180 MB/sec respectively. To say I’m happy with that performance would be an understatement, especially when it’s configured for safety, not speed. So that’s the hardware. Tomorrow I’ll talk a little about what it was like to actually get the system up and running.

Exciting News from Roland Systems

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while, you probably know that the RSS V-Mixing system is on my very short list for a new digital mixer when Upper Room relocates in a few weeks. I have been holding off on making a final decision pending the official release of an accessory that I learned about unofficially a few months ago at WFX (I wrote about it here). I learned the information from someone who had good intel, so I was pretty confident. Today, my excitement grew when I called my dealer, who had just heard the official word an hour earlier (nothing like cutting it close!). So here’s the skinny.

RSS will be introducing a personal monitoring system that will function much like the Aviom system; with some key benefits. First, it is designed to plug right into the REAC network, so that means no extra D/A, A/D, D/A conversions. Second, by being on the network, all 40 channels that exist on the REAC network are available to each personal mixer. A key to the system is a RSS-designed switch that will deliver power over Ethernet and the digital signal to the personal mixers, so there won’t be a need for wall warts. I haven’t gotten pricing yet, but I’m told it will be comparable to the Aviom. Products are slated to be available in mid-to late-spring.

Personally, I’m seriously jazzed about this. Don’t get me wrong–I’m a big fan of the Aviom system. I think it’s great and was all ready to go with it before I learned about this. Aviom offers a huge bang for the buck and sounds great. But there are limitations, the the most significant being 16 channels. 

We have a fairly small band at Upper Room–drums, bass, acoustic & electric guitars, a two keys and a few vocals. Normally, including click and vocals, we’re 15-16 inputs. However, I like to be able to send at least a submix of all the speaker’s mics (pastor, announcements, etc.), talkback and video playback. This would mean we’d have to create some submixes of the band to make that happen, and that kind of defeats the purpose of the system.

With the RSS system, each personal mixer can select any 16 inputs from whatever 40 channels you assign to the REAC B port via the output patchbay. These can be individual channels, mix busses, DCAs, whatever. So that means instead of trying to squeeze everything into 16 channels, we can make up to 40 available, and each musician can choose what they want. Because the needs are different, everyone should be able to get a mix that suits them.

For example, the drummer may want each discreet drum channel to mix, then the worship leader, guitar and bass. A background vocal may be fine with a DCA mix of the drums (or even kick and hat to keep time), but want the other vocals, keys, guitars, etc. With this system, that’s all possible. In fact, it would even be easy to come up with 2 or 3 different drum sub-mixes for even more choices.

There is also talk of having some type of onboard effects for the mixing stations. One of the primary complaints of the Aviom is that it’s a little too dry for many people. This should help, again without tying up a extra channel or three. Not exactly sure how it will work yet, but I’ll let you know when I know (which hopefully will be sooner rather than later!).

Another huge advantage is that because the personal mixers plug right into the REAC network, there’s no need for an addition Aviom My-Card or input module. That makes it even more attractive from a pricing standpoint. Also coming is a software update with some new features based on user feedback. I don’t have any more details than that right now, but I’ll keep pressing for them.

I’m really impressed with what RSS has done with the V-Mixing system. From making 40 channel multi-track recording as easy as plugging in a gigabit Ethernet cable to creating a game changing personal monitoring system, this is exciting stuff for churches. The fact that the desk and digital snake can be had for under $10K is amazing. As budgets keep shrinking for churches (including ours) this is good news. 

I hope to get my hands on a desk in the next week to play with some more and I’ll have some more thoughts on it then. Sorry, Yamaha…I love the M7 and LS-9, but with this latest move, RSS has won this round.

Thriving in a Portable Church Setting Pt. 2

Today we’re back to talking about thriving in a portable church environment. Yesterday we talked about Organization, Process and Cables. Today, I have a few more thoughts on making the system work as smoothly as possible.

Document, Document, Document

Develop input lists, cue sheets, packing lists and inventory sheets. Make sure every thing is spelled out. Even though our set up doesn’t vary much from week to week, I make an input list anyway. We use Google Docs to post it online where our entire team can view it. It’s easy to update and even new volunteers can follow the patching. We use cue sheets to organize our service, and set up and take down checklists to make sure everything happens the right way each week. It might seem like it gets old hat, but there will (hopefully) come a day when you are adding new people to the team, and a checklist or input sheet make it much easier to train them.

Don’t Skimp on Cases

I’ve seen churches (and some bands) try to do pack their entire audio system into a bunch of Rubbermaid bins they bought at Wal-Mart. Now, I love Rubbermaid bins as much as the next guy, but they are not the right way to transport thousands of dollars of A/V gear. Cases that the gear fits into properly are not a luxury. If you have your cases designed correctly, they will fit in the back of the truck or trailer evenly and fully, will stack better and be easier to load in and load out. Use wheels. Nothing tires people out faster than carrying hundreds of pounds of equipment in each week. Roll it. 

Organize things into cases by where it’s used. Don’t put mics and the CD player in the same case. If you do, you create unnecessary footsteps. I’ve seen some churches very successfully build their own cases for durable things like light poles and mic stands. But for the expensive stuff, have a case built. Your gear will last longer and not fail you when you can least afford it.

Develop Teams

It’s tough getting to church at 6:30 AM, loading equipment in, setting it up, doing church, then reversing the process. Doing it every week is a recipe for burnout. You need to enough people for at least 2 teams to do the job. Three would be even better. It means more people to train and organize, but in the long run, you’ll go through fewer people. And when one person does leave, it doesn’t shut the whole program down. I would make this a priority if I were in Christie’s shoes (which come to think of it, I will be in a few weeks…).

Right now we have two teams of four each for presentation and lights. That means each person is on once per month. We have two FOH engineers and two guys for audio set up that we’ll be training to engineer as well. My goal is to have four engineers and four audio set up guys. This keeps everyone fresh, yet gives them enough time on the job to get good at it.

So there you go. Like I said I’m no expert on doing portable church. However, the same principles that make a touring concert production run smoothly apply to moving a church in and out. We have to adapt for volunteers, but over time, I think we can develop systems that would make the best roadies envious.

Thriving in a Portable Church Setting

Christie, a new reader posed a good question the other day, and as I was responding to it, it seemed like an actual post was in order. She finds herself in a situation where there will be a total set up and take down every week, and is looking for suggestions. Now, I’ll admit I’m no expert on portable church. I have done it in the past, but the system was pretty simple. I have, however, spent 10 years on and off the road doing live production. Currently, we set up and take down almost our entire system at Upper Room, so I have some thoughts on making it easier.


I believe this is important in any production setting, but it is vital in a portable church setting. You simply don’t have time to be looking for things when you have an hour or two to set the whole system up. Everything needs a place, and must be returned there every week. It’s also important that everyone knows the system, so they can be both efficient during set up and put things back properly afterward. Take some time to analyze the needs of the system and come up with a way to pack, unpack, store and transport the gear in a way that makes sense. Refine if for a few weeks in actual use, then lock it down.


This is the other side of the organization coin. It’s important to develop a process and stick to it. Set the system up the same way, week after week. How you do it will vary based on the setting, but work it out so that it is both efficient and repeatable. Figure out a way to minimize the trips between FOH and the stage. Place cases and equipment where they will be needed and don’t waste motion. Again, refine it for a few weeks and lock it down. Teach everyone who will be involved the process and make sure they follow it. Eventually, you’ll be able to do it in your sleep.

Pre-Cable as Much as Possible

When I started at Upper Room, the only cables we had to work with were 25′ and 50′ mic cords. Each week, we would pull out eight 25′ cables to wire the drum kit–which was 3 feet from the snake. So that was 200′ of cable to go 3 feet. We also ran between five and seven 50′ cables from one side of the stage to the other. So every week we laid and picked up nearly 500′ of mic cord. After observing this for a while, I built a 12 channel sub snake to run from one side of the stage to the other, and a bunch of 1-3′ cables. Now we drop the sub snake right where we need it and use a few 1′ cables to patch in DIs. I also built some 12′ cables for mics on that side. Finally we built what we call our drum loom. It’s a bundle of cables wrapped up in loom material. Cables come out at various points for the drum mics. It’s just the right length to go from the snake to the drum mics, and takes literally 30 seconds to deploy and less than a minute to pick up. And because everything is labeled on both ends, it’s easy to troubleshoot a mis-patch. We now lay out and pick up less than 50 lineal feet of cable each week. And because it’s all labeled, it’s easy to train new volunteers to do it.

I’ve used this same technique with video systems as well. Rather than running 10 BNC cables from one rack to another each time, I bundled them together and built bulkheads to patch them into. Set up time dropped from 20 minutes to 2. 

Tomorrow, I’ll have a few more thoughts on helping a portable church run smoothly. And I should point out that if the thought of making your own cables seems daunting, read the series of articles I did on soldering and you’ll be making cables in no time. Read them here, here and here.

Doing More with Less Pt. 2

Yesterday I wrote about the dilemma I’m currently facing–having to do more with less. As our staff shrinks, those of us that remain have to take up the slack. To keep from working ourselves to death, we are leaning more on volunteers to augment our roles.

The trick is getting started. How do we decide what to “farm out.” What jobs can I reasonably expect a volunteer to do, and what jobs to I need to keep on my plate. If you find yourself in a similar position of demands exceeding your ability to meet them, your answers may well differ from mine. Part of the process is to determine who I can call on, what their gift mix is and how much time they have available. I need to find people who are passionate about our community, and who have the time to give to it. It helps if they actually have skills as well.

Another issue is figuring out how to parcel out tasks. Do I turn them over completely and stay hands off? Or do I set up the process then provide oversight to my team leaders. Again, this is going to depend. I’ll give you an example. I currently am responsible for our set up and take down teams each week. After spending a few months learning their jobs, recruiting additional volunteers and developing a process for scheduling and set up and take down, we looked for community members to lead those teams. We now have 2 highly capable women as team leaders. I have pretty much turned over leadership to them. They now send out reminders each week to the teams, confirm everyone, find subs as needed and direct the teams on Sunday. I help out when needed and continue to recruit. What once took a lot of my time now takes less than 30 minutes a week. That’s leverage.

When it comes to my tech teams, the first thing I’m going to attempt to parcel out is training. I’ve wanted to get a regular training regimen going for a while, but I haven’t had the time. So, I’m going to look to my most capable volunteers and ask them to start leading regular training sessions for the teams. I’ll help with content, subject matter and scheduling–at least up front. Eventually, I’d love to have that running on it’s own. I will still need to have some involvement in this, but I should actually be able to get more done through the help of volunteers.

When it comes to our website, I’ll probably be more hands on. I’ll need to be involved at a high level, helping to determine functionality, content and structure. I’ll need to lead a yet to be formed team of people to make it happen. While I expect to spend a fair amount of time on leading, I don’t plan on spending a second coding. I could, but I don’t have the time or the expertise. And I have other things that I need to do.

Some of the best advice I ever received in this area was from a Worship Pastor I worked under. At that time I was a 10 hour a week Tech Arts Director. I was trying to figure out how to get everything done, and I wasn’t succeeding. She told me I needed to determine the things that only I could do, do those things, and lead others in doing the rest. That was good advice. I’m going to be leaning heavily into that over the next few months, and probably years.

So what about you? Are you being faced with doing more with less? How do you prioritize what you have to do and what you can delegate?

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