Guest Blog: Why A Ministry Fair Won't Work For IT

Most ministries benefit from a ministry fair, where those interested can obtain more information about serving in a ministry. It is often a time for those who don’t know ministry leaders personally to get to know them better and make connections that can last a lifetime.

I was recently asked why an IT ministry didn’t take advantage of a ministry fair to recruit new volunteers for their team. The problem with IT/media ministries is that most people that like technology are quiet people. They see things so clearly that they believe that if someone wanted their help, they’d ask. This isn’t about ego, it is about how they see the world and the church – it just makes logical sense to them. What they don’t realize is that you have to let people know about your passions and interests. They never make this connection and they miss out on the blessings of using their skills for the local church.

So, how does a church reach out to potential IT and media volunteers? Here is a step-by-step guide for recruiting tech-saavy volunteers within your church:

  1. Identify all areas within your church that utilize technology – A/V gear PCs, servers, network closets, or any other technology used to support the church. Examples include: soundboards, projectors, streaming audio/video encoders, switches, cat 5/6 cable, and DSL/Cable/T1/T3 trunks
  2. Plan a technology tour 10 minutes after each weekend church service for one weekend, with the idea of showing a “behind the scenes tour of the technology used to make church service happen”
  3. Announce this tour from the pulpit or in the church bulletin 1-2 weeks prior to the tour, and again on the day of the tour. Ask them to meet you at the first location of the tour, most likely a sound booth or something easy to find
  4. Take the group to each location within the church and speak about how it is used to make church service happen
  5. After the tour, ask them to fill out a simple form with their name, email, home phone, and what area(s) they are most interested in volunteering
  6. Follow-up with an email or phone call the same week to find out their availability and schedule a time to chat further about their skills and placement opportunities
  7. Be prepared to create new opportunities to utilize the skill sets of those that want to get involved, as most technologists prefer to stick with what they know when they first sign up but will be open to trying new things later

Being a tech geek myself, it has only been a few years since God took me out of my position of shyness to developing other leaders within the church. How did I go from being a shy, solo technology guy to leading leaders? Well, it started by attending the very same kind of technology tour 8 years ago by another leader in the church!

Appeal to the technology interests of others by meeting them where they are at whether than making them meet you on your terms. You’ll be amazed at how your IT and media ministries will grow!

James Higginbotham – Volunteer scheduling tool – Volunteer recruiting and leadership – Software consulting

IT Status

The last couple of posts have been IT-related and I’m intrigued and curious as to what the IT situation is at your church. At Bent Tree we have an IT department. I’ll soon have a special guest blog post about recruiting IT help at your church.

For now, I’d like to know: Is IT at your church done by full-time employees? multiple staff/department? part-time? Out-sourced? A volunteer? A volunteer team? A combination of staff and volunteers? What’s the IT status at your church?

PC or Mac?

Let the wars begin! Just kidding. Actually, I ask the question because I think the answer (for most churches) is BOTH. I just talked with 2 guys that do video at 2 different larger churches and they use both Avid and FinalCut.

In the world of Church IT (which I’ll blog more about later), there seems to be a either-or mindset and after talking to a few geek friends, plus Tony Steward (who is just too fun to call a geek, but he knows his stuff) – they seem to believe that church networks can have a happy marriage of PCs and Macs.

I wonder: is this your reality? Is your church all PC? all Mac? Are you a hybrid? What’s your situation? My church is predominately PC, but the whole Worship & Arts/production staff is Mac and after talking to several of our pastors, they’d like to be Mac, too. I wonder if you, like me, since we’re at a tipping point.

HERE’S an article that I wrote almost a year ago for Monday Morning Insight. I was shocked at home much attention it got. It was obvious I had hit a nerve/hot button. I asked in the article how many have switched to Vista and how many have switched to Leopard. I ask you the same. We recently switched all our Macs to Leopard and got the Final Cut Studio 2 upgrade.

So, what say you? PC? Mac? Both? Are you near a tipping point? Do you think both can live happily together on a church network? Are Exchange and Entourage incompatible? Are they either-or options or does that even matter? Let me hear ya!