To download this article, click the following link: Production Protocol Amendments
As a church grows and moves forward, it’s important that the systems that are being utilized within the church are constantly looked at, adjusted and improved. Very often the make-up of the church is changing and systems are often the things that get left behind which can often lead to bottle necking and frustration. Over the course of the last few months it’s become apparent that our production systems are in urgent need of some tweaking. Whilst the entire church is moving to a decentralized model, it is important for us to do the same to avoid being left behind.
The solution is to move towards a more professional and formal model. For this reason, I have chosen to write this document for production teams and site captains (leaders) in the hopes that it will provide a greater sense of clarity than verbally communicating this will, as well as a sense of certainty and of accountability for everyone. It is also my aim that as new sites are planted that the knowledge from this document would be replicable for all new site captains.
- Collection of Macs
(This comes with the understanding that our macs are used during the week for design and editing. Thus, they need to be collected before Sunday to be used at the different sites)
(Not applicable to sites with stationery macs)
All Macs will be ready from a central collection point at 3pm on a Thursday (The end of the church staff’s week). It would be the responsibility of the Site Captain to organize someone to pick up the Mac from the the central collection point, if he hasn’t done so already. In addition, the Mac bags are labeled for clarity and convenience.
In the event that something goes horribly wrong and the Mac is still needed by staff after 3pm on a Thurs, It is suggested that the person responsible for the Mac midweek contact the site captain and head of production and notify them accordingly.
For the convenience of the site captain, we will give them a list of contact numbers of people handling the mac during midweek if they would like to enquire about the collection of the Mac.
It’s important that the person picking up the mac makes sure that the mac has all its contents. If it doesn’t, this must be sorted on Thursday not a Sunday.
Standardly a Macbook (laptop) needs a:
- The MacBook, power cable, bag and a connector for VGA (Unless it remains at the site).
Secondly a Mini Mac will need:
- The mini Mac, power cable, bag, connector for VGA (Unless it remains at the site) and a mouse & keyboard (unless they remain at the sites)
2. Roles, Recruitment & Continuity
As we move to a more decentralized model, the production teams of the church cannot hinge on a single person with the duty of training, repairing and ensuring that all meetings run well. Due to geographical range in which our sites encompass, a single person could only visit a site once every 4-5 weeks. This is not a workable solution, thus we have found the following changes helpful:
All sites need to designate a head of production. He/she will need an adequate understanding of technology and have a strong leadership gift. It will be his/her responsibility to interface with the site’s teams, set-up rosters, learn the production systems and areas inside-out, be able to train current team members, recruit new ones, enquire about technical difficulties or repairs that need to be made according to the method set out in point 5 of this document and will be solely responsible for interfacing with the site captain and the Head Production Manager.
In terms of who to recruit for head of production – that would be up to the site captain as they know their sites better than anyone. My only suggestion is that he/she is administratively wired and understands and will follow the methods in which the site captain would like him to communicate (written, verbal, degree of follow up vs independence etc).
- In terms of how to recruit I feel it’s important to ask someone to give you an idea of how long they are willing to commit for. Whilst this may seem incredibly formal, I personally feel that it honours the volunteer. Very often we don’t ask or are too afraid to ask someone to commit for a specific period of time, some of the pitfalls of this are:
- When a volunteer wants to leave after a long indefinite period of serving, it’s often “effective immediately”.
- This stops continuity, especially since you don’t know what your time frame is to bring someone else through and very often a site is left scrambling for next week’s solution.
- It’s difficult for a volunteer to commit to an indefinite period of time.
Find someone who is willing to commit for a specific time period (eg. A year), then during the 3rd Term of the year it would be possible to ask him if he is interested in carrying on or if he is struggling with the commitment. If he is struggling or feels as though he won’t be able to continue, at least there is a full term in which he can train up a replacement.
I also encourage that during the time in which your teams are serving to encourage them Biblically regarding serving the church as it will give them greater assurance in their roles.
3. Head of Production Training
The head production manager will be in charge of training the head of production. This will be done through 2 mediums.
- Organized training dates where all the site’s head of production managers that need training attend. However it is important to note that this will be done at a common site and may not reflect the systems on all sites. In addition, these will not be scheduled according to a time period, but will be scheduled when there are multiple sites in need of training.
- If site specific training is needed, a date will need to be organized and agreed to by the head of production for a site, as well as the Head Production Manager. In addition, an email will need to be sent to the Head Production Manager a week before the scheduled training date entailing all the areas that will require training – this will be the responsibility of the Head of Production for a site to send.
4. Site Training
The Head of Production for a site will be responsible for all further site training and recruitment, as indicated in the roles paragraph of section 2.
It will also be his responsibility to train up a successor who can continue leading the production teams with the same amount of effectiveness and efficiency.
5. Technical difficulties and Repairs
It’s important that the head of production is able to troubleshoot and to do diagnostics on their equipment. Very often the solution to a problem is often a simple one (For instance something may have been forgotten to get switched on, or cables were reversed), and it’s important that the Head of Production can narrow down the options.
Once this is established, if something is broken the Head of Production can contact the person in charge of the General System Repairs & Maintenance.
It will then be the Head of Productions duty to enquire and follow up regarding their repairs.
6. Purchasing of Equipment
All purchasing of equipment must be handled either by the site captain, the head of production or a point person designated by the site captain. It’s important that the site captain tell The Head of Production and respective elder who this person is. In addition, The Head of Production and respective elder will make ourselves available to consult with this person. However all purchasing of equipment in relation to the site captains budget must be handled by the site captain AND the person designated for purchasing.
I hope that you will find this helpful for your production teams. We have had to learn by trial and error and we hope that some of the lessons we have learnt can be adapted to your church’s production situation. Feel free to comment or ask any questions in the comment box below.