One of the things that can be challenging for church tech teams is training. And I am talking about training the entire tech team.
A lot of churches do not have the money to send people to seminars/conferences and such to get training. So they just throw people to the wolves and/or use people that may not know what they are doing.
Training is a vital part of making a great tech team.
Think about any job you have had. How many of those jobs had a training period? I would almost bet the majority of jobs train their employees. So why is it hard for the church to train their techs? I will sum it up in two words: MONEY & KNOWLEDGE.
Usually it’s the cost of training and the lack of tech knowledge. What I mean about the lack of tech knowledge is that most people think it’s easy to run the tech stuff because they do not have the knowledge about the gear and how much you really need to know about it. They just know if it’s working or not. And if it’s working it must be fine.
I have been an instructor for over 20 years. And have been involved with training many firefighters. So I have a good knowledge of what needs to happen to train people. Training firefighters is not that different from training anyone else, except that their lives are on the line. But the concepts are the same no matter who you’re training.
People learn in basically three different ways, or a mixture of them:
Learn about your techs and how they learn best.
You may be able to simply ask them what method works best for them.
If they learn better from reading, hand them the manual for your gear. Having someone that knows the manual can pay off in the end. They might know things you have not thought about, that they read in the manual. If you need to, make up a guide on how your stuff works. (Keep it in the tech booth/room).
If they learn from watching (visual), let them watch. You can also give them links to some how-to videos for your gear.
If they learn from doing (hands-on), let them do it, with you monitoring until they feel comfortable. When you’re monitoring them you don’t need to breathe down their necks. Give them room and let them do it. Don’t always jump in and do it for them, let them figure it out.
Train, Train & Train
You can never have enough training. You can always learn something, no matter who you are or what level you’re at. The more you do things the better you become at doing those things. A great time to do training is during practice and sound checks. This is a great time for training because if mistakes happen it does not affect the service, and it becomes a learning tool.
Train people to take your place.
Do not be afraid of someone taking your place. If you do not train someone to take over, what happens if you cannot be there for some reason and they have a problem, and you can’t help by phone?
Always set your team up for success.
Use your techs to your advantage. Have whoever is the best at something train others. No one can know everything, so taking advantage of your techs’ strengths this will help the entire team learn and become better.
In closing I just want to share a few tools that can help advance any techs’ learning.
CSMT (Church Sound & Media Techs – Facebook page)
Soundcraft Guide To Mixing – Youtube
Academy AV – On Facebook
Yamaha Guide To Sound Systems For Worship
Shure Tech Notes
MOTX (Ministry of Technology) held by Creative Sound Solutions LLC.
David Jordan is a father of two and full time firefighter & part time fireworks technician. He serves as the tech/media director at Calvary Assembly of God in Kissimmee, Fl. David Jordan is founder of (CSMT) Church Sound & Media Techs Facebook group which he created as solicitation free learning tool advice column for church techs from around the world. He has been involved in church sound/media for over 37 years. He enjoys teaching & helping others to better their tech ministry.