This is in response to a former article I wrote on DIY Student Ministry. This is the first of ten areas that I’m covering in this series.
It’s Sunday morning and students start pouring into your room for the program. The lights are stuck on some weird pink color, the woofer is pumping so loud that the gray haired people are coming and asking you to turn it down, and for whatever reason that projector keeps flashing “replace bulb”. So what do you do? Well, this isn’t the first Sunday all of this has happened, its actually a rut you find yourself in and you carry on like usual and yet somehow seem to “make it work” for your students and leaders.
I know the feeling all too well, this has happened to me in multiple environments and I’ve seen many student pastors fall victim to a room that is not functioning properly for them. Here’s the good news, this is not a DIY project! There is an army of students, parents, technicians, other staff, leaders, volunteers that are willing to help. Here is the secret of all secrets, “MAKE THE ASK!” Letting down your pride and letting others into your problem areas can only help the process get better, misery loves company right?! But seriously, you need to move away from these items so that you can connect with people.
Here are a few simple truths or common practices that have helped me:
- Turn that music on! Music seems to make any set up better, whether you are rushed for time or not.
- Setting up chairs. Don’t do this alone, there are too many people to help. Don’t waste your time.
- Get off the ladder, and away from “isolation” projects. You need to be connecting with people.
- If you are handcuffed to the sound booth, you just built a wall (literally) between you and the people you need to be connecting with. Think outside this box.
- Students can run slides, cameras, lights, and even sound sometimes. They just need someone to invite them into the process, teach them how and then let them own it.
- Take one day a month to spend in your space outside of programming time. Pray for creativity, tidy up the room, think about new ways you can use your space.
- Set up for your program a day or days before. I use a shared space, the days that I can get in there before and prep the room for program I am WAY ahead of the game when it comes to the programming day for my students. My mind is clear of prep work and focused on equipping, encouraging, and empowering my leaders and students.
- Recruit. Be specific when recruiting leaders/volunteers. Have one own stage design, another own Audio/Visual, yet another check-in process. When people’s responsibilities start to blur lines you will lose quality and assurance that the specific area is going to be taken care of.