One of my favorite parts of the job here at THECHURCH.DIGITAL is helping churches take the next step technologically. We can always upgrade cameras, or video switchers, or PA systems. But no matter how high-tech a church's gear becomes, no matter how the desire for high-quality product becomes, there's one asset the church cannot buy: Volunteers.
Church, whether in Digital, Online, Live Production, Creative, Communications.... volunteers are the life-blood of our ministry. No matter the gear, if volunteers are not led well, quality will suffer. Before major upgrades and improvements happen at the equipment level, ask yourself: how is the volunteer culture in your departments.
To that end, Church, in order to create an effective volunteer culture, we need to lead our technical volunteers technically, personally, and spiritually.
Technically: Our volunteers serve in the technical arena. Just as culture challenges us with change, we should challenge our volunteers to grow and develop their skills! Even better, give empowerment to the volunteer to challenge your understanding and stretch your church's capacity. Remember, gear only gets you so far. Understanding technique takes your to a whole other level.
Personally: Leading volunteers is more than just technical, though. Volunteers need to know that people care for them. They need to know that you're emotionally invested in them. Take the time to know your team members. Gather them together. Learn their kids names, and their occupation. What emotionally challenges them? By doing this, you'll find yourself creating community. Caring for the individual creates a bond, a trust between you and the volunteer. This will pay off big time down the road as your team realizes you care for them more than just a button pusher/mouse clicker/stick mover.
Spiritually: This is so often forgotten, or dismissed, due to time constraints. Take the time to lead the volunteer spiritually. What are the spiritual ramifications of their service? How did God use that service for the benefit of His Kingdom? Celebrate the life-change that happens as a result of the technology. Remind them of their spiritual act of worship thru serving. Pray with them. Disciple them. Help them grow deeper in their understanding of who God is. If you want to see people who are sold out for serving in technical areas, show them how God uses their technical gifts for His purposes.
To reach volunteers effectively, you need all three levels. Tech Volunteers need to be challenged technically, nurtured personally, and nourished spiritually.