How to Provide a Production First Look
After someone shows interest in serving on your production team, whether through an Opportunities Tour or another avenue, you’ll want to provide an opportunity where they can have a sneak peek into your team to see if it’s an area they really are interested in.
At Newspring, we called this opportunity “Production First Look”. Below I outline how we implemented it, I hope it will give you inspiration in meeting and casting vision to new volunteers that join your team.
1. Contact them.
When we got names of people that were interested in joining our team, me, or someone from our team would call them directly to schedule them for a First Look. We offered First Looks every Sunday morning and every Sunday afternoon. When we called them, we made sure they knew exactly what time and where to meet a member of our team. We would meet them at a designated place and personally escort them backstage to our control room.
2. Introduce them to the team.
When we brought potential volunteers back, we introduced them to the team and prepared the team to be generous and inviting, knowing we would have visitors.
3. Provide a unique way for them to observe a service.
We installed headphones on our wall above a couch. These headphones had a feed of our COMM. We allowed them to listen to a service on headset and observe our control room in action. This instantly provided them a unique experience in observing what our team did during a service.
4. Go over your team vision and requirements.
Once the message started during the service and our team had a break, we asked all potential volunteers to gather around a table so that we could cast some vision and detail the requirements of our team. We often provided drinks and snacks for them during this time.
In this time we shared:
-the vision of our team
-the time requirements in serving on our team
-an overview of our training process
-a list and descriptions of all the serving opportunities available to them
This will give some additional details in what we shared with new volunteers.
5. Make their next step clear.
In my experience, it’s best to ‘strike while the iron’s hot’ – go ahead and encourage them to select a position they are interested in. They can always change their mind or move to another position later. Also, go ahead and schedule them for their first training session.
6. Follow Up!
It’s imperative that you follow up quickly! The week after a new volunteer attends a First Look, you must call them. A phone call is more caring and thoughtful than a text or e-mail. Those can be effective ways of communication, but to pick up the phone and call someone is going to really show them you care. Be sure to thank them for coming to a First Look and remind them of their next step. Be excited! Let them know that you are so glad that they are joining your team!
At Newspring, we formed a team of Veteran volunteers that were responsible for everything involving a First Look. We had a team leader who trained other veterans in hosting a First Look. It was so fun to watch veteran volunteers cast vision and encourage new volunteers. It’s priceless to have someone who can say, “I was just where you were a few months ago, I didn’t know anything about production, and now I run multiple positions and serve all the time. You can do it too!” That’s so much more powerful from a relatable volunteer than a staff member. We had veteran volunteers so invested in our vision on our production team that we had people mistake them as staff members all the time. Work yourself out of as many jobs as you can and you’ll see your ministry explode!
I hope these ideas have inspired you to consider implementing a Production First Look at your church. What other ways do you cast vision to new volunteers coming into your team?
Creative Director / Owner
[twelve:thirty]media | Columbia, SC
Carl Barnhill has served on staff at some of the largest churches and organizations in the country. He served as Media Director at Precept Ministries International, directing the television and radio program Precepts for Life with Kay Arthur, broadcasted to over 98 million homes around the world. He served as Video Production Director at Pinelake Church in Brandon, MS, where he produced media content for four campuses, as well as led volunteer teams.
He most recently served as Video Coordinator for Newspring Church in South Carolina. Newspring has 10 campuses across the state with a weekly attendance of over 35,000. At one campus alone, the number of consistent volunteers serving in media production tripled, under his leadership.
He currently serves as Creative Director and Owner of [twelve:thirty]media, a company that serves churches and ministries all over the world through motion graphics content and church media coaching.