Blog | Effective Feedback Management as a Service Producer
Effective Feedback Management as a Service Producer
Working as a service producer at a church is tough work. You’re always right in the middle of everything. You’re responsible for everything going as planned, but the actual execution of everything is often in the hands of others – the worship pastor, the sound engineer, lighting people, other volunteers, etc.
Naturally, you’re put in a predominantly managerial role. You get to decide on several aspects of a service and oversee everything unfolding on a Sunday morning. Unfortunately, that also means that you notice everything – the good and the bad. So how do you deal with offering feedback to your team in an effective manner for the sake of improving services and production quality over time?
Effective Feedback Management as a Service Producer
From my experience, most church Service Producers I’ve met are incredibly analytical, organized, and continuous-improvement-minded people. They understand how the music, visuals, and transitions in a service feel and impact the congregation, but are able to maintain focus and clarity throughout a service to ensure everything happens the way it was planned.
Being aware of everything is a blessing and a curse. From one side, you’re always viewed as the one who is on top of everything, organized, and running on all cylinders. From another perspective, you may be viewed as the constant bearer of bad news.
The question is: How do you maintain that balance with delicacy and intentionality? How do you ensure your feedback is received by everyone positively for the sake of continuously improving services and production quality, ultimately leading to a better experience for all congregation members?
Here are a few ways you can handle these conversations for the better:
Set Up Weekly Meetings & Meeting Agendas
Feedback that isn’t expected or asked for often falls on deaf ears. In other words, if you’re haphazardously throwing feedback at your worship pastor about random aspects of the service at random times, chances are they aren’t going to take it well.
What can you do to prepare the healthiest context for providing feedback? Set up weekly meetings. Choose a day and a time to have you, the worship pastor, lead pastor, and whoever else is closely involved commit to meeting. People will walk into the meeting with the prior Sunday in their memory ready to receive feedback.
Also, make sure you have a set agenda so people know what to expect at the meetings. First, talk through all the things that you think went incredibly well – what did the lead pastor, worship pastor, or others do that benefited the service and how can you continue that theme in future services? Then transition to asking what others feel could have been improved.
Important Note – Make sure this isn’t just you talking. This isn’t “your meeting”; this is for everyone. Keep everyone talking and contributing to the discussion equally. This makes it feel like collective betterment rather than one person tearing apart several aspects of a service. It makes it constructive rather than hostile.
Take Notes and Be Specific
On Sunday morning, I’m sure you are absolutely crystal clear on what needs to be improved. You watch it happen, you cringe, and you realize the ways in which it could’ve been handled differently. But then the next section of the service starts and your attention is diverted. A couple days go by and you remember not liking a few things that happened, but the details of how it unfolded as well as the recommendations you had drift away. You then show up to a meeting with detail-less complaints and few recommendations. Not very helpful.
If you want to be as effective as possible as a church service producer, spend time taking notes on a Sunday and being specific with the feedback you give. Be intentional about how you deliver it as well – don’t just nag on your worship pastor for an awkward transition. As why they chose to do it that way – was it intentional or a mistake? Is there a way avoid it in the future? Why would it be beneficial to the service flow and congregation to do it differently next time?
Be thorough. Be concise. Be specific. Be graceful. And most importantly – keep the conversation constructive; not confrontational.
Spend More Time On Affirmation Than Criticism
Seriously – I can’t stress this enough. As I mentioned above, many people view their service producers as predominantly negative people simply because of the interactions they have.
If you spend more time affirming your volunteers, lead pastor, worship pastor, and tech crew, you will always bear a positive image in their minds. That is so crucial for setting a precedent for others and creating an environment where people are eager to hear you contribute to the conversation. It makes communication more effective and all those involved more receptive to your feedback points.
About the Author
Chris Fleming is a professional musician from Minneapolis, MN who has played with artists such as TAYA, Big Daddy Weave, and Jason Gray. He is actively involved with the worship music scene and has contributed as a drummer, music director, song writer, and producer for various worship artists and churches locally and nationally. Chris is the Motion Designer at Motion Worship, helping to create motion background collections and countdowns for our subscribers.