Building a Volunteer Church Film Team
Every church knows that volunteers are the backbone of their activities. Volunteers are the reason the church is able to do so much, and no matter the size of your building and staff, every department will fall short without people volunteering their time to help the ministry.
The same is absolutely the truth for film teams at churches. It’s common that video directors/tech directors at churches will rely on their own skills and abilities to carry the ministry, but it truly is an uphill battle. Amidst the rest of your responsibilities, it’s common to hit creative ceilings, writers block, get bored, and even overwhelmed with the amount of projects you have on your plate.
That’s why it’s absolutely crucial to focus on building up an excellent volunteer film ministry at your church. If that’s where you’re at, here are some things to consider:
Volunteers Won’t Magically Show Up
Your church’s children’s ministry, worship ministry, and youth ministry volunteer base weren’t grown as a result of people finding a tiny “volunteer here” link on the church website. While you might recruit a couple people with online ads, the truth is that you need to be proactive about getting people involved.
As the tech director or video director, you probably know tons of committed, capable, and adaptable people at your church that would love to hep out with filming – whether as cast or crew. Ask them! Ask them also if they know others who may be interested in helping out.
Growing a ministry all begins with proactive communication and actually reaching out to people to get them involved. It makes people feel sought after, cared for, and valued by you and the church and it’s the quickest way to build up a team of committed volunteers.
Create Opportunities for Growth
There’s definitely an initial “rush” that comes along with joining a ministry early on, but unless volunteers feel like there is a way for them to continue making a deeper impact at their church, the chances are high that they will get bored or view the job as mundane as time passes.
Make sure that you create opportunities for growth for your volunteers. If you have younger volunteers that are looking to learn about video editing, hold training sessions once a month or every other month to teach them the basics of color correction, color grading, and editing. If you have volunteers that are interested in learning more about setting up gear, directing, story boarding, or other film-related activities, try to find a way that you can rope them into those activities.
While the investment to grow volunteers can be a lot up front, the payoff in the long run is huge. In the same way that worship pastors train their volunteer teams to be capable of operating independent of them, training and equipping film team to drive the bus apart from you allows you to focus on the larger vision and broaden your horizons to tackling new projects.
Preparing for On-Screen Actors
As you build up a church film team and begin producing more church videos, chances are that more and more people are going to approach you wanting to serve as actors and extras in the videos you’re making. While that may seem like a luxury to have people approach you volunteering to act, not everyone who wants to be on camera is good in front of a camera. However, you don’t want to continuously turn people away.
The solution? Set people up with small projects that don’t require any dialogue early on. If you’re doing a music video, service intro, sermon series video, or anything else that doesn’t require dialogue, those videos can be a great way to get new actors and other on-camera video personnel involved. It gives you a chance to gauge how they are on-camera and provides an environment for simple early coaching, allowing you to ease them into more involved productions.
Build Up Producers
Your team will benefit astronomically if you’re able to build up quality volunteer producers in your church video team. Producers are responsible for organization and creative problem solving and are an invaluable asset to a video team. They can take the lead on projects and direct where cast and crew need to be during the shoot.
Building up producers is the film equivalent of worship pastors training in volunteers who can organize, direct, and lead worship rehearsals and services. It frees up your hands so much and enables your entire team to be more effective and creative moving forward.
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.