Excitement at FellowshipTechnologies

Have you heard the news? FellowshipTechnologies is now part of ActiveNetwork! Direct from the press release posted at both ActiveNetwork and FellowshipTechnologies:

Active Network, a technology and media company, announced today that it has acquired online church management software provider (ChMS) Fellowship Technologies. As a result of the acquisition of this Software as a Service (SaaS) company, Active Network will expand its technology offerings within the faith industry and provide a comprehensive suite of solutions for these community organizations.

Bobby Gruenewald, pastor, innovation leader at LifeChurch.tv has this to say about FellowshipTech joining ActiveNetwork:

Fellowship Technologies has been a valued partner in ministry with LifeChurch.tv for over 3 years. Their passion for leveraging technology for churches to connect with people and communities matches well with the mission of our church, we are excited about what the combination of Fellowship Technologies and Active Network holds for our church and others.

Anthony Coppedge, Director of Communications, FellowshipTechnologies, adds this perspective:

Like many churches, we were facing the dilemma of fulfilling a God-sized vision with limited resources. By partnering with Active Network, we believe we can accelerate the vision and add infrastructure faster so that all of the churches in the Fellowship Technologies community are better served. It will be easier than ever for churches to leverage technology to connect the message and hope of the local church to the people who need it most.

Jeff Hook, president and CEO of FellowshipTechnologies:

“We still have the same God-sized vision and we still have the same management team and staff. With this acquisition, however, we believe churches across the globe will be better served, and we can improve the scale and quality of the solutions available. The one thing we all refuse to do is harm the authenticity of the organization and our mission to help churches with their mission of serving the Church. Joining with Active Network will accelerate our efforts to raise the bar… again.”

These are exciting times in the ChMS world!

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Challenge

It feels good to be back in a writing mode. My challenge at this point is figuring out what to write about. It was easy before, at CTM, to know what to write. I had a topic pre-defined for me, so I knew the scope of what I should write.  By my own doing, I am now here, outside of the so called limitations of CTM and I’m ready to write about something. Anything, really.

I have proven over the years that I can do this, I can pick a topic to write about and communicate my thoughts in a way that people can relate to and understand. As a matter of fact, do you know that the year when I was between churches and between being actively involved in tech ministry, I wrote more and CTM grew more than at any other time.  I wasn’t writing about anything I was actually doing, I was writing about ideas that I thought made sense, in the church IT world and I wrote about what I saw others doing.

With that being said, I have a track record of writing about whatever has my attention at the moment, so I have no worries that I can pull this off.  I have no objection to writing about things going on in the church IT arena and in fact, I am currently working on some things in that regard and as we move forward, I’ll be sharing more about that.  I also intend to write about general tech topics and also some thoughts on leadership, writing, current social media trends and more.

In a general sense, I want to write about things that interest you and encourage discussion, in every way including commenting on this site, on Facebook, on Twitter and any other way.  In all honesty, I want this site to become even bigger than CTM. 

That burden is me. I have to write. As I do that, I expect you to do your part.

I’m up for the challenge. Are you?

Related Posts:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

What Is The Cost?

Usually when we think of cost, we think money.

  • Can I afford the new boat that I want?
  • How much is the iPad?
  • How much is it going to cost to fix my car enough so that it passes inspection?

Something we tend to overlook, however, is what something costs in non-financial ways.  Primarily I’m thinking of time cost and energy cost.  In my life, everything is new and fresh.

  • New house
  • New city
  • New church
  • New year
  • New activities
  • New commitments

It’s so easy to fill every moment with some activity and generally, that requires a time commitment and some amount of energy.  I am trying to be very aware of the cost of things I commit to because once I’m over-committed, it’s hard to say no and even harder to pull back. This is a great opportunity to have a fresh start and calculate the cost in every way before I get in over my head.

In all that you do, how often do you overlook the key question, what is the cost?

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Whatever Is Next

This is where it all began on October 23, 2004: In The Beginning…

So the point of this blog is to offer insight and information about how the church can effectively use technology to bring church members into a closer relationship with Christ and reach the local community and the world, literally, for Christ.

That was a portion of the very first post at Church Tech Matters. To me, it was a big deal because I felt I had finally found something that fit, something that clicked in my mind and in my heart.  It was a passion so unique that even I struggled to explain it in the years leading up to this first post.  However, my ambition in life was not to maintain a website for the next 1530 days. I figured it would be fun for a few weeks, then I would move on.

Little did I know the life that this site would take on. I did not have a goal to create a brand, so to speak, that attached itself to me and followed me where ever I went. Don’t get me wrong, the result of Church Tech Matters becoming known by so many opened many doors for me in so many different ways and I truly appreciate that.  But, in a way that I can’t explain, the idea of continuing to be the “Church Tech Matters” guy lost it’s appeal to me.

During the last half of 2008, I changed jobs and stepped down from my leadership role at my church, and at the same time, God was stirring in my heart to make a change with Church Tech Matters.  Due to my stubbornness, I held on as long as I could but in the end, I knew what I had to do.

I finally realized it was Time To Face The Change.  That final post that I wrote at Church Tech Matters does a good job articulating my thoughts at the time.

Church Tech Matters has given me a voice to share this passion that God has put in my heart and it has given me a place to focus my attention and energy. I consider many of you who read this blog to be my friends and I look to you often for advice or guidance or, lately, I have used several of you as a sounding board to help me determine what’s next for me.

After much prayer and discussion and thought, I have made the decision that this will be the last post written at Church Tech Matters.

I went on to say:

It has been an amazing ride and I am such a better person because of you, my readers and friends. God has blessed me so much through this experience and I am honored that some of what I have said seems to hold value.

That was a difficult decision but in my heart of hearts, I wanted to drop the label and write simply as myself.

I have been doing exactly that at this site for the past 2 years, but in a crazy turn of events, those writings are gone. I have been fretting over this but in many ways, this seems appropriate.  I have moved 2 states away, due to my job, and so many things in my life are new and fresh, so it’s time to have a fresh start at this site as well.

Without any big fanfare or established following, let’s get on with this and find whatever is next!

By the way, recently, I was asked “What happened to the church tech guy?” Maybe I’ll answer that question in my next post.

Related Posts:

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Efficiency on a Dime

One commitment I made to myself when I agreed to head my church’s audiovisual ministry was not to let it consume me or cause me to neglect my family. That’s easier at some times of the year than others, but I’ve found several online tools that help me get this done, and all but one are free.

We began using Planning Center Online in April 2007 and haven’t looked back. We started with the free 30 day trial, then went with what was then the $9/month plan. Due mainly to the growth of the tech team, we moved up to the $14/month plan last year. Prior to Planning Center, the Music Minister and I emailed an excel file back and forth during the week. Google Docs’ spreadsheets could be used much easier today if no money is available, but the low cost of Planning Center makes it practically a necessity for  communicating and laying out a service plan.

I also use Planning Center to schedule the rotation of my Tech Team. Their ability to accept or decline and then later receive email reminders is great. And there’s a Facebook app too.

DropBox is another invaluable tool I use pretty much on a daily basis. It allows me to work at home (or any where else with internet access). Videos, sermon notes, announcements, etc. can all be saved on my home computer or laptop and within minutes or seconds, the files will also be on the media pc at church. The 2GB free version of DropBox is sufficient for me.

Once the planning a preparation for Sundays is complete, I can access the media pc from home with Logmein Free to actually set up EasyWorship and anything else that I want to do prior to Sunday. On the IT side of my responsibilities, Logmein is installed on all the church pcs to give me and that team remote access.

Other free programs I utilize on a regular basis for tech work are Audacity for sermon recording and editing, Google Docs, Box.net, and Evernote for saving and sharing files, notes, and training material.

There are also a host of free background images and loops for projection. Vimeo and YouTube are good places to start.

Being a volunteer tech leader in a small to medium sized church requires two things week after week: get as much done as possible in the short amount of available time and do it all as cheaply as possible. Each of these tools enable me to accomplish that. And the best part is I don’t have to be away from my home or family to do it.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Posted in Church IT, easyworship, Equipping, media, software | Leave a comment

Free SPAMfighter Pro

Do you use any of the following eMail clients:

  • Outlook
  • Outlook Express
  • Windows Mail
  • Thunderbird

Then drop over to ChurchTechy.com where there is a giveaway of 5 x 1 year pro license for SPAMfighter.

Two have gone already and the likelihood is that if you get in and make a comment on the blog then you too could end up with one. Absolutely free – the only requirement is that you comment intelligently on the giveaway post or on any other older post.

So what you waiting for? Get over to ChurchTechy and grab a freebie.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Using Google Apps to Create Forms

Your church needs to figure out how well they’re doing with their Big Event. They need a survey for attendees to fill out and they need it as soon as possible. What do you do?  If you have a Google Apps account or even just a regular Google account, you can create a Form in Google to store and later analyze responses. Of course, it’s never that easy, right? Let’s look at what’s involved.

  1. Decide the Purpose For and Design a Draft of Your Form – This is often overlooked. If you don’t have a good purpose or design for your form, you’re going to get poor results. Having worked in a position responsible for creating meaningful surveys and extracting useful information from those results, I can’t stress this point enough. Design your form. What do you want it to do? What information do you need? What information will you extract? A registration form should collect Names, Email, Phone, perhaps Ages, Allergies, Contact Information, and other information relating to the event.  A questionnaire may not need a name, but should include some rankings on items that you want to analyze. Perhaps you want to know if people enjoyed themselves or felt safe, how long did they stay, what did they enjoy the most. Where possible, use a predetermined set of criteria – numbers for rankings or a defined set of choices. It will make getting the information back much easier. Once you’ve done the first pass on paper, run it by other people. Often they’ll suggest things that you may not have considered. Edit your form requirements until you’re satisfied.
  2. Create and Edit a Form – Log in to your Google Docs account or perhaps your Church’s Google Apps account.  (You do have a Google Apps account, right?)  Most people want to start with creating. While it may be helpful to see your form taking shape, this should still be considered as part of step 1.
    1. Create a New Form from their menu. Add a meaningful title and a description if appropriate.
    2. Add your questions or response items. Don’t forget to make them required or not required according to your design.
    3. Add Section Headers or Page Breaks to group items or to allow people to skip to certain pages of your form.
    4. Change the Theme of the form if you want a different look using the “Theme” button. Some themes may work better than others on your site.
    5. Preview the form with the link at the bottom of the page as you go. Make sure that your form seems to have the correct flow and behavior.
    6. Don’t forget about your response. If you want to give people a link to another web site or perhaps a different Thank You message, edit that response in the “More Actions” dropdown.
  3. Have others review the draft form – Have other people you trust look over your form. Have them fill it out. Look at the results. Adjust ordering or required fields. Add values if some are missing. Check spelling. Give them the link to the published form so they can try it out themselves. If they can use different browsers, that can only help.
  4. Edit Your Form – Now that you’ve got feedback, edit the form as needed with the recommendations. Repeat steps 2-4 until you have no more changes to make.
  5. Email On Submission – If you want to be notified on new form submissions, you’ll need to view the Spreadsheet behind the form. On the Form Design page, choose to “See responses” and choose the “Spreadsheet” option. This will take you to the underlying spreadsheet. Choose the “Tools” menu, then choose the “Notification Rules” item. This will enable you to receive e-mails for any of the events that happen. Sadly, this does not allow you to select a group of people at this time. For that, you’ll need to set up a rule of some sort to forward those messages to others. However, it can be useful to know if you’re getting form submissions or if people are changing other parts of the spreadsheet. This is an optional step, but if you want to be notified when people use your form, this is an easy way to receive notifications.
  6. Share the Spreadsheet Containing the Responses – Of course, you’re rarely the only one who wants to see what’s going on. To share the spreadsheet, look on the upper right corner of the spreadsheet for the “Share” button.  Click that and add people as viewers, editors, or whatever role is needed for those people. Giving people access to the data behind the form will let them see what’s going on and allow them to analyze the submissions as well.
  7. Publish the Form – More than likely you won’t e-mail a link to your form to everyone you want to use it. You’ll want to put it on your website somewhere.  To get the code to put on your website, click the “More Actions” button and choose “Embed”.  You’ll be given a somewhat long string of HTML.  Put that in the HTML of the desired page on your website and you’ll have the form ready to go.  If the form is not the desired size, you can easily adjust the “width” and “height” values in the code you’re given.  You can’t adjust the size or position of any of the elements within that link through native code.  (You may be able to do it with some undocumented tricks but I wouldn’t rely on them long-term as they could stop working if Google changes something.)    Publishing may not be allowed in all scenarios, such as putting this directly into a Rich Text Editor, but a lot of CMS’ have some way to insert pure HTML. If you’re not sure how to accomplish inserting the HTML, ask your web people for some help.
  8. Analyze the Results – Finally, you want to see the results.  I’ve found that Google’s forms do really well in this area. In your Docs you have the spreadsheet that drives the form. Open the spreadsheet.  You’ll probably see a bunch of data by default. However, since this was generated by a form, you can also choose the “Form” menu to “Show a Summary of Responses”. This is a great way to see trends, averages, highs, lows, combinations of selections, and other useful information.  If this was just used for recording registrations, you may not need this and can work with the data. However, if you collected feedback for events, Google’s forms solution shows you a lot of data about your forms without having to do much.  Incidentally, this menu also allows you to close the form to new responses, edit the form, or delete the form if it’s no longer in use.  You can always download this to your local spreadsheet if you want to do further analysis or more detailed analysis beyond what Google provides.

Well, maybe it was that easy after all. With a little time to become familiar with the process, you can create a form and publish it in minutes rather than days. No learning new programming languages. No fees. No limitations on the number of items on your form. Just add your items, save it, and embed the form on your site.

I’ve used Google’s Forms to register people for an event quickly and easily, collected feedback for some of our programs, and been able to use that feedback to drive decisions by seeing what people liked or didn’t like.  My church didn’t need a lot of programming experience. All of the people who needed to see the results could see them when they needed them without asking someone to run a report.  Was it a perfect solution? No. I couldn’t adjust the form internals very much when it came to look and feel. I’d love a better layout when some of the options don’t need to flow up and down or for things like collecting Name, Address, and Contact information in a more pleasing manner. I’d have appreciated a little more number crunching ability online.  However, I think those areas are not as important for our purposes.  The speed and ease to create a form, publish it, and collect/analyze the results are hard to beat when you need something that works, but may not have all of the bells and whistles found in some other products or services.

What do you use to gather information?

How could you use something like this for your church?

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Posted in Church IT, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Burnout and Lessons Learned

It is easy to get burned out because as a tech volunteer, you are juggling your volunteer work at church with work, family and so many other things in life. Recently, I asked a question on Twitter and on Facebook.  The question and many of the responses are below.

Have you ever experienced burnout as a church IT/AV volunteer? What have you learned from this?

Jim Walton
As I changed jobs, it quickly became apparent that I was working more and had less energy after my workday was through. This situation forced me to re-prioritize things and, of course, work was the top priority. I had to be even more intentional about my time with my family. Even with my schedule change, the expectations from the church leadership did not let up, but in fact were continuing to increase. Early on, requests were considered “get to it when you can” but more and more had become “this has to be done now” and I just couldn’t do that. Something had to give and I stepped away.

I’ve learned to be careful not to over commit but that can be hard to do. It’s easy to creep up on you by adding one more small thing on top of another.

Scott Goodger
I learned to say “no” and also understand that the church WILL live without me being there for EVERY service.

Darrell Jordan
I did experience burn out in the AV area at my church in Richmond. I
was the only one running our graphics computer on Sunday mornings and
never got to spend time with my wife in church. I was there before she
got there and I left sometimes well after she did. I learned how to
say no. Well a little bit anyway.

Kirk Longhofer
Suffice to say that there was a significant self-inflicted element to it, but ultimately, an extraordinarily unhealthy work environment pushed me to a place where I was making poor and unhealthy decisions in a LOT of areas of life.  For me… getting out was the ONLY option.  I think a key is that if you can’t support where leadership is going… you should go, and sooner rather than later.

The other thing that figures into this dynamic is a lack of understanding on the part of leadership and others that with tech stuff you CAN’T just show up and wing it.  Prep and rehearsal is a part of the deal.  They don’t understand the real cost of doing what we do.

Greg Simmons
I’ve noticed that burnout is common among IT/AV volunteers.  Like I have said before, it’s one of those few volunteer positions where you can’t just show up and wing it at the last minute…at least not if you want to deliver quality.  I got burned out in a situation where AV/IT responsibilities were growing and the volunteer base was not. I was taking on more and more responsibility with no new help – even though I was attempting to enlist new volunteers.

What did I learn?  It is acceptable to say no to adding something new until you have the volunteers in place.  Most leadership will understand that you cannot do something new at a quality level without the right level of staffing and prep.

I now have enough volunteers with a broad skill set and we are already training some Youth for certain roles as we need their help.

Peter Schott
Feeling it a little bit right now, but part of that is probably frustration with some of the decisions being made in the church. Of course, the decisions were made prior to even seeing if such a decision would be reasonable in the tech area. Add to that the fact that I’ve been pretty much the only one who sees value in this new “internet” thing and it’s kind of frustrating.  I’ve placed a large hold on my internal support because I can’t do it with the right attitude at this time.  I’m helping with the website, but even that is a struggle because nobody really want to step up and help out by giving me content / news.

Chase Livingston
I’m in the process of recovering from a bit of burnout. It’s tough, because in many churches, including mine, tech volunteers are few and far between, so the burden rests on very few people, regardless of the complexity of what needs to be done. One big thing I’ve learned is that it really helps to take some time off if possible to recharge. It’s so nice to be able to just sit as a regular attendee and listen to the message and music without having any responsibility as to what happens.

Joshua Withers
Before changing which side of the nation I lived on, my church wanted to do so much, which was initially my idea, but I couldn’t get volunteers or money, yet the expectations never died.

As a result our relationship is a little awkward now, but it’s not too bad.

My church in this town is the biggest at 100 people in a town of 15k, so the fact I mix sound without feedback and I setup Opensong for lyrics instead of PowerPoint almost makes me an idol lol. Now I’m on the roster every third week and it’s pretty good, thank God!

Angela Mullins
i certainly feel symptoms from time to time. most of my to do list is self imposed, so i have learned to back off of it when i begin to feel overwhelmed. i set boundaries on my time from the onset so i wouldn’t neglect my family and over do it.

Chris Duckett
Although my love for live production and the support of my pastors makes it easier to deal with problems of burn out I still definitely have feat burn out at times.  It’s hard to deal with but God has for me always seemed to provide some type of support or relief when I’m feeling a little warm.  I’ve been very lucky that i don’t deal much with members of the church confronting me about tech items that they don’t like or problems they perceive and my pastors are very good at only passing on legitimate concerns and then nicely listen to all of the rest.  I’ve also been fortunate that my volunteers don’t gripe or complain although my leadership likely leaves much to be desired.

Have you ever experienced burnout as a church IT/AV volunteer? What have you learned from this? Please share your thoughts.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

What To Do When a Staff Member Leaves Unexpectedly

So what exactly do you do when a staff member resigns unexpectedly? What do you do when that person had the keys to everything?  Here are some things to help you cover all of your bases when trying to secure your network and other access points. It’s by no means a definitive list, but it covers a lot of areas that can be easily overlooked.

1. Network Logins – This is probably the easiest area to secure. At the very least, you should start by changing the account password. Ideally you can completely disable the account, but you may need to grant access to someone else to look through files and e-mails or to handle job duties that are tied specifically to the user’s login.

2. E-mail – If you’re running an internal e-mail service, this may be taken care of with the above step. If you are using something like Google Apps or a hosted Exchange service, you’ll need to use your administrator access to close down this account and perhaps add an auto-responder to indicate that this person no longer works for your organization or a forwarding rule to pass on e-mails to someone else who is taking over those duties.

3. Online Banking Accounts – if the person who left had any sort of access to your online financial information, you’ll want to change passwords, disable accounts, and notify your banking institutions. While the majority of people who are leaving have no desire to cause any harm, this is an area where no chances should be taken!

4. VPN, Remote Access, Blog, or Website accounts – This is most often handled by the person’s network login, but could very well be set up in some other way. Disable or modify any accounts that would give this user remote access or control over systems in your organization. This may include Routers, DNS Accounts, Web Hosting accounts, Blogging accounts, etc.  If you’ve been using Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, MyChurch, or similar sites, don’t forget to remove this person as a manager or administrator. For Twitter, consider changing the password of the account used to post updates.

5. Keys and Key cards – This is usually a given, but if you suspect that the person may have made copies, it could mean that you’ll be changing locks.

6. Security Codes and Combination Locks – Any alarm codes or access codes that could be manually entered should probably be changed. Don’t forget combination locks that may be in use or even the safe combination if things could be really bad.

7. ChMS Access Rights – This may not matter much if you’re using a local service only, but it could be a big deal if you’re using something that’s web-enabled such as FellowshipOne, Arena, CCB, Access ACS, or similar services.  At the very least, change their password.  In fact, I’d recommend changing their password first, then delegating whatever rights they had before disabling or deleting the account.  You’d be amazed at how much some of these people may have used that was only accessible to their particular login.  Sometimes they’re the only admin. Sometimes they’re the only person with access to pre-defined sets of people or reports.  Regardless, change the password and login as them to see what they used to do and what they could see.

8. Check Time-controlled Access points – We found that sometimes we had doors locking or unlocking when nobody was using the building.  Ideally you should check this periodically and definitely when you change service times, but you should double-check the schedules just in case the building is opening at times when nobody should be there.

9. Local Computer Accounts – If you have physical security, this should be a minimal problem, but perhaps some folders or files were locked down to their specific account. If so, you’ll want to transfer those access rights to someone else or perhaps a group of users.

10. Social Engineering – Social engineering (getting access through people still at the church) is the trickiest problem to handle. Often people leave unexpectedly for reasons that cannot be disclosed to the rest of the church or staff. People need to be aware when some of these cases need to be handled in an even more secure manner than normal. They still don’t necessarily need to know specifics, but should know that they are not to be allowed access to systems, information, etc that they would have had as a staff member. This can be a tricky area to handle, but should be considered if they’re likely to have influence with current staff or members.

11. Backups – You’re checking your backups, right? Are they secure?  Are they going off-site or to an online backup site?  Who can access those backups?  If this staff person was one of those people, they should be removed from that group of people handling backups. This is especially true if you’re backing up your files online.  Change the account and/or password so they can’t take information they shouldn’t have.

12. Scheduled Jobs – Scheduled jobs are easy to overlook, but if your person was a technical person, it wouldn’t be hard to write something that could cause problems if it finds that an expected account is disabled or missing. Jobs can even be set up to send regular reports to an external address. Malicious scheduled jobs are unlikely, but it’s worth checking for jobs that have no purpose or even a destructive purpose. If you come across a job that is unfamiliar, check it out or ask someone to take a look at it.

13. E-mail again – If you don’t want to completely delete this e-mail account or have e-mails set to forward to some catch-all address, don’t forget to unsubscribe the person from mailing lists. We had a lot of catch-all addresses or orphaned e-mail accounts from people who used to work for our church that were not set up when we moved our mail service. Those were forwarded to the administrator’s account and we spent a lot of time unsubscribing people from various mailing lists for a while. We still get the occasional message, but less frequently now.

14. Credit Cards, Merchant Accounts, Vendor Accounts – Anything that involves the person being able to spend money on behalf of the church. If they had a church credit card, that needs to be cancelled. If they could spend the church’s money, that account or relationship should also be terminated or transferred.

15. Voicemail – Change their voicemail password or delete/disable their account. Perhaps setting up forwarding to a different phone number or mailbox would also work. Make sure someone’s checking it if you do that.

16. Common or Shared Passwords – By far, the most common password for church workers seems to be John3:16 in one form or another.  First – stop using this as your password! Now! Change it if this is your password! Now that I’ve said that, if you have shared accounts that people use or perhaps passwords that are common knowledge, change them and let those who use the account know the new password. Make sure that they don’t pass it on or leave it lying around.

17. Collect the church’s equipment – Not all churches issue equipment for people to take off-site, but if your staff member had equipment that belongs to the church, make sure you collect it from the staff member.  If you’re not maintaining an inventory, this may be a good time to start one.

18. Cell Phones or other recurring expenses – Some staff members have cell phone bills regularly paid by the church. Maybe they liked to read certain magazines that nobody else uses. Look for any recurring expenses that are paid by the church and cancel or transfer them.

19. Remove printed or online references – Remove the staff member’s name and contact information from your website and any printed materials. Replace it with someone else as appropriate, but stop printing materials with their name.

20. Back up their personal files and/or e-mail – Finally, back up their personal files and their e-mail for future reference. If there’s a supervisor, you can give the files to that person. If you have a good relationship with the staff member who’s leaving, you may be able to give them the files that are definitely personal.  Regardless, keeping an archive of their files and e-mail may prove invaluable down the road if something comes up that only your departed staff member knew about.

If I’ve missed anything obvious, let me know in the comments or discuss further in the forums.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Posted in Church IT, Personnel | Tagged | Leave a comment

Digital Training

One of my audio trainees recently had his first time at the helm during a Sunday morning service. Because we have a digital sound board (Yamaha’s LS9), I was able to do a few things to make his first time a little less hectic. I start out my newbies during rehearsals and working our Sunday night service. But there is a sharp contrast between our morning and evening services. Mornings involve four vocalists and a full band, videos all quickly moving from one element to the next. Evenings are more laid back with just the Music Minister and keyboardist.

My trainee’s job didn’t allow him to attend the weekly band rehearsal, and that concerned me, but since I’ve been moving toward saving a scene on the board for each song during the service, I decided to do that for him. I linked each scene for the service to a user defined key and noted on the worship flow which UDK to press for each song.

Next I sat my laptop beside the board that morning to make changes that his trainee user profile on the LS9 doesn’t allow him to do yet, like save settings. So while he was driving with his limited permissions, I had full use of my administrator permissions from my laptop using Yamaha’s LS9 Editor in Studio Manager. Kind of like the instructor in Driver’s Ed with the brake peddle on his side of the car.

We have used this method for a weeks, and it has worked very well. It allows the trainee to focus on timing and mechanics over mixing changes from one song to the next. Now that he is getting broken in to the Sunday routine, we can migrate to focusing on mixing.

Studio Manager and the LS9 Editor are free. All you need is a network connection, preferably wireless so you can move around. Mike Sessler has some great setup info here.

Related Posts:

  • No Related Posts
Posted in software | Tagged , | Leave a comment