how to keep getting new gear

OK.  Now you’re using the gear you have, doing some great production work with that Panasonic MX-50 switcher you’ve had forever, and the new gear is just piling up right?  Well, maybe it’s not that simple.

Once you ask for more gear, and you get approval for purchasing that new equipment, you better deliver on that purchase.

undersell and over deliver – When you are asking for new equipment, it is important to tell non-technical people what the new gear will realistically do for your church, because chances are they won’t even notice a difference.  The first time I upgraded audio consoles, my beloved Yamaha 2404 for a Mackie 3204 :( , the Business Operations Board, or BOB, asked if it would sound better.  I basically had to tell them that it wouldn’t sound appreciably better, but would allow us to add more instruments and help the volunteers be able to  have a better work flow.

Because I had the track record we talked about last time (here) they trusted my explanation.  The other important thing is that what I said would happen, did.  The addition of 8 audio channels really helped us do more with more efficiency and the mix didn’t change drastically, it only made it possible for us to finally mic that cowbell.

Baby Steps – For me, this means I only would upgrade to something I could deliver on.  If you take a huge leap to a brand new technology, chances are it won’t be successful.  This is one of the big reasons I didn’t pursue moving lights when I was at Kensington (groan).  I knew that we would spend a boatload of money on them, but I personally didn’t have the capacity to learn to use them to their fullest.  Even though people were begging me for them, I knew it would be a waste of money and I would lose trust.

Proving yourself trustworthy matters a ton.  When you are asking to spend the church’s money on new gear, does your leadership look at your track record and know that you can be trusted?

 

  • Dereksoundguy

    Good post Todd.  I am currently the first Tech Director ever at my church and they were already in the process of moving to a new facility with all new equipment.  I didn’t have a ton of say as to what we are getting, but i did my research and got a few different pieces of gear than they originally wanted.  I know that I have to make those pieces work especially well if I want the trust in there.  Thanks for the posts!

    • Anonymous

      The first TD!  You are in a good/bad position there.  The good part is the church values excellent production because they hired a TD.  The bad is they probably think you can do everything and still have a life.  Building trust is key to thriving there.  Looks like you are from Windsor!  That’s practically like home to me!

      • Dereksoundguy

        Really? You know the area then? I just moved here for the job (I was about 3 hours closer to Toronto until January)

        • Well…I am from north of Detroit, so I don’t know tons about Windsor, but I used to visit a lot growing up and I watched Hockey Night in Canada on channel 9. I worked at Kensington Community Church in Troy, MI. If you are looking for community, they have a great production team there.

    • Gord Millar

      What church in Windsor are you at? I don’t usually see other Canadians on these sites.

      • Dereksoundguy

        I’m at Heritage Park Alliance Church.  Us Canadians are few and far between haha, but there are a few of us.

  • Eric Peters

    Good post on over delivering. In my old church I was known as the one who got things done cheaply. So when I said we needed to spend money, everyone knew it was the cheapest solution to the problem. Although, it did put me in a bad spot when someone wanted to spend money on some new fancy overpriced equipment, and I said we did not need it. Some people did not appreciate me stonewalling there attempts at spending money.

  • Eric Peters

    Good post on over delivering. In my old church I was known as the one who got things done cheaply. So when I said we needed to spend money, everyone knew it was the cheapest solution to the problem. Although, it did put me in a bad spot when someone wanted to spend money on some new fancy overpriced equipment, and I said we did not need it. Some people did not appreciate me stonewalling there attempts at spending money.

    • Anonymous

      Over delivering is a great way to build trust with the people you work with, and in my opinion, so much depends on trust. Thanks for the comment, Eric.