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?