Community is what people want. They want to be a part of a culture of people that know them and care about them. A place where everyone knows their name (thank you “Cheers”). Within your Production Team, it’s your job to create the culture you want. Your volunteers should not just come in, push buttons and leave. You have to work to create opportunities where they can interact, relax, play, have fun and hangout – on Sundays and other times.
What if you formed an Events Team within your Production Team to help you plan and execute events outside of Sunday? When I served as the Video Coordinator at Newspring Church, that’s exactly what we did, and it worked. We asked a lady that had been an event planner for a golf course to be our team leader. We helped place people on her team that could cook, organize, schedule and plan. I didn’t place too many guidelines on the team. The main thing I wanted to see was activity – I wanted to see volunteers smiling, laughing, and hanging out with each other. I wanted to see friendships form and community happen. The only 2 things I asked for from the Team Leader was to see one small event per month (this could be a team lunch after serving on Sunday, going to the movies together, etc.) and one big event per quarter (cookout, Christmas party, etc.).
When forming your Events Team, here are 8 Event Ideas that will help you form community within your Production Team.
1. Eat Together.
There is something about food that brings people together. What was Jesus last big thing he did with his disciples before going to the garden to pray? The Last Supper. They ate together. Plan Sunday afternoon Team Lunches once a month, have a weekly Potluck before the evening services, provide breakfast every Sunday morning for the team. Share meals together. It’s where great conversation happens and where people share life together.
2. Attend Local Events Together.
-Go to the Movies together or host a movie night and play a movie on the screens at your church!
-Find a Family Fun Park that’s within driving distance of your church and plan a trip. Arcades, Laser Tag Teams, Go-Karts, Putt-Putt golf, and other activities at a Fun Park create the atmosphere for your volunteers to have fun together, have some friendly competition, and spend time with each other.
-Attend local festivals, community events, fundraisers, charity walks.
-Attend a play or a show that a Production Volunteer is performing in.
3. Attend a Sports Game Together or Play a Sport Together.
Attend a Sports Game: Sports bring people together. It gives them something to tease each other about that’s not mean or personal. Find a professional or even minor league football, baseball, basketball, hockey or other sports game to attend. Be sure to take lots of pictures and post them to your Production Team Facebook page and social media accounts. Use a hashtag for fun – #ProductionRocks #FBCMediaTeam #MyProductionFamily
Play a Sport Together:
-Form a team and enter a local sports church or community league.
-Play video games or interactive games together (what about Wii, Dance or interactive games on screens at your church?
-Go bowling together.
-Have impromptu Saturday games of flag football, ultimate frisbee, frisbee golf, kickball, Wiffle ball, volleyball, etc.
-Be sure to include the ladies and younger members of your team and have game events like cornhole tournaments, badminton, and other yard games.
4. Serve in another capacity or ministry together.
What if the Production Team at your church was known for loving people? What if you had a once a month service project?
-You could mow the grass or clean the yard of a shut-in or senior citizen in your church.
-You could serve together at a local food kitchen or pantry.
-You could write cards to the sick or visit members of your church in the hospital.
-You may already have local neighborhood partners that you are connected with. What monthly needs do they have?
A couple of things to keep in mind here:
-You or every member of your team doesn’t have to be present at every monthly service project. One month the whole team could help with a construction project in your community. Another month it could be one guy from your team that cuts grass for a single mom in your church. Your job is to create the opportunity, not be present at every event.
-You should also remember that you don’t have to be the Senior Pastor or on staff to love and minister to people. We are all the body. Encourage your team to love people. Think of your team as a mini-church and your team members are the staff. Get out there and love each other and other people!
5. Seasonal Parties.
A holiday is a great time to get together and party! Christmas Party, Thanksgiving Feast, Superbowl Party, 4th of July Bash… use the holidays to party hard! Be sure to plan ahead, as volunteers have multiple holiday parties – be sure to get on everyone’s calendar sooner than later. This is also a great time to get lots of people involved. Ask your less technically skilled volunteers to serve in major roles in these events. Recruit cooks, organizers, decorators, grill masters, and more! You don’t have to spend a lot of money if you don’t have it in your budget, ask people to bring stuff. People will not mind bringing food, decorations, drinks, cups, utensils – these are great places to let lots of people feel included.
6. Chili Cook-Off.
Fun contests are great! Why not host a big Chili Cook-Off night for your Production Team and have prizes for Best Tasting, Hottest Chili, Most Creative, Best Presentation, and more. Make it fun! To fill out the night, you could do it on a night of a big sports game – and watch the big game while you enjoy chili together. Have people dress in the colors of their team, give away prizes for Best Team Spirit or Craziest Fan.
The Fall or Winter is a great time to have a Bonfire. Find someone on your Team or in your church that would be willing to host a Bonfire. You could provide hayrides, hot chocolate or cider, roast marshmallows, etc. You could tell stories, sing songs or even do a short devotional. Make it fun!
You could have a good old fashioned Cookout or Potluck Dinner. You could make it fun by having all your Camera Operators bring a main dish, all your ProPresenter Operators bring a side, your Directors bring plates/cups/utensils. You could have some people plan some games to play while the food is grilling. Have games set up around that people could play (yard games, cards, board games, etc.).
Know the age groups of your volunteers and make sure you plan things that everyone can be involved in one on way or another. Don’t be surprised if all you do as a team together is play football or video games and wonder why you don’t have any women on your team. Make your entire team feel included and connected. It’s your job to pastor your entire team, not just the ones you have the most in common with.
I hope these ideas have inspired you to think of events you could plan to bring your Production Team together outside of Sunday or Wednesday serving together. When you’re team spends time with each other outside of executing a service together, it brings them closer when they do serve. It creates trust among the team. It creates community.
For more free training and resources for your media production team, visit twelvethirty.media/training