Your worship presentation is one of the most important aspects of your service. It’s the most visible action in the room. It tells the congregation what to sing and when. It guides them through the preaching slides. It signals the beginning of the service and the end. It is crucial. Dare you entrust this monumental task to a volunteer? The answer is “of course.”
With this assurance in mind, you’ll probably want to do more than text them — “Pls do ppt sun thx.” Instead, you’ll train them. This article will tell you exactly how to do that.
Our goal in this article is to show you how to train a volunteer to manage the presentation during a worship service, and also to create the presentations for services.
1. Explain the task and ask the volunteer if he is willing.
First, you’ll want to see if the volunteer is willing to train with you. Be sure you sketch out the scope of responsibilities. This helps the volunteer to be aware of what he’s getting into before he commits.
2. Show the volunteer all the equipment.
The first phase of training is to give the volunteer an overview of all the equipment that he’ll be using.
Computer: First, show him the computer where you create or operate the presentation. Share any passwords, keys, or login information. Cable to projector. Next, point out the cable that connects the computer to the projector. Different A/V setups will have different configurations, but the point here is that you indicate how the computer connects to the projection hardware.
Projector: You also want to show the volunteer how to operate the projector. Most volunteers will be familiar with a computer, but not everyone knows how to use projectors. Make sure to explain all the relevant buttons and controls.
Screen: If there are any remote controls, switches, or tricks to your projection screens, now is the time to tell all.
Auxiliary equipment: What other equipment is used in your presentation? Do you have live camera feeds? Make sure you train the volunteer on the basics of everything that goes into creating your presentation.
The point of this training phase is to help the recruit understand how all the parts fit together to form the presentation as a whole.
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3. Demonstrate the software.
Now that you’ve worked through all the hardware, get on the computer and show the volunteer the software. Regardless of what software you use, there will be some level of learning and adjustment. Some churches use worship software that is designed specifically for worship settings. In this case, the learning curve will be steep. Other people, many of whom are familiar with PowerPoint, won’t have a problem learning how a church uses PowerPoint for their worship presentation. Sharefaith’s solution, Sharefaith Presenter, blends the familiar interface of PowerPoint with the cutting-edge tools of worship projection, enabling churches to produce stunning presentations.
If your software demonstration is the first time the trainee has used such software, it will probably help if you go through and create a sample presentation. Be sure to give them a chance to try it out as well.
As you work through the software, be sure to point out anything of stylistic importance or features that are unique to your church’s presentation.
4. Do a live presentation with the volunteer.
In a short time, you’re ready to take it to the road. At the next available opportunity, have your trainee accompany you during a service. If there’s an easy part during the service, let him take over — click, click, click through the stanzas. As you work through the service, try to explain what you’re doing and why. Provide a running commentary on tips that you’ve learned — e.g., “make sure you switch to the next slide while they’re on the last word of this slide,” etc.
5. Accompany the volunteer for a live presentation.
The sooner you can transition your volunteer to managing a live service, the better. You may feel like a parent of a teenage driver as you ask your volunteer to take the wheel. Sure, it’s a bit nerve-racking, but it’s worth it. You’ll want to answer every question, provide every bit of advice, and ensure everything goes smoothly. Next week, he’ll be able take it on his own. (Though you may want to accompany him again.)
6. Share the right information and/or equipment with the volunteer.
Once he has been fully trained in the art of managing the presentation, you can also assign to your volunteer the job of creating the slideshow itself. First, make the necessary preparations:
Make sure that he owns or has access to a computer with a compatible version of PowerPoint and/or your worship software. Sharefaith Presenter comes with three licenses, meaning that you can install the software on as many as three computers.
Make sure that he has the file or template for your slideshow. Assuming you use generally the same format, font, or design scheme each week, give your volunteer this file. He can use it as the basis for the presentation he creates.
If you have a CCLI number or SongSelect login, you’ll also need to provide this information.
7. Assign the volunteer with the week’s presentation preparation.
Now, you can allow the volunteer to create the coming week’s presentation. Be sure to give him the request, and provide ample time for him to work. Also, build in a margin for you to review the presentation and make any necessary adjustments. When you assign the presentation, be sure to give the volunteer any specific instructions as to what should be in the presentation.
For example, give him the exact song name, which stanzas are to be sung, what order they should be in, and any unique variations (“We sing that last chorus three times”). Provide him with all the announcements for the coming week. Give him the sermon outline. Tell him what verses should be on which slides. There are a lot of details to be covered here.
8. Review the presentation with the volunteer.
Once he’s finished, go over the presentation with him to make sure that everything has been completed satisfactorily.
9. Do a dry-run of the presentation with the volunteer, speaker, and worship team.
When the presentation has been created to your satisfaction, it’s time to go through it with the whole team. Your church may have a service rehearsal time, where you go through all the worship slides and the order of service. Since it’s your volunteer’s first time creating the slideshow himself, allow him to run the presentation during this rehearsal. If any slides need to be changed, stanzas added, or deletions made, he can be responsible for doing this.
10. Go Time.
By this time, your volunteer is probably completely ready for total takeover of the project from beginning to end. Allow your volunteer to run the presentation for the service. Then, assign him to do next week’s presentation, too. Keep checking up on things and helping him where needed, but give him the liberty and creativity to do his best work.
Every church is different, and you may run things much differently. Your training will have its own approach and order. Allow plenty of time for the volunteer to become accustomed to his new role. After all, most volunteers aren’t full time church staffers and may not have lots of time to invest in their task.
The church does not exist on the work of staff members only. After all, we’re a church — a body of believers who fellowship, work, grow, love, and glorify God, regardless of titles, rolls, occupations, and status. The work of volunteers is integral to a functioning church body.
Daniel Threlfall has been writing church ministry articles for more ten years. With his background and training (M.A., M.Div.), Daniel is passionate about inspiring pastors and volunteers in their service to the King. Daniel is devoted to his family, nerdy about SEO, and drinks his coffee with no cream and no sugar. Learn more about Daniel at his blog and twitter.