If you want to accomplish something great for the Kingdom of God, you need a great team of people around you. In today’s episode, I talk with Carl Barnhill about how to create healthy, happy, thriving, volunteer teams. Carl is truly an expert team builder. I learned SO much from this interview. We discuss recruiting (“inviting”), onboarding, culture, communication, training, and so much more. This is a super practical episode, and I’m excited for what you’ll be able to take and apply to your ministry.
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Alex Enfiedjian 00:10 Hello and welcome back to another episode of the worship ministry training podcast. This is Alex Enfiedjian. Your host. Today on the episode we’re going to be talking with Carl Barnhill about how to create healthy happy volunteer teams. Carl was the former Video Production Director at NewSpring Church out in South Carolina, that gigantic church out there. And he has so much experience working with volunteers and developing amazing high functioning volunteer teams. I’m super, super excited to share this episode with you. Like, honestly the whole way through, there’s just tons of nuggets of not just theoretical information, but like practical, tangible things that you can begin doing immediately to improve your volunteer teams or create one for the first time. So looking forward to sharing the insight from Carl with you. But first, it’s our recommended product of the month. Planning Center. Planning Center is the most robust, easy to use online software to plan your worship services and schedule your team. It honestly saves me hours each week, but tools and the things that it can do are incredible. One of the things I want to highlight is that you can actually lead your Planning Center account to your song select account. And from then on, you will automatically do chord chord charts anytime you add a new song or if you add new keys, it will automatically download those keys for those songs. So be sure to check out Planning Center at planning dot center. It’s free for 30 days to try and then plans start at just $14 a month. You can find all of this in the show notes or at planning dot center. Alright, well that’s our recommended product this month. Let’s jump right into the episode with Carl Barnhill. Everybody I am here with Carl Barnhill who is the creative director of 1230 media, a media company that helps churches around the globe, and also a former staff member of new spring church doing a lot of their media and video and volunteer development. Carl, thank you so much for being with us on the podcast. Thanks. Glad to be here, man. Awesome. Hey, guys. So Carl has like massive experience developing volunteer teams. And I don’t know if he’d consider himself an expert of volunteer team development. But from what I’ve read online and a lot of his material that he’s released, it’s just amazing the type of culture and team building and volunteer integration that he has under his belt. So Carl, I’m super excited to have you talk with our listeners about developing healthy volunteer teams at our churches.
Carl Barnhill 02:46 Yeah, man excited to share any, any a little bit of experience I’ve had, and I’m happy to share that man. I mean, I’m pumped about our discussion.
Alex Enfiedjian 02:55 Awesome. And Carl, can you just tell our listeners a little bit about your role at new spring and what sort of work you were doing with volunteers there?
Carl Barnhill 03:03 Sure. Yeah. So I was the video coordinator there. And then I did a lot with our volunteers on in production. So I lead our volunteer movement, basically, in teams at new spring Columbia. And then a lot of the principles and ideas and the things that we implemented in Colombia. We got to use it at other campuses of new spring as well. And then, several years ago, I transitioned off of staff at new spring and went full time with our ministry 1230 media. And what we do is we provide media content and training to churches.
Alex Enfiedjian 03:45 Awesome. And when you were at new spring and your other church, like how many volunteers were you overseeing? And how many different teams?
Carl Barnhill 03:52 Yeah, so I’m at Palm like we grew that team to be about 70 or 75 volunteers or so at our at our main campus than at new spring, I think we were up to in the 120 550 member range. This was about a 5000 member campus. And so we had about 150 or so, volunteers in production, which usually production media production is kind of the the stereotypical behind the scenes nerds. You know, introverts, that’s usually the stereotype for production. And so we had an opportunity to change that culture, and had, you know, the same if not more volunteers than other ministries at the campus. So that was really, you know, an interesting thing that we that we got to see but the about the number so was about 150 or so volunteers in production about the time I left new spring.
Alex Enfiedjian 04:56 Yeah, that’s a lot more than most churches have because most churches just have one grumpy sound person. And you know, so Well, let’s let’s talk to some of the church leaders out there. Let’s just pretend like I’m out of control busy, and I barely have time to get all of my responsibilities done each week for my ministry, why should I add more to my plate and try to figure out how to build a volunteer team,
Carl Barnhill 05:18 I probably see things a little bit differently. And sometimes this, this can get me in trouble a little bit, or people can disagree with it. But I think that you can’t afford not to be a leader of teams. And let me kind of give you some first steps. So I think a first step in building a volunteer team would be to realize that my mindset needs to shift that that this ministry is not my ministry, and it’s not dependent on me. You know, a lot of times we think that, oh, if I’m not there, it’s not getting done. Or if I’m not there, it’s not going to be excellent. Or the way I would do it, or it’s going to fall apart if I’m not there. And so I think the first step would be to shift the mentality that we have, that it’s all about me into realizing that the ministry that I’m involved in does not need to be dependent on me. And I kind of have a theory that, that every position on my team, not only can be, but should be run by a volunteer. Now, people that have come back to against me would say things like, Oh, well, our audio position that has to be a trained, skilled, professional in order to do that, Oh, well, the stage platform person, the one that leads worship, in front of the congregation that has to be a staff member, Oh, you don’t understand this is what we’re paying them to do. And my theory is, is not that we put people in positions that aren’t trained and, and the experiences are excellent, I think there is definite space for training, like, we definitely need to train our people well, and I’m not suggesting that we throw people in that don’t know what they’re doing. But I would say that we need to have a mindset that everything should be run by volunteer.
Alex Enfiedjian 07:24 And I think that when you look at anyone doing anything significant, they’re not doing it alone, you know, like, you can only do so much. And so even in your own business, you know, Carl, your wife answers a lot of the emails, so that you can focus on other things, you know, and you have a team of people under you who are creating content. And if it was just you, you would, you know, have pulled all your hair out already. And you would have accomplished half or less of what you’re currently accomplishing. So I think that’s something that I’m learning as well is just like, we cannot do it alone, we have to rely on the gifts of other people and train up other people to do things that we would normally do so that we can focus on other things that maybe we’re solely equipped to do. So yeah, that really does help. Now let’s talk about developing teams. Because you’ve done that, you know, over the years, obviously, the very first step of building a team is recruiting volunteers. So can you talk to us a little bit about recruiting mechanisms? Like what have you found to be the most effective recruiting tactics that you saw for getting volunteers involved?
Carl Barnhill 08:30 Sure, I can, I can definitely speak to that. So I would think that the first and I’ll kind of walk through, you know, five or six things in order to recruit or train or invite new people. But I would say, again, there’s a mind shift here, that I had to really learn the hard way that in order to build the team, I had to realize that as the leader, I don’t need to be doing anything. And here’s what I mean by that is, if I’m on a piece of gear, or if I’m always the one that is leading worship, you know, the center of the stage, and I’m always that person, or I’m always doing something, then I can’t look at the big picture and see things that need to be tweaked or worked on in order to make the worship experience better. So let me give you an example of this. So any sport that you would watch, I’ve never seen a coach of the team be in the middle of the field playing the game? I mean, that that would be silly. To have the coach on a baseball team be on the mound being the being the pitcher. Now, it doesn’t mean that they are beneath that doesn’t mean that they probably couldn’t do that. It doesn’t mean that they They’re probably not willing to do that. It means that the best place for the coach is on the sideline, watching the whole field is in the dugout watching the whole, you know, the plays happen and putting the players where they need to be. So before we get to building the team and creating the structure for as people are coming in, I think a mindset definitely has to be in place of as the leader, I’m not doing anything, I’m leading, I’m motivating. I’m putting people where they need to be. And not only that, but can I have leaders under me, that are the assistant coaches, you know, on a on a football coaching staff, there are multiple coaches watching different things. None of them are on the field playing. They’re all on the sidelines, putting players where they need to be. So that I think that needs to be in place. And then a first step, kind of a first step on how can I get there is I would say, who next week can shadow me to watch me do tasks? Like I think that’s very practical, like, Who can I call on next week to come in the office and watch me, you know, select songs or put stuff on Planning Center? Or watch me do this task or watch me schedule people or whatever the task is? Who can I have come in next week to watch me do that? And how quickly can I give them tasks? How quickly can I pass that off to to someone? Okay, so the sort of rabbit trail there. Okay, so let me kind of get back to your question. Okay. So how do I recruit? So I would say there’s a, there’s a word change that I’d like to make there. Instead of using the word recruit, I’m going to use the word invite. And here’s why. Recruiting sounds a little harder. You know, we recruit people to serve in the in the army, it almost sounds like I’m pulling you in for this, this big hard mission, which is is partly true, but I think it softens it a little bit. When I can use the word invite, you know, I can invite people to a party or I can invite people to do something in it. And it feels, hey, we’re going to dinner with some friends, do you want to come? Hey, we’re doing this mission. We’re doing this, these things on our team, Hey, would you like to come with us? It sounds a little less harsh than then recruiting. Okay, so. So now that that’s that I would use the word invite, instead of recruit, I’m going to give just a few ways that I’ve used to invite people, okay, so if you have a church membership, or an ownership class, a lot of churches have, you know, if you’re a new member to the church, there’s some type of class. So if if you can have the opportunity to speak to that class, and it doesn’t have to be I know what you’re gonna run across? Well, if we do it for your ministry, we’re gonna have to do it for every ministry. Okay. So why don’t we sit at tables after the new membership class? And people can come and see where they want to serve? What Shouldn’t that be a next step? If you’re a new member, you know, maybe then your next step could be baptism, or your next step could be serving? What if I set up tables? And now if you feel free to stop me in here, I don’t mean No, that’s
Alex Enfiedjian 13:27 great. I am loving it. And I 100% agree with that. In fact, we have that idea for our church, but we’re not yet doing it. So I love it.
Carl Barnhill 13:35 Okay, so a couple other little quick ones is small groups. So what if I found out when small groups meet, and I take one Tuesday night, or whatever, and I go to someone’s house that has a group of 1015 people meeting at their house for a quick Bible study? And what if I contact the leader before I come? And I say, hey, can next Tuesday, is there any way this is what I do after serving on the church in this capacity? I’d love to talk with your team about some of the opportunities that they could serve at the church, would you let me talk to your group? And most the time, they’ll say yes. And so I’ve gone and I’ve just kind of laid out a vision for what production does. And I don’t say things like, if you like to get up at five o’clock in the morning, on every Sunday, it’s been six hours at the church, we have the team for you. I don’t say things like that. I say I cast vision to say things like, Hey, who in here in this group, has been affected by one of our worship experiences, who in here has given their life to Christ through one of our worship experiences, who has grown in their walk through one of our worship experiences? Well, the team that I helped serve on, we helped create those experiences for the people that attend our worship services. And if if you have been impacted and you want that same impact to spread to others, I would love to Just walk through a couple of different opportunities and a couple of next steps, and have anybody that’s interested in this route to come, here’s, here’s the first next step that you need to take.
Alex Enfiedjian 15:11 I love that. I love that because you’re like, even in your introduction about the ministry, you’re already attaching the Why? behind what you do, you know, so they’re like, wow, like, what I do matters. And what I do impacts people for eternity. Like, how inspiring is that? Like, of course, I want to get involved, you know, so that’s so yeah,
Carl Barnhill 15:32 yeah, so and I think a lot of times we do pitch it to go, these are, if you’re a behind the scenes nerd, you know, if you like to get up and sing in front of the entire church, you know, this is the team for you. Well, that’s not the why that’s the what, if you can start with the why, then you’re casting vision, instead of recruiting for a task, you know, I don’t need you to push a button, I need to, you know, I’m offering this opportunity for you, I even remove the word need from my language, I actually don’t need you, the Lord can provide what we need to make an incredible worship experience, I don’t really need you, and the Lord doesn’t need me. Like these are serving opportunities that you can be a part of, and help transform the worship experiences in our church, I would love for you to be a part of that if you want to. So that’s, that’s okay. Okay, the next one is on stage push, you know, you just talk about it from the stage during announcement time or something like that. Then announcement slide, you can make a slide that rotates in your before or after your worship services, team t shirts, I’ve used this as an invite tool. So you can put like, on the back of the T shirt. See, I’m proof, you don’t have to be a nerd to serve in production, or something like that, you know, something quirky. And then you could put your next step on the T shirt, Find out more at fbfc, production.com or whatever. And then my last idea here would be a ministry failure, you know, this kind of an old idea. But you know, it’s kind of similar to the membership class that if you set up some type of failure and have tables, you know, and explain your ministry that people can have that opportunity to serve. So there’s just a
Alex Enfiedjian 17:28 couple of ways to invite, that’s great. And my guess is that, you know, based on what I’ve read about the teams, you’ve LED, like the health of the team, and the happiness of the team, my guess is that the people on the team are like automatically, just happily inviting their friends to be part of this thing that they truly enjoy. Because it’s a healthy, happy environment.
Carl Barnhill 17:47 Well, if the Why is in front of them, and there they are committing to the Why, then, yeah, it does, it changes the culture dramatically. You’re not there to push a button, you’re there to see lives change. So here’s the here’s a way that you could keep the why in front of your volunteers. And again, you have to be a coach in order to do this, if you are on a piece of gear, you wouldn’t be able to take this idea and run with it. But let’s say at the end of your service, when people are responding to the invitation or to the call, you can if you have some type of care room or response room or something like that prayer room a lot, you know, a lot of churches send people out of the room to speak with someone, if you’re in a church that has some type of care or response room, you can take your volunteer during the middle of that invitation, take them over to the prayer room, or the care room, stand at the door or the window. Don’t be creepy or awkward. But look in there and see and point and say are just making them very aware. This person right here is talking with a counselor about their marriage. And because you lead lyrics during this song, because of what you are doing. That life right there is being changed right now. This is what you’re a part of.
Alex Enfiedjian 19:27 It’s really inspiring, you know? Yeah, like who who doesn’t want to be a part of a team like that. So, so let’s talk about the next step. So somebody comes in, or you go out and you invite and they express interest, what would be the next step, and then how do they get trained?
Carl Barnhill 19:43 Okay, so it’s very important to have and I’ve learned all this the hard way so this is not like they just happen and it was a better roses and yeah, I mean, this was the you know, some of this stuff is a lot of like, Well that didn’t work. I got we got Try this or that, you know, so. But anyway, so kind of the next step would be to make sure that you have a clear on ramp for new volunteers do you need it needs to be clear, like I mean, write it down on paper like 1234. This is, if a new volunteer comes in, this is what they do first. And then this is what they do. And then this is what they do. So let me walk you through the the 1234 steps of our on ramp for new volunteers that new spring. So here’s here’s what happened. They first went to ownership class, that was our new member class. Okay, that was step number one. Step number two, is they went this is for a new member in the church. Okay, so I’ll walk through a volunteer that came into production here in a second, but so they come to ownership class, then they go on to opportunities tour, so out of ownership class, they signed up for a opportunities tour. Can you explain what that is? Yeah, so this was a group that. So say, we have opportunities, tours, and you meet someone from the church, at a point in your lobby, or wherever. And this person walks you around on Sunday morning, to the different ministries that are happening in the church. So they can see kids ministry, they can see worship, they can see production, they can see it in action. And as they go to these places, you know, it’s a 15 minute tour around the church. And as they go to these places they can talk about, give a little snapshot of this is what if you wanted to serve here, here’s some things that you would do. And here’s your next step, if you want to serve here, and I got into trouble a little bit for this, but what I would do is and call it Bing, maybe. But when the opportunities tour would come by one, I would have a volunteer that their only job was to be an opportunities tour host, meaning they’re not on a piece of gear, all they have to do is come at nine o’clock on Sunday and meet the group that comes by for 15 minutes. And their job is to cast vision for what production does. That’s the only job that person had that morning. And they would give them nerds candy, every single one and say you don’t have to be a nerd to serve in production. And we would hand them a nerd box of nerds, and a business card. And the business card on one side said interested in serving or something like that. Your next step is production first look. And on the back it had when we do the production first look and who to contact. So I gave them candy. And I gave them their next step. So it was very, very clear, when they walked away Sunday, they had an experience, I don’t have to be a nerd to serve in production. And here’s the vision behind production. And they had in their hand their next step. And that business card alone skyrocketed our numbers in production. If they have an opportunities to or if they were interested in serving in production, they would contact the person on the card. And that person would set a time that they would come in on a Sunday and come to a little class that we will would sit around the table and give them information about what production like more information about what production in and out of production, they could sign up for their first training opportunity. So I know what you’re thinking, Man, this is a little bit extensive what we do at my churches, if somebody walks up and says they’re interested, we throw them to the wolves the next week and expect them to be able to run everything. Don’t do that, like train, train them? Well, you know, I know it’s a little bit intensive. But it also creates excellent experiences because you’re not you’re training and you’re not just throwing them to the wolves. Now how do they like what is training look like?
Carl Barnhill 24:21 Okay, so after the first look where we talk through what we do and in production, we set up our training like a college course. So you took basics 101 how it looked like as you came in and you observe to someone on a position. That’s it. That’s all you do. You sit there on Sunday and you watch somebody do the position that you’re interested in. Then step two was you come to a training class on a Monday night and you get to run a service with a veteran volunteer with you one on one training you on how we do a service, and you get to do at the end of the night, we did a full run through with all trainees. So we actually had a fake service every Monday night, that people could practice on the gear with nobody in the room. So that they can mess up, they could whatever. And then they could take as many of those as they wanted to until they were comfortable. And when they were comfortable, we would put them on on a Sunday. And then we would put a volunteer right next to them as a safety net, as just Hey, do I hit this? Or did I hit this? I can’t remember where you hit that. So that volunteer was there as a safety net is just one more competence check. And then the last step was they run it on their own. So I know, I know, it was a little bit intensive. And it took a little bit of time. But the benefit was, people would tell us over and over, I didn’t feel like I had to do a Sunday, and I didn’t feel like I was gonna mess up in front of 1000s of people. Like you gave me the opportunity to be completely comfortable before I was, you know, on officially in front of everybody.
Alex Enfiedjian 26:15 And what’s the timeframe from like, initial conversation to they’re running something for a service? Is it a couple weeks?
Carl Barnhill 26:23 I would say you can do it within a month. Yeah. So you can be fully trained within a month,
Alex Enfiedjian 26:28 right? It’s not too much to ask and something that we started doing, because I know we’re talking a lot about like production. But these principles truly apply to like any ministry, it could be worship ministry, it could be children’s ministry, it could be anything. So you know, for the listeners who are like, well, this has nothing to do with music. It doesn’t. But it has to do with good leadership and good organizational skills are good organization structure. So like one of the things we’ve been doing with our new musicians that have been coming, and expressing interest in auditioning and all that we we have a four week training period. It’s like, okay, you come to rehearsal, you sit in the back with the team before rehearsal, you come out, and you wear the ears, you listen, you watch how we do rehearsal, there’s, you know, if you’re shadowing like the keyboard player, or you’re shadowing a vocalist, you’re doing what they’re doing. But the first two times, you’re not even doing it, you’re just watching and listening. And then the second time you sing and or play along with them. And then the third time you do it. And then finally, by the fourth time, you’re going to actually do the service and you’re getting to know us we’re getting to know you, you’re getting to see kind of the attitude we have the culture we’re creating. And it’s just an A month is not too long, like a month is a healthy amount of time for somebody to get properly acclimated to your team. So I think that’s awesome that you guys have such a clear onboarding process.
Carl Barnhill 27:51 Yeah, I think you made a good point there in that this is stuff that I use in a production setting, but they definitely apply to any ministry. So I know that you guys ministered to, you know, worship pastors and and people in the in the music and worship space. And again, like you were saying, Is this the same principles, it’s the idea of, don’t just throw them in there. Like, make sure that they are comfortable, make sure that you’re comfortable with them. Like when we had our Monday night trainings, we would not schedule them on a Sunday, until we were comfortable, that we knew that they could do it on a Sunday. So we would actually say, Hey, I think that, um, you know, in a nice way, I think that maybe one or two more Mondays, and you’ll be awesome, you’ll be good to go. So I’m gonna, we’re gonna is there another Monday that maybe you can come in and, and do one more practice round. And, you know, we would handle it nicely. But, but the back end of that is we were making sure that they were deficient in that position before we put them on on a Sunday. So the same is true with music, you want to make sure that they can play, they can sing, they can, you know, your experiences was what you’re making. Excellent. So you don’t want that to suffer because you didn’t train well.
Alex Enfiedjian 29:15 Right. And it’s one thing to audition in an office back stage with an acoustic guitar. It’s a whole other thing when there’s a quick track and lights on your face and you know, hundreds or 1000s of people staring at you like totally clam up territory, you could totally clam up quickly, you know, so it is just making sure that people are set up for success. Now, here’s a question though, Carl, so you, you kind of leave it open for people to express interest in which position they’d like to try. How do you assess their gifts? You know, like, what if they’re like, well, I want to do cameras, but they’re like shaky handed or maybe they’re like, I want to be lyrik slide operator, but they’re like super add and they can’t focus. So how do you assess their gifts as they’re getting involved?
Carl Barnhill 29:57 That’s a good question. So because we set up that training proccess we can see that and notice that before it gets to a Sunday, so that that’s one reason that was set up is because men after two or three Monday nights, if cameras just not cutting it, usually they feel that, you know, usually if you bring it up and say, Hey, man, do you want to try another position? Or do you? Do you feel like you want another couple practice rounds on on camera? Or we can easily try out something else? If you want to do that. And you sometimes that opens the door to? Man, I’m glad you said that. I don’t know if this is the right position for me. My hands are shaking, and I just can’t stay still. Okay, that’s no problem. Man. Would you want to try pro presenter you want to try that? You know it? Oh, that training process opens the door for that. So. So that’s one piece that I would say another piece of how to assess the volunteers guess is to try them on different positions. So that’s kind of the same thing. But you want to try it so that you can see what they’re you know what they’re thriving at?
Alex Enfiedjian 31:04 Yeah. And I think, don’t you guys cross train everybody. So like, the long term goal is that anybody in production can do any task or any role, right? Yeah,
Carl Barnhill 31:14 that’s a good point. So when someone came in, and that was a part of that first look, in our on ramp, so when they sit down, one thing that we would tell them is, the long term goal is for everybody that comes and serves in productions, we require you to train on three positions. Like that was the expectation coming in, like you will learn three positions on our team. And the reason for that is because things do happen, you know, you’re in a situation where someone gets sick and can’t come in, well, if everybody knows three positions, you can easily Okay, well, I know this position. So why don’t we shift this around, you do that I’ll do this, we’ll be good to go. But if everybody only knows one position, then you’re kind of screwed. So if something like that happens, so cross training people that you know, it helps a ton in that environment. Men also and maybe this is too obvious, but also pray about it. I pray God, what is the what is the best fit for this volunteer on our team? What gifts that Please show us the gifts that they have? That could be of tremendous benefit to this group? And then observe them. And here’s what might happen. And here’s where you need to really observe. Let me give you an example. So what if you’re sitting around hanging out? and someone says, Hey, what do you what do you do for a living? What do you what is your job? Oh, well,
Unknown Speaker 32:52 I,
Carl Barnhill 32:52 I’m an event planner for a golf club. I plan massive corporate events and all this kind of stuff for, you know, hundreds of people and I get all the food together and all the
Unknown Speaker 33:07 Oh, okay.
Carl Barnhill 33:09 So if I hear something like that, I throw that away. And that exactly. Example, happened in our team. And so when it came come around to structure our team, and we wanted an events team, within our production team, Guess who I thought of the event coordinator for the golf club down the road? And I asked this lady if she would do it, and I brought her in, and I explained, here’s what this position entails. And would you be interested? Oh, I would love that. You know, if you pray about it, and it might be enlightened just in conversation, and it might not be what you expect. It might not be, oh, I’m awesome at camera, or I’m awesome at guitar or whatever, you might observe some different gifts that you didn’t know.
Alex Enfiedjian 33:58 Right? And ones that don’t even necessarily usually fit in what we think of as music ministry or tech ministry, because you’re going, wait a minute, like if we’re trying to build a great culture, it might be great to have some events. And if it’s great to have events, it might be great to have an event planner, why don’t we have an event planning team? So one of the things I love about your approach is you’re actually creating positions for the volunteers based on their giftings. And it might have nothing to do with technology or musicality, but just the gift of hospitality. So maybe talk to our, our listeners a little bit about having branches of your teams organizational structure that you know, they wouldn’t normally think about. So tell us about your event planning team and why you did it and what it kind of looked like.
Carl Barnhill 34:42 Okay, so here’s how I organized our org chart. I split and yes, I did an org chart for our volunteer team. I know that that might sound a little foreign but I did a an org chart and it was broken up into three sections. One was called New serve and This entire team was all about that on ramp process that I talked about. There was an opportunities tour team, there was a first look team. And there was a basic training team, all within the new cert team. And then under that there were team leaders and then team members. So that was one section. The next section was service execution. And under that was video, audio and lighting. And then my third section was volunteer culture. And under that was production headquarters team. This was a team that brought breakfast on Sunday, that decorated our space. During seasons like Christmas Valentine’s, you don’t think that stuff matters, but it does. Also in the volunteer coach. So the volunteer culture, division, I guess we could say, was split up into production headquarters, events, team, and next steps team. So the events team would plan events. And all that meant was the here’s what I explained to the team leader, I want one event per month. That is something that people can slip in and come to or not like, Hey, we’re all going to the movies this Friday, or, hey, we’re all going to lunch after service today, if anybody wants to come one of those kinds of things per month, you don’t have to be at all of them. Everybody doesn’t have to be at all of them. It could be three people doesn’t matter that provide that opportunity.
Alex Enfiedjian 36:32 How many people kind of typically came I’m sure it fluctuated but fluctuate. We had 150 volunteers? Did you see like 13 1420 people come to those like, monthly events?
Carl Barnhill 36:43 Yeah, yeah. So we would do like movie night to the church, and invite your family, or like, hey, the big football games home, we’ll put it on in the auditorium. Come on, we’ll do popcorn or chili cook off, you know, stuff like that. And some of them were a little bigger. You know, I said, I want one kind of very simple thing per month. And I want three big ones in the year, Christmas party, Fourth of July bash, bonfire thing, chili cook off, you know, some big thing, you know, three times a year. So that’s, that was the events team. And then the next steps team was all about pastoring. So this team helped people find their next steps within our production team. So they would come on Monday nights and help people find their next step. Hey, where do you want to cross train next? Hey, where do you want to end? They would also help them spiritually. Hey, are you in a small group? So I know this is kind of big, but new serve service execution and volunteer culture? most churches, from a media production standpoint, only focus on service execution? Who can I get to push the button on Sunday? Who can I get from a worship perspective? Who can I get that can play an instrument or sing? That’s what I’m after. That’s what most churches just focus on. But what I tried to do is, is create two completely new tears in my team that had nothing really to do with pushing a button. And that created a massive culture within our production team. And I would bring in people that had nothing, I mean, I don’t care if you push a button, we’ll find a place for you. If you don’t like pro presenter, what if you are the breakfast coordinator for Sunday? What if you are the, you know, whatever. So in that word chart, we could find a place for them.
Alex Enfiedjian 38:46 That makes sense, totally. And listeners Think about this, these are all volunteers. So Carl just identified their gifts as he got to know them and asked them to step into certain roles, and even the leaders within his volunteer teams. He identified as leaders and and kind of helped them see what their role was. And I believe you even write job descriptions right for every single person, so they know what they’re expected to do, and they know how to succeed in doing it. So it’s just about clarity, and communication and just clearly defined, you know, roles. So it’s amazing. And I bet you know, having these teams of people planning events and these people decorating rooms and these people taking you know, pastoral care over the volunteers really created a sense of unity among your teams. Are there any other things you did? I know you guys used to have like special spaces in your churches building for your volunteers? What kind of things were in those spaces to make it feel fun and exciting? Yeah. So there’s,
Carl Barnhill 39:50 there’s there’s a few like ideas that can make your we called a production headquarters and that was just a little we took an old that we In a warehouse at the campus that I was at a new spring, and we took the back section of the warehouse, and it was right now the production room, and we created a space. I mean, we had couches, we put in a refrigerator, a countertop, a dining room table, like a table that you can sit at, we put like a ring toss on the wall. I mean, we created a space. Now I know a lot of churches might not can do that, or you have a sound booth or I mean, a lot of churches with worship, have some type of choir room, Green Room, prayer, backstage area, you know, you can really do something with those spaces. Alright, so here’s a few things to add to those spaces that might make it really cool. One is food, food brings people together. So have food around, it also gives energy and with the right food and healthy food, you can kind of keep energy levels up and things like that, to his gains and activities, there’s a lot of downtime, some between, you know, if you’re a larger campus that has multiple services, and you have the same team served throughout the day, you know, there can be downtime between services or you know, before people arrive, that sort of thing. So if you have decks of cards out of board game out, or you know, ring toss on the wall, like I was mentioning, or ping pong or something, it creates culture, you know, it helps people play again. We had a refrigerator in our space, we had a microwave and a coffeemaker. We even like got out a waffle maker and did waffles on Sunday. a toaster oven. I mean, I know it sounds it can sound silly. But I mean, walking into our space on Sunday with the smell of waffles and coffee. And fun syrups to I mean, it was just fun. Who doesn’t want to be there? I mean, come on. We had the smell of waffles and ring toss on the wall. Sign me up. I know. So all right. So what what is preventing you from making your spaces cool. Now I would say probably one thing that might prevent you, is your building committee. baptist church or something like that? What in the world are they doing? But if you can explain it to your pastor that hey here, Pastor here is the culture that I’m trying to create. And if you could pitch that vision, you might be able to get away with it. Okay, so a couple more things. Yeah, can
Alex Enfiedjian 42:33 I can I jump in. So I think one of the secret elements, or maybe often overlooked elements of developing an amazing happy team is to have fun, and to create a fun environment. And like, I know, when I was a youth pastor back in the day, like, I wanted every single kid that walked in the door to feel like excited and loved and welcomed and, and like that we are seriously so happy to see them, you know. And I see so many like production teams where it’s like, dimly lit rooms, and you walk in like The Walking Dead. And you quietly go to your corner. Yeah. And like, press the button, and don’t talk to each other and don’t make eye contact. And it’s like, Whoa, whoa, whoa, you know, like, let’s be, let’s be like, exceedingly hospitable and generous. community. And that’s going to attract volunteers. And that’s going to retain volunteers, and that’s going to make people want to show up to when their schedule
Carl Barnhill 43:32 Yeah, in fact, that was the culture when I got to new spring, that was the culture it was the lights are off. I’m gonna play candy crush on my phone and not talk to anybody during the sermon. But I was in charge of that. So I could walk in during the sermon, turn the lights on. And I could put a board game out in the in our space. And I could have food out. I could get two or three people and we can, people will gravitate. If you have somebody making waffles, people are going to gravitate to the waffles, company cup, they’re going to get off Candy Crush, and they’re going to come and they’re going to come find the waffle. I mean, so you can create opportunities and throw stuff out there to change your culture. So, okay, a couple of the things comfortable furniture. And by the way, you might be thinking, where are you getting the money to do all this stuff? You must be new spring you had all kinds of money. Not true. All of it. Most all of it was volunteer, dumb. All the appliances. Hey, who’s getting rid of refrigerator is it? Do y’all know anybody that’s getting rid of an old refrigerator. Got an old one in your garage? That you’re getting rid? Oh, I got one. I were about to get rid of that. Hey, can we put it in our space right here. I would do that stuff constantly. I would pitch it on Facebook in our group or whatever. I would say I actually did this. I said We need three couches and a dining room table. If you guys know anybody know where to get one, whatever, and the next day, I had a lawyer on our team call me and say, I’m coming to find you at lunch tomorrow. Okay? So he came to the church, he picked me up, we went to a furniture store, I didn’t know where we were going, we went to a furniture store. And we walked in the door. And he said, That dude, I’m like, emotional right now thinking about this. He said, pick out a table, and pick out two couches, whatever you want to walk out of here today with what? Who does that? But if you pray for it, and you, you know, you’re thinking like, Oh, well, that’s nice, bro. You have lawyers and all kinds of stuff. No, this has happened in other churches to you this can happen. Things like this. So okay, so comfortable furniture, a television, got to have a TV in there with the feet of the service. And then two more things, one, some people like you mentioned, if you have a bunch of people that are dragged, it’s going to bring the culture down. But if you can recruit the most bubbly, fun person, or people that you can find and get them in, they’re around people that’s going to help you to transform your culture. They’re going to talk to everybody, they’re going to pick on people, they’re going to whatever you don’t want to be mean, but infuse your culture with fun people. And the next thing was a Ph. Q team, a production headquarters are a team that they’re responsible for the culture. So I actually had a team, that your job is to make this space, fun. Bring breakfast, you were to put games out, you were to put encouragement cards out on the table, decorate, you were to fill this space with fun, that is your job. And that helps. But if if everybody’s on a piece of gear, and nobody’s responsible for that, or you’re responsible to try it, or you’re trying to do everything, then you can’t do that. So the code being the coach is a key element in your culture ship. That makes sense. Yeah,
Alex Enfiedjian 47:14 totally. That’s amazing. Oh, man, there’s I feel like there’s so much we could talk about, and I want to hire you right away. So okay, well, I think we’ve talked enough about training as well. Unless you feel like there’s more to say about training. I know you guys cross train you shadow you. It’s like, watch me. You try. I’ll watch you Okay, you do it’s it’s that thing. Is there anything else you want to say about training? Or is that pretty much nothing the training night,
Carl Barnhill 47:44 I think having practice opportunities where it’s not game time, all the time, is important. So if you can do that on a on a weeknight on a Wednesday after church, if you can do that on a Sunday afternoon at two o’clock after the church is empty, that was a game changer. You know, that week night really helped us tweet those things during the week where it wasn’t a major stressor on Sunday. So that I guess that would be the last thing that I would say about training is that that night really helped us.
Alex Enfiedjian 48:17 Now Now, how did you guys communicate with all of your volunteers? Like, did you use an app? Or was it all on Planning Center? Or was it email? Or sounds like you had a Facebook group? What was your way of communicating to large groups of people?
Carl Barnhill 48:29 Yeah, so the the main piece of communication that I would use is email, I had to have one piece of communication that nobody could feel left out in. Oh, some people check their Facebook a lot. Some people check Planning Center, something, I found that email, I could put everything in email. And I could send it out and it has everything in you know, I could attach stuff and whatever. Now I might copy that email and put it in the Facebook group, and say, Hey, if you guys missed the email, here it is, and attach stuff there. Just so there’s no excuse. But I found that pretty much everybody had email. And if they didn’t, I could easily set up a, you know, a Gmail account real quick for the, you know, older gentleman that didn’t have an email and teach him real quick how to check his email.
Alex Enfiedjian 49:24 Yeah, we’ve been using an app called banned that. So we have, you know, like, once we united all of our volunteers throughout our entire church, we have, you know, keyboard players and lighting people and video people, audio people worship leaders, youth band kidzone. And so we like it’s impossible for me to keep email lists, because I’m trying to train each of these different groups. And so we invited them all to specific groups in this app called band, we created a band for each group. And so we’ve been trying to communicate through them like that, but I also agree that email, it’s like 80 90% you So, it’s hard, but you got to try stuff to figure out what doesn’t work. But that’s but that’s an app that’s worth looking at, I think because it’s we’ve seen some success in it. So yeah, and
Carl Barnhill 50:10 I used, I did use MailChimp to keep everybody you know that way, you don’t have to copy email groups or anything like that in your email software, I found that MailChimp, I could separate it out. If I wanted to do a segmented list of just audio people, or band members or whatever. So yeah, but I think it whatever you use, just be consistent. Because you don’t want to put something on Facebook. And a lot of younger guys fall into this. They’ll put stuff on Facebook, but the 60 year old lady that’s on your team doesn’t have a Facebook, and so to to go, well I put it on Facebook. That’s not an excuse like you can’t, you can’t do that to your own team member. You have to make sure that they are have a way to get your communication. Don’t just blame them for not using the your preferred social media thing or whatever that makes it
Alex Enfiedjian 51:15 totally awesome. Cool. Well, Carl, I want to respect your time. And you’ve developed all these things that you’ve developed all these documents and everything. You’ve put it into an E book for volunteer team. So can you tell our listeners where they can get an E book with all of this information? Yeah, sure. So
Carl Barnhill 51:34 it’s called the ultimate production team handbook. And it is written for Media Production teams. But you can get the concepts of an org chart or, you know, position checklists, training guides, how I’ve structured teams and things like that. You can get it all and it’s all through our ministry website. And that is the word 12. spelled out the word 30 spelled out dot media. Or you can use the numbers either one will work 1230 dot media, either one will get you to the website, and then Ford slash handbook will get you directly to the handbook. So 1230 dot media Ford slash handbook. And with the book, at the end of the book, I put a link to a site that you can download Word documents, of everything. So you know, you can download everything and take those Word documents, all you got to do is say, you know, we call this position this instead of that, but it gives you a huge jumpstart on creating your own, you know, handbook or your own checklists or,
Alex Enfiedjian 52:43 or whatever. Awesome, Carl, thank you so much for resourcing the church and for sharing so much wisdom today with our listeners. It’s been a blessing. Absolutely, man. Thanks for having me.
Alex Enfiedjian 52:58 All right. Well, that’s all we have time for today. Thank you so much for being a listener of this podcast. I really hope it’s helping you lead in your churches. If it is, please help us by spreading the word. You can easily do that by clicking one of the shareable links in the show notes of your podcast app. Also, feel free to leave us a review on iTunes. You can do that right within the app or by going to worship ministry training comm slash review to learn how to do that. Also, be sure to check out Carl’s awesome podcast, the church media podcast, and also be sure to check out his ebook, and the links for both of those things will be in the show notes. So that’s it for this month. God bless you guys. As you serve your churches. Let’s build great volunteer teams and equipped people to serve Jesus’s Kingdom until he returns