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AV Budgets

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Todd Hisey:
Hi Brian - I am completely new to the boards here.  I realize that this thread is a few weeks old, but I just noticed it now and thought that we might be able to share a bit of our experience.  

Like most churches for years and years we administered our AV expenses via the worship budget and before that via the "music committee".  About 4 years ago I began to cast the vision of a multimedia department that would inventory, maintain and schedule all the AV assets in the church.  The results were not immediate.  In fact it took a couple of years of patient repetition to create buy-in among the other leadership.  

We are pleased that the concept seems to have taken hold.  Most of our ministry leaders now recognize that AV support comes via the Multimedia Ministry.  This means that we make equipment and/or personnel available for whatever needs a ministry has for a meeting or event.  This might be as simple as a DVD player and a TV or as complex as a complete portable system for an off site event.

All this to get to the real point and hopefully an answer to your question.  We now are able to submit a Multimedia budget.  While it falls generally under the Worship Ministry category, the only influence that the Worship Pastor really has is dialogue with Multimedia as to what his needs will be in the upcoming year.  

We just passed our budget for our ministry year recently (Sept to Aug) and the MM portion is approx. 5% of the entire budget.  I would love to see that grow to around 10%, but even the 5% will allow us to be proactive in at least some areas.

The two words that I would leave with you are "patient" and "repetetive".  In our case it literally took a couple of years to get from suggestion to reality.  

Brian Kent Tennyson:
Welcome Todd, glad to have you.

My last three years in the Church AV world I was really pushing for  a fee system in using AV in the church.

I had enough of setting up a portable sound system and wireless mic in a 15' x 15' classroom.

I was proposing that the AV department have little or no budget and when a department ordered AV there would be a set amount that would be taken out of their budget an put over in the AV department. I put forth that it would not only improve "customer service" but would also cut down on frivolous request.

Many corporations budget their AV this way.

Never made it.

Mark Smith:
That is an interesting idea...
I have mixed feelings about it for a church, but it is still very interesting.  

OK... here is the story at my church.  Our budget structure has recently changed, I believe for the worse, but am curious about everyone elses opinion.
Our AV budget was independant on the books.  The AV team was responsible for requesting and use of the budget.
We had a changeout of several staff positions (senior pastor, church administrator, and worship pastor) not all at the same time, but over about 5 years.  This started when the new worship pastor came.  He was very adament about AV being part of the music ministry.  In an effort to keep harmony with senior staff, the senior pastor recommended the change and the new church administrator didn't object.  Now our budget goes through the music ministry.  Something that actually surprised me was control of the funds actually shifted to the music ministry instead of the AV ministry.  This has caused a few delays on getting needed equipment, but I think we have a solution we are working on for this. The last flow-chart I saw had the AV ministry as a subset of the music ministry.  This bothers me because in the past we were either our own ministry or we were grouped with the education ministry.
I don't want to sound negative, and I hope this hasn't.  But, I feel like we are not as responsive to most of the ministries of the church anymore (strangely enough, we have been getting more complaints from the music ministry than anywhere else).  I think this is because most of the ministries of the church come straight to the AV team to request support, while the music ministry has an internal notification system that appearantly doesn't work, because we never hear about it.  But that is another problem to not get into here.
In my opinion, it is best to have the AV as a seperate ministry since many ministries are "clients" of the AV ministry.  But, we will see how it works out being under music.  I have decided to give it my best try for the next 6 months and then re-evaluate and go to the staff if I believe it is not the best solution.  comments?

Todd Hisey:
Brian Kent Tennyson wrote on Wed, 09 November 2005 21:36
My last three years in the Church AV world I was really pushing for  a fee system in using AV in the church.

I had enough of setting up a portable sound system and wireless mic in a 15' x 15' classroom.

I was proposing that the AV department have little or no budget and when a department ordered AV there would be a set amount that would be taken out of their budget an put over in the AV department. I put forth that it would not only improve "customer service" but would also cut down on frivolous request.

Many corporations budget their AV this way.


Interesting concept - Just curious, what is the approx size of this church, and how many would be involved in the AV ministry?

Brian Kent Tennyson:
Todd Hisey wrote on Thu, 10 November 2005 10:07
Brian Kent Tennyson wrote on Wed, 09 November 2005 21:36
My last three years in the Church AV world I was really pushing for  a fee system in using AV in the church.

I had enough of setting up a portable sound system and wireless mic in a 15' x 15' classroom.

I was proposing that the AV department have little or no budget and when a department ordered AV there would be a set amount that would be taken out of their budget an put over in the AV department. I put forth that it would not only improve "customer service" but would also cut down on frivolous request.

Many corporations budget their AV this way.


Interesting concept - Just curious, what is the approx size of this church, and how many would be involved in the AV ministry?


Regular attendance when I left was around $2500. I was the only full time staff but we had a very strong volunteer group of about 10 with a less committed group of about 40. That included running the TV ministry (three weekly programs) a very active education ministry, recording studio and Youth Ministry, Children's Ministry didn't use AV.

Including all worship services, bible study evens, youth events, weddings, funerals, mothers day out and vacation bible school we probable averaged around 700-800 evens a year.

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