10 simple to-do’s for your church’s Christmas production checklist.
Tis’ the season for pre-Christmas production for churches around the globe. In fact, you’re probably already feeling that O’ holiest of nights starting to speed towards you and your team like a few of Santa’s reindeer hyped up on Red Bull.
Well, nothing calms those jingle-jitters like a good old-fashioned Christmas production checklist. You’ve got enough cookies on your plate, so we’ve distilled things down to 10 of the top to-do’s that might fall through the cracks in the hustle and bustle of pre-recording, editing, live streaming, and general merriment of the Christmas season.
1. Check Planning Center Services
Our friends at Planning Center have cracked the code on getting services organized, volunteers scheduled, and musicians prepped. Never does this functionality come in handier than during Christmas. So, check it twice and spend a little extra time making sure everything is just right before you print out those cue sheets. And while you’re at it, send a friendly reminder to that drummer who hasn’t confirmed yet.
2. Test That New Gear
We all love posting pics of “New Gear Day” but an untested shiny object is your new weakest link. Don’t let all your hard work come to a screeching halt because Santa came early and you decided to wing-it with your new Danté network audio solution during the last run-through.
P.S. If you’re still looking for a reliable streaming solution for this Christmas, look no further! If you’re reading this before Tuesday, December 15th there’s still time, with ground shipping, to get Resi hardware up and running. (Last day for expedited shipping is the 23rd.) No time to wait? Check out our integration with ProPresenter 7.3 and use Resi ProPresenter Stream on your own hardware and get streaming today!
3. Preview Your Sim-Live Stream To Private Group
Many of you are pre-recording your Christmas spectaculars and using our Upload & Automate feature to sim-live to your audiences. This is an awesome plan during these crazy times, but wouldn’t you sleep a little better knowing that you’ve watched the entire program just like one of your viewers will experience BEFORE they actually experience it?
Set up a private group on Facebook and send your stream there for you and a few other team members to watch on their phones. Compare notes afterward and make the adjustments you’re going to wish you could have made if you had skipped this step.
4. Enable Cellular Hotspots
We all love surprises on Christmas morning; right? How about surprises when you walk into the tech booth and realize the internet went out overnight and is showing no signs of working for your 9am service? Call your wireless provider today and switch on your mobile hotspot feature for the month of December. You could even look into a Cradle Point or Peplink router as a more robust redundancy measure. Yes, it’s an additional cost, but one of the perks of using Resi is the ability to stream from any connection in a pinch and this isn’t a time to take chances.
5. Add Support To Speed Dial
Though all support teams would rather hear glad tidings during the run-up to Christmas, they should be ready to help you get your production out to the weary world no matter what. If you have a streaming service that offers live support (Sorry OBS users…) make sure you have that number ready for quick access. In the heat of solving an issue, trying to figure out what number to call is probably not a wise use of time.
At Resi, our world-class support team is ready and able to help you navigate any streaming situation you find yourself in. So, here is our number: (800) 875-0696. Save it in your phone right now. Though we don’t anticipate needing to chat, we do hope you know that we’re here if you need us.
6. Schedule Your Social Media
Many of us in the church world wear multiple hats. You might be programming lights on Thursday, scheduling volunteers on Monday, and playing drums on Sunday. Chances are pretty good you’re also responsible for posting to social media to help let people know what your church is up to. It’s also very likely this is the last thing you want to have to worry about while you’re orchestrating candlelight services on Christmas Eve. So, spend an hour or so pre-scheduling your social media! There are a ton of apps out there that can help you with this; like Buffer, Hootsuite, and Sprout Social. You can also use the native scheduler included with Facebook Creator Studio to publish your content for free!
Plus, if you’re on the Resi platform you can even pre-schedule your live streams to Facebook with our easy to use Control interface.
7. Charge Your Batteries
We’re not talking about the wireless mics here, we’re talking about you. Yes, you, the person reading this post. You are a human being, not a production robot, and need to take care of yourself before you take care of everyone and everything else that is depending on you. You can’t give what you don’t have; right? No, we’re not suggesting you take that Hawaiian vacation you’ve been dreaming about, but we are encouraging you to spend some time at home with friends or family, bake some Christmas cookies, watch Elf, or go for a walk. Do something that fills you up so that you can bring your best self to your team and your responsibilities. (You should still put those wireless packs on their chargers though.)
8. Text Your Live Stream Link To All Staff For Sharing
This one may sound a little extra, but hear us out. The odds of someone not being able to find your online Christmas special are relatively high. After all, this is the time of year most of your viewers will be new or newer to the way you stream. The other likelihood is that you won’t be the person they reach out to for help finding it. Equipping your fellow staff members with a direct link to the stream, that they can quickly forward to those having trouble finding it, will go a long way in making sure all your hard work is seen by the most amount of people.
9. Enjoy The Moment
You’re going to be busy. There is no way around that. However, if you can find even just 30 seconds to take the comm headset off during the production and soak-in a moment of the event. These are memories you can’t go back and recreate. After all the effort you’ve invested in these productions and hours spent by your teams planning and polishing every element, it would be a shame to be left with nothing but a blurry recollection.
10. Thank Your Volunteers
The temptation after the last service is to teardown and get home to whatever festivities await you. To be clear, we are in favor of this course of action, however, we also know that your volunteers sacrificed their time and talents as well. This is where Planning Center comes back in. In some downtime before your production ramps up, schedule a short ‘Thank you!’ note that hits their inboxes after they get home. They’ll feel all the warm-and-fuzzies inside and you’ll be home knowing you’ve reached the beginning of a well-deserved cup of hot chocolate and break from the most wonderful and crazy time of the year.
Drop us your email and we’ll send you the print friendly version of our Christmas Production Checklist
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