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7 Questions with Milford Hutsell
helps you in your leadership.
7 Questions with Milford Hutsell
Name: Milford Hutsell
Current title: Worship Production Director
Current organisation: Venture Christian Church
My back ground is in Computers but growing up and going through life I had a passion for Theater and worked a lot of shows as Lighting Design, Stage Manager, etc.
This led me to getting involved with my current church in the Tech world. Little did we know that Covid-19 was going to upset the fruit cart and cause us to have to pivot so much in the last year.
1. What have you found most challenging as a church leader?
Volunteers, they come from so many different beliefs, family structures and experiences. I have found it most challenging being able to train them at all levels.
2. How did you become a church leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?
Well, it started out when our current Tech Director was leaving for another church, I was already serving as a rotational Lighting director, but was also serving as the TD whenever the Worship Minister was out or the TD was out. When he made the decision to leave I asked the Worship leader about me stepping into that role and so far it has been great. I love to make everyone's worship experience great and if I helped one person come closer to Jesus during the Worship time I felt accomplished.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Well, my church job is not my main job, I also work for FCA (Chrysler) group in Kokomo Indiana as an Information Technology person. It's a struggle some days to get in 7 hours of sleep to be honest. I go put in my 8 and a half or some times 9 and a half hours at my daytime job, and then come home and go to church and work on things for the weekends service (new backgrounds for lyrics, new effects for lighting, new routing for the switcher). Then I try to get home and spend some time with my wife.
4. What's one book apart from the Bible that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
This is a tough one, because as you can imagine I don't get much reading time. Heart of the artist is a book that I did get on Audio and started to read. It has taught me how to deal with church goers that want to volunteer in worship capacities that have no real talent or artistic qualifications. It has taught me that there is always someplace that a person can fit in, whether its running a camera or anything else in tech.
5. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Respect all of my volunteers, make sure that they are appreciated, always provide them with the training that is required and enable them to be able to help the church to as many people that need Jesus as possible.
6. How do you develop a healthy leadership pipeline in a church?
I am almost always the first person at the church for rehearsal / recordings and sunday service. I get there earlier than any of the volunteers and start turning things on, this allows me to make sure things are working but also allows the volunteers to not have to worry about starting stuff up and finding its not working.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a church leader so far?
This year started out like many others until March 12th when the Governor shared that we should not be meeting with large groups of people. March 12th was a Thursday. Stan, our Lead Pastor, and Daniel, our Executive Pastor, along with our previous Worship Pastor, Joel, called me and asked what we could do. As my full time job in Kokomo (FCA Group) told staff to head home for the remainder of the week, it became clear that God knew I was needed elsewhere that day.
The pastors and I met that afternoon and after a long discussion, we determined that we would stream three live services that Sunday. Not knowing that the two week quarantine would last much longer, we decided at that point it was the best course of action. Luckily, we had plans in the works to at some point begin streaming services online. We had already upgraded the Internet connection at the church, so we had the bandwidth required to do this.
That evening, I began working on this new challenge. As I said, luckily, we had already been told to work from home for my job in Kokomo, so I was in town and able to make some calls. Our first objective was to improve our video production. We knew that the cameras that we owned were not enough quality wise to stream live. I began calling connections at other churches and also called a local company that we had begun the conversation with regarding camera equipment. Thankfully, I was able to get in touch with Erin at Grace Church, our neighbor here on 146th Street, and they very generously loaned Venture a camera to use for a “few weeks” until we decided what to do long term. Those “few weeks” turned into nineteen weeks. Venture ended up not meeting in person in the church until late June for recorded services and then in late July for our outdoor services.
The week of July 27th, Venture finally received brand new broadcast grade cameras. With the guidance of the Elders, we were able to get two. If you were paying close attention, you may have noticed that the video quality that Sunday improved quite a bit. As we moved forward through August and September with Worship on the Lawn on Sundays, we continued to stream for those watching from home. Our team continues to dedicate time on Wednesday nights to record the worship team and also on Thursday nights to record the message.
Grace was so kind to loan us pieces of their equipment so that we could continue to share our services with you at a tricky point in time. Without their cameras, we wouldn’t have been able to stream our services the way that we did in a time when many needed Jesus most.