Your new lights are shining bright, your new sound board is installed, and your now worship looks and sounds amazing. Now the only question that remains is what to do with the gear you just replaced. The last thing any church wants is to have unused equipment collecting dust in a closet. Here are a few options that can help your church save space and potentially be a blessing to other churches:
If you’re not a single room or mobile church, look first to reuse your equipment in other spaces. Children’s rooms, meeting spaces, and even offices may benefit from some of the gear you’ve replaced. Old computers can be ideal for running digital signage, check-in kiosks or online giving kiosks. Smaller sound boards and speakers can be a great addition to a teen space or elementary age classroom. Re-purposing can help you stretch the budget of your church and help you reinvent existing spaces.
The church collectively should not be isolated. We need to connect with other believers both inside and outside of our home church. Do you know the other technical directors of the churches in your area? Start making some connections with them.
As church techs, we each have unique perspectives to solving problems. The issue you had with your sound board six months ago may be a problem that the church down the road is struggling with right now. They may have a piece of equipment you’ve been looking to add that you want to know more about. How does this help with your unused gear?
Maybe what you see as junk would be a huge blessing to another church. Your smaller projection screen may not have any use for you anymore, but it may be perfect for the church down the road. Did you switch to new LED lights? The ones you had before would work great in that other church’s worship space.
Does your church support any long term missionaries? While shipping large heavy items may be cost prohibitive, smaller items could be a great addition. When shipping items overseas, be sure to keep in mind that power requirements for your equipment may not work in other countries. Wireless frequencies also may not function properly so make sure what you’re sending will work.
The latest US FCC regulations have forced many churches to buy new wireless equipment. One option is to sell or donate this equipment to churches in countries outside the US. Some of this gear is often relatively new and in perfect working condition.
Trade in not only wireless equipment but other used gear as well. Your local music and lighting stores often have trade-in programs. This can be great for picking up some spare cables, direct boxes, microphone stands or other equipment. Lastly, for this particular wireless issue, there is a trade in program from Shure.
Some of your gear is worth selling. You can recoup some costs and put the funds back into your ministry account for future needs. Here are some great sites to check out for selling your used gear:
- Used Lighting (Lighting, dimmers, fog machines and more) – http://www.usedlighting.com/sell
- Audiogon (High-end audio equipment) – https://www.audiogon.com/
- Adorama (Camera gear and more) – https://www.adorama.com/pages/usedQuote
- Gear Source (Video, audio, lighting, and musical instruments) – https://www.gearsource.com/
- Guitar Center (Audio, cables, musical equipment, amps) http://www.guitarcenter.com/pages/Trade-In-Trade-Up.gc
- Reverb (Audio, DJ, lighting, musical instruments, and more) – http://reverb.com
- Craigs List (Everything, anything) – http://www.craigslist.org
There are also many Facebook groups for selling your gear.
When selling your equipment online, make sure you have several good pictures and an accurate description of your product before posting it online. The money you get in from selling can go towards buying new gear or perhaps a small party for your hard working volunteers.
If your gear is broken or of little value, don’t throw it in the dumpster. Recycling your old gear not only helps you clean your closet but saves landfills of the harsh metals in many electronics.
Here are few sites that can help you find a local electronics recycler in your area:
Even if your church upgraded years ago, it’s a good idea to go through your storage spaces at least once a year and get rid of the equipment you know you’re not going to use anymore. What you donate now can make one church’s Christmas program a huge hit and lead new people to Christ. Perhaps your gear will have a global impact with a long term missionary team.
What other things have you done with your equipment?