Your church service is only as good as your audio production.
Here, to explain is your “first-time church attendee family.” (FTCAF)
The FTCAF’s husband and father, Bill, talking with a co-worker…
- Co-worker: “How’s the move been to the new town?”
- Bill: “It’s been great. The problem has been finding the right church.”
- Co-worker: “Really? There are a lot of churches in your town. Can’t you find one that’s good for your family?”
- Bill: “We THOUGHT we had found a great one. The people are nice and the sermons are good. Even the youth group is great.”
- Co-worker: “So, what’s the problem?”
- Bill: “Every church service has a sound problem. One Sunday, it’s feedback. The next Sunday, the pastor’s microphone isn’t on when he starts talking. Then, this past Sunday, all I could hear during the music was the bass and the kick drum. Whoever ran sound either has bad hearing or is into a form of music that’s foreign to most everyone else.”
- Co-worker: “Maybe they’ve got some new volunteers. Just give it time.”
- Bill: “Too late. We’ve been there a month we’ve decided to try somewhere else. It’s just too hard worshiping, when you’re expecting something bad to happen at any moment.”
Isn’t the message enough of a reason to stay?
No. That’s just the truth. As you can see in the example with Bill, the audio error distract his family from fully engaging in the service as their thoughts are on “what could happen next?”
Take me to your leader
But then there are people who think the message is enough or that audio quality doesn’t matter. They don’t think the audio quality matters. The tough part about it…they can be people in leadership. You might have heard them say;
- “It’s only one goof each Sunday.”
- “As long as the congregation can hear the message.”
- “No one remembers the mistakes.”
- “It’s church, so it’s ok.”
- “Why pay for training when they can learn on the job?”
- “The sound guy’s young.”
- “I trust the sound guy” [inferring that no matter how bad they are, everything will stay the same.]
What has to change?
Let’s first ask the question “what if everything stays the same?”
- Bill and his first-time church attendee family will go somewhere else.
- Bill will tell his friends.
- The reputation of your church will suffer. Imagine a church with a bad audio production reputation trying to rent out their sanctuary for weddings! Bill’s sister asks him, “do you know of a great church where Steve and I could get married?” Bill’s response; “I can tell you a church to avoid.”
Therefore, for your church audio quality to be top notch, you need to focus on
- Responsibility: Define the person in charge of the team. They will spearhead training and growth. They will also establish a quality level that should be reached for each and every service. For example, with a team of new volunteers, the initial expectation might be on clarity and volume and not so much on a perfectly EQ’d guitar.
- Accountability: The team members are expected to be accountable. The reason isn’t to instill fear but instead to keep them on their toes and go at their work with a professional attitude. The team lead should then work with the sound tech’s to overcome any problems through one-on-one training or other means of corrective measures.
- Recognition: Know that your worship services are graded by visitors and congregation members, in part, on the audio production quality. Recognize that consistently poor audio reflects poorly on your church. Audio production in the church is an offering to God and therefore it should be the best you can give.
Your church doesn’t want to be known for a moral failing of someone in leadership. They don’t want to be known as gossipers. Your church wants to be known as a Christ-like center of faith and hope and love for the community. Your church needs to reflect the best of everything you do. One of the obviously place’s that’s seen (and heard) is in your church service. Your church will be graded on the music, the sermon, AND the audio production.
Question: have you ever been at a church or event with poor audio production? How did that affect your time at that church / event?
Thought? Questions? Comments?