Regardless of the size of your church, sound system, or reinforcement requirements, it can be advantageous to have some help from time to time.
That’s why a dedicated tech or sound team can be such a great asset – even if it’s only you and one other person.
Here is some encouragement for new volunteers and tech team veterans alike.
If you are a new volunteer, congratulations! You’ve just joined a team that has the ability to make a profound impact on the delivery of the Word to your congregation. It is an exciting and rewarding experience to be part of such a group committed to excellence and service.
While sound can be a rather technical craft to master, it is important to strike a balance between attaining technical excellence and serving with a spirit of excellence.
Take pride in your technical and artistic skills as a sound system operator and serve with humble respect for your role in delivering the message of your faith. But don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to know everything about sound, acoustics, or mixing to be good at your job.
A good attitude combined with a basic understanding of your system and a desire to do your best is much more important than pursuing a mirage of technical perfection.
Regardless of the size of your team, even if it is a team of one, endeavor to contribute the supreme value that your congregation deserves. Your responsibilities may vary, but your quality of service should never wane. In fact, it should only get better.
From stocking fresh batteries in the storage drawer, wrapping up cables, and showing up to rehearsal before anyone else arrives, to mixing a youth group worship band or a 30-piece orchestra for the Christmas musical – that is excellence.
Whether you are a technical assistant behind the scenes or the front of house mixing engineer, your role is vitally important to the success of the team and the service offered to your congregation.
For the Leader
If you are the leader of the sound team or the sole member of the tech department, then you know the level of excellence and quality control that you are responsible for. However, beware of the strong temptation to put control before quality and ego above excellence.
Your job as a leader is that of a servant – for your team, congregation, and God. Serving with grace, an attitude of excellence, and a modest skill set will far outweigh the services of an audio genius with a resistant spirit and a penchant for control.
Serving with a spirit of excellence means that you are committed to refining your skills and striving to deliver the best results you and your team are capable of.
Serving with humility and grace means that you are well aware of the significant role you play in the delivery of the Word, yet you endeavor as a true servant to your congregation, worship team, and leadership.
Remember: “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” – II Timothy 2:15 NIV
When we become part of the sound or technical team, we are indeed handling "the word of truth". Do your best to handle the Truth of that Word correctly, and to the best of your ability. You will indeed be challenged. You will most certainly work long, hard, and seemingly thankless hours. And you will be blessed. Blessed with the satisfaction of service and the pride of an important job well done.
For All Of Us
Burnout is a real thing. And it can happen when you least expect it. Even with the best attitude and focus, you can sometimes feel worn down to the point of breaking.
The important thing with burnout is to prevent it before it even starts. This takes a proactive approach and cultivation of each team member's mind and spirit.
Addressing scheduling and staffing concerns is important too. One person can't do it all, every single week. At least have a backup available if you've got a "team of one". But, ideally, you want to build and build a team that can share responsibilities, grow together, and encourage each other.
My favorite resource to recommend for sound techs struggling with burnout is Dave Wright's book Sound In The Gospel. This is a must read if you're a team leader, and you need to read it immediately if you're beginning to struggle with burnout. It's a breath of fresh air from the perspective of a sound tech in the trenches.
Another resource that will help you find and train your team is the free email course right here at Great Church Sound. It's packed with lots of tips, ideas, and methods that have worked great for church tech teams around the world.
The Gift of Gratitude
Your work in church sound is a blessing to your congregation and leadership team. Thank you for your service and the gifts of your time and expertise.
Be sure to spread the joy and gratitude with fellow team members and other worship ministries. When we focus on giving love and gratitude, we often end up receiving more than we give. Be that light for others in your community.
And if you haven't heard it from anyone else, you can hear it from me... Thank you for all you do!
Portions of this post originally appeared on the Twelve:Thirty Media blog.