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Church Sound: How Do I Budget For Our A/V/L Needs?
Guidelines to help determine how to accurately budget for current and future needs
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4) Get some help if you need it. Don’t be afraid to consult with someone who is qualified to help you make good decisions. T

here are several ways to get the info you need. Talk with your friends who are techs or worship pastors; they usually have valuable experiences to share.

Secondly, do your research. Read trade magazines like Church Production and use online resources like ProSoundWeb, which offers excellent forums where you can get useful advice from your peers.

Attend trade shows, like the hugely popular WFX Conference (coming to Atlanta this fall), which is a nuts-and-bolts event that provides a wealth of information through seminars, hands-on workshops and exhibits.

5) Be realistic with your expectations. Too often, a budget figure is just pulled out of the clear blue sky without any real basis.

There are three important components of a A/V/L system budget you need to consider:

—The actual “street price” of your equipment (this might be different when you buy a single piece of gear outside of a complete system);

—Shipping costs that can impact the bottom line, particularly on heavy items like loudspeakers, amplifiers, or a large mixing console;

—The technical assistance that is needed to install it. If you can do it yourself, then you’re golden. If your installation requires the help of an on-site integrator, you should find out how much it will cost ahead of time.

6) Use percentages and projections. If you’re in the planning stages of building a new facility, you can usually use a 10-15 percent figure to estimate what your complete audio, video and lighting system will cost.

For example, if you’re building a million-dollar building, then you can expect to pay between $100K and $150K to do it right. If you’re remodeling an existing facility and you have some gear that you can re-purpose, this percentage might be too high.

If you’re building more than a year down the road, then take into account that equipment prices might increase as much as 10 percent in that time based on global market fluctuations and the rising costs of raw materials.

7) Remember WHO you’re ultimately serving.
We have a favorite saying about God’s provision: “If it’s God’s will, then it’s God’s bill.” That’s more than just a cliché; the truth is that if the Lord has directed you to do something, then He will make provisions to see it accomplished.

When you do a good job of consulting with others, researching your needs and understanding your goals, then you can trust Him to bring the funds that will see your vision realized.

Jeff McLeod is managing director and a certified church consultant for Church Audio Video.

Church Audio Video specializes in the design, installation and support of high-quality and affordable custom audio, video, lighting, broadcast and control systems for worship facilities. For more information, visit their website.


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