Church Sound Basics: Developing Your Technical Ministry
How does one put a winning team together to make the technical production happen?

November 01, 2010, by Gary Zandstra

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If you’re a minister of music, a pastor of programming, a senior pastor, or even a volunteer then one of your responsibilities involves dealing with the technical aspects of worship.

Technical, of course, meaning sound, theatrical lighting, video, props, production.

These areas, when properly applied, can add great dimension to the worship experience.

However these elements misapplied can destroy a worship experience.

Nothing is more distracting than feedback, missed cues or “hokey” production quality.

So how does one put a winning team together to make the technical production happen?

First of all, make sure that the people that you select are “sold out” to the vision and purpose of the church. Then create a “hit list” of potential technical ministers.

Check these folks out. Observe them at church, are they plugged in? Do they seem excited about what is going on?

Do they appear open and teachable? How are their communication skills?

Once this list is set and you have checked the field out, interview them.

Be straightforward and honest with your questions. Get to the heart of the matter. Ask yourself: is this person’s heart, spirit, and attitude the kind that I want on my team? Are they as qualified technically as they are spiritually? If not, are they capable of learning?

If this person is someone you want on your team, clearly lay out the vision for the ministry. Hopefully you have been doing this all along!

If you have no vision, your ministry will go exactly where you lead it- nowhere. Wear and express your vision often. Spell it out on paper!

After selling the vision, communicate the expectations. Do it in writing. People appreciate knowing what they are committing to, so have it clearly laid out. Two words of caution here:

1. The technical area burns out more people than perhaps any other ministry.
Build your team big enough so the burden does not become too great.

2. Protect and invest in the people on your team.
Don’t let Bob spend 30 hours in one week volunteering to make a production happen while his family forgets who he is. Also, take an opportunity to invest in Bob. Get to know his family, take him to lunch just for fun.

After your team is recruited, make sure that you keep them in “the loop” as to what is going on. Information is power. Make sure you have a schedule planned out at least one month in advance.

Fax the order of worship for the coming Sunday to the technicians no later than Wednesday or Thursday. This gives them time to prepare. Think of it this way, I hope that you would not approach a soloist to sing and them give them the song on Sunday morning.

Provide ample opportunity for your team to grow and learn. Subscribe to all the industry related magazines and make them available to your team. Purchase some technical resources and make them available.

An excellent technical ministry team at your church is waiting to happen. Take the lead, recruit the right people, and spend the majority of your time investing in them. Believe in people and they will amaze you!

Gary Zandstra is a professional AV systems integrator with Parkway Electric and has been involved with sound at his church for more than 25 years.



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Church Sound Basics: Developing Your Technical Ministry
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