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Church Sound: The Sound Operator’s True Purpose And Role In Worship

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By Rob Stam April 24, 2012

What am I trying to accomplish?

It’s a question we should probably be asking ourselves, as church sound operators, on a daily basis.

In today’s rapid-paced society, where exciting new changes are mixed with fear and turmoil, the result can be a feeling of spinning in circles with no direction or purpose.

This is quite visible at many churches. It’s almost become a marketing battle as to who can do the most to keep people coming in the doors.

As a result, some are willing to compromise beliefs and convictions in favor or appearing “relevant” to mainstream society.

But shouldn’t it be the other way around? Shouldn’t the church be teaching it’s people to make their lifestyle and the “real world” relevant to their faith?

Now let’s narrow this discussion down to those of us who support the technical side of ministry. How can we help a ministry stay on track?

Imagine making a trip by boat from England to New York City. The course is set and you’re on your way, but somehow, the direction of the boat is just a couple of degrees off.

Where do you end up? Most certainly not where you wanted to go.

Working in ministry can be the same way. The problem is that sometimes we don’t realize we’re off-track until we arrive at the wrong place. I’ve come to observe that church sound and technical volunteers (as well as their paid counterparts) face constant danger of going off course.

Who Knows What
Why is this so? Simply, it’s very easy to get caught up in new gear, technologies and theories.

These types of things are always changing, and there are hundreds of different opinions floating around about all of it.

And it may be hard to admit, but it’s true: these are the things that most certainly are not the secret to success in audio ministry.

Don’t get me wrong – quality equipment, properly applied, is essential. Returning to my trip analogy, it sure would be a tough journey to New York if you tried to make it on a surfboard. The same goes for sound systems.

But our job is to be educated about show knows what they’re talking about, and who can provide us with the right tools – not the latest and coolest tools.

Success in all endeavors is greatly determined by whom we associate with. Choose wisely, not just technically or economically. Unfortunately, those who may purport to give advice about sound sometimes doesn’t even know what they don’t know.

We must understand our role within ministry as a whole, and be completely committed to it with excellence. Christianity suffers today because it is horribly misunderstood, mostly due to the fact that it’s poorly communicated.

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