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Church Sound: Key Questions To Ask In Assessing Your AV Systems

The objective is to make a candid and complete assessment of the entire facility and equipment

By Dale Alexander June 11, 2013

The process of accurately assessing the systems and related factors at any church can be tricky business, and in particular, at an existing church.

The key in every situation is to make a candid and complete assessment of the entire facility and equipment, taking into account many other important (and related) factors as well.

There are so many variables to be considered, but it all starts with determining where the church currently is right now both in its system usage and worship style.

Doing so can be a challenge, because it involves taking an unvarnished look at your ministry and the vision God has given you for your church, and then determining how well your facilities serve the ministry and vision. 

Begin by asking the right questions. For example, what type of church are we? Is the church part of a national/worldwide denomination, or an independent body? If the church is affiliated with a larger denomination, does it strictly follow the denominational doctrine, practices and service structure?

As an independent audio-visual consultant, I’ve had the opportunity to work with many churches, and have come to the conclusion that every one of them whether part of a larger denomination or not, is unique and possesses it’s own particular personality. I believe that this comes from the scripture that tells us God fits the parts of the body together as He sees fit. 

So if your church is part of a denomination, please don’t stop at saying “I am part of this denomination.” Rather, look for the aspects that make your church unique, varying from the norm of the denomination.

For instance, many denominational churches are moving to the trend of providing contemporary worship services – a huge and distinctive change, and one that is vital in the assessment.

Further questions: What are the demographics of the church? Who is attending? What is the economic situation of the region?

Demographics can be one of the most important factors in determining how facilities meet requirements. One major issue is the median age of the congregants of the church, the percentage of people near the median age, and the people on the outer edges of the median age group. 

This matters because the demographic profile of a congregation can help the acoustic and sound professionals understand the musical quality and speech intelligibility expectations. It can also be a determining factor in the implementation of other technical aspects, such as video projection and lighting systems.

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