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The Six Things No One Told Me About Church Audio


4. Great mixing doesn’t guarantee great worship.

There are days when the band is great and the mix is great and everything seems perfect. Yet, not everyone is worshiping and praising God. Good audio production creates an environment conducive for worship. That’s ALL it can do.

It’s a hard truth in that a great mix doesn’t guarantee a great worship experience but the flip side is really cool; a great worship time doesn’t depend on a great mix. I recall a service when my mix could have been better as it sounded a bit off to me. After the service, I heard someone say how great the band sounded and how much they enjoyed the worship time. Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there will be worship, regardless of the level of production.

Let me go a different route with this.

I’ve mixed a variety of styles of worship and I’ve been in the congregation for several others. I’m not here is say which was best. What style was great for one congregation wasn’t doing anything for me. To each their own.

Moving past style, I’ve seen some small churches with questionably skilled musicians and so-so mixing where the congregation was fully into their worship. Obviously, there’s a greater factor present than the quality of the band or the mix. Can those things impact the quality of the worship? Yes, but they can’t control it.

I’ve talked about how audio and video and lighting can work together to create an emotional environment that, in some way, ushers people into worship. A few people said that’s why they hate production because it attempts to create something false. Does it? To that, I say no, at least not in a way designed to fool the congregation. For example, walk into a fancy restaurant and they’ll probably have relaxing music on. They want your dining experience to be relaxing. With production work, it’s much the same.

Let me wrap this part up by saying our goal should always be to create an audio production that benefits the congregation but it can’t guarantee anything.

5. And this one really bugs me….People talk during the music.

Sitting in the sound booth gives me the ability to watch people. I can watch who comes in late and who leaves early. I can see who is texting, playing Candy Crush, or checking Facebook. And…grrrrr…I can watch the talkers. Sometimes, they’re close enough to be heard. The band is playing, people are worshiping, and then a Mr. or Mrs. decides it’s time to talk.

I don’t mean, “don’t forget to call your mother.” I mean, “I’m not sure what we should do for lunch today. I was thinking about seafood but then Bill doesn’t like seafood and then Marge, remember Marge? Anyway, she had that outpatient thing last week and that reminds me, did you make an appointment with your endocrinologist? If not, it’s ok because when I stop by the bank on Monday I can… blah blah and blah.” And that’s not a judgment on women. I see men do this as well.

Some people just don’t get it. It’s their loss.

6. The Most Important.

I’ve often said that church audio is ministry work but it’s also the least recognized so for number six, you need to learn to rejoice.

The congregation walks in the sanctuary and a short while later walks out. They experience an hour or two of a service while you’ve put in two or three times that in prep work. They don’t know that. They don’t need to. What they need to do when they are there is marvel at the one great God.

And they can do that because you’ve done the grunt work.

It took over 3,000 people 410 days to build the Empire State Building. This includes installation of approximately 17 million feet of telephone wire. If you walked into the building when it was first completed, you’d have seen beautiful carpeting and newly painted walls and shiny windows. But what’s under the carpeting? Subflooring. What’s behind the paint? Drywall and metal. Stuff put up by people doing the grunt work.

It’s OK that you’re doing the grunt work behind the scenes because the congregation isn’t there to pay tribute to your hard work, they are present to worship God.

Rejoice because God’s using you so people can focus their attention on Him.

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”

God sees your service and when you realize your work in church audio production is a partnership with Him then you’ll realize you really are living the Glamorous Life.

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The original article appeared here.