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Ways to Serve

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  • Ways to Serve

    Hey guys-

    So, if your church is anything like any church I have ever been a part of, you have a hard time finding a lot of guys who are really good at mixing...and you have that one guy (or more) who has a great servants heart, but whose ear isn't quite up to par.

    My question is, who do you guys deal with these guys? Do you have other serving opportunities in the audio department other than the FOH mixer? How do you utilize them? We have worked on(and are still developing ways) to let people serve in the ministry, even if they don't get to mix....and I am interested to see how you guys do it.

  • #2
    We actually have a built in "farm system" because we meet in a movie theater, we have to set up and tear down 3 separate rooms. When somebody is interested in the A/V team we start them on setup/teardown and then break them in on Children's Sound team, and graduate them up to Adult Sound team...

    well, theoretically that's what it looks like on paper.
    Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church .He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.


    • #3
      Ways to Serve

      that's a great idea... I can honestly say that I have never been part of a portable church, but I have helped a lot of them get off the ground with the technical stuff, and just from that small taste, I know that portable churches have no shortage of volunteer opporunities, so it's great to see you getting people involved. And the "graduation" process is a pretty standard method of working people through the ranks....although we don't use it here, it works for a lot of people.

      At my church, we are always finding ways to get people involved in our ministry. In our main Auditorium, we have 5 major positions, FOH Audio, Lighting, Video, Stage hand(s), and Service Producer. Those are the glamorous positions. In addition, we are developing an "A2" position, which is a little modified from the standard touring industry A2. This person does all of the setup on stage, batteries, troubleshooting....pretty much all things audio, except for mixing, leaving the FOH to be able to concentrate on the mix. Sounds like a boring job, but considering that we go through between 30-40 batteries every weekend, it's a important job. This job is great for technically minded people...people who get signla flow and electronics, but may not have the ear for mixing.....they get the science, but lack the art. We also have stage design crews, who take the set design that was created by our communications department, and build it and set it up on stage. This is good for people who like working with their hands, but may not have much technical knowledge.

      Outside of our main auditorium, we have a similar structure. In our 350 seat high school room, there is an audio person, lighting person, and video person. Sometimes, depending on the event, there will be a producer. Same thing is replicated in our Elementary Room, as well as our Preschool Room. Those are great places for people to get invloved, who can't commit to the weekend services, because of time or other reasons. We have at least 2 events going on, every single day of the week, at almost every conceivable time of the day....there are PLENTY of opportunities to serve there. We don't really use the graduation process, for two reasons. First, I have divided the departments in half, the Auditorium, and Global (which covers the rest of the campus). The Global department operates in a convention center type method....setting up and utilizing each room on an as-needed basis, depending on the event. That department is fully staffed (by volunteers, led by one staff member), and is seperate from my Auditorium "staff". I don't graduate them through the ranks, because they aren't the same. Because the can use a 24 channel analog console with JBL speakers in my Preschool Room, does not mean that they will be able to run my digital DiGiCo console and Meyer rig in the Auditorium. Secondly, and maybe most importantly, I really have a burden about providing the most excellence I can, on the entire campus. I don't want production value to suffer in my small rooms, because someone is cutting their teeth in that room. I want what our first graders experience, to be as good as what our adults do, in their own scale. Does a first grader appreciate production value like their parents do? Probably not. But I feel called to do what we do as very best we can in every room, in every way. The people who want to actually run sound in the preschool room, will have more of a heart for service in that room than someone who is trying to move through the ranks. I'm not in any way knocking the graduation method...I have used it before....but for where we are now, this is what works for us.

      I think it mostly comes down to this, something our entire department lives by: If you think of the 1-10 scale: 1 is not very good, and 10 is excellent,,,everyone...and I mean everyone, is a "10" at something. For our electronics guys, they are a 10 at that, so we develop a place where they can shine. Our set builders aren't technical, but have building skills.....we develop a position for their 10 to shine. Every church runs on volunteers....every volunteer is a 10 at something...and while you may have "joe" who is a 2 at running sound, yet he is behind the board every week, consider this: Not only is he hindering the mood and the spirit of everyone in the room when he misses a cue....but there is someone not being served somewhere else, because he isn't being a 10 where he is needed.

      Just a thought.


      • #4
        Adam, I like your methods here man. I may have to copy you.

        I threw some questions out there in the similar thread that you started on training. Hop on over there and gimme something good.

        Last edited by dtpuga; 07-21-2007, 09:17 PM.
        Travis Paulding,
        Production & Technology Director, St. Simons Community Church


        • #5
          Sounds good, Adam ...
          I especially like your point about not undervaluing the "other venues" in comparison to the "adult service".

          I'll never forget in my days at CRCSSI - one great servant was the volunteer sound guy when I got there .... and when his wristwatch alarm would go off every service and beep for 60 seconds w/o his knowing it, I realized "maybe I've got the wrong guy for the job here on FOH mix".
          Fred McKinnon, Pianist/Composer/Worship Leader
          blog: www.fredmckinnon.com

          Please check out my piano/instrumental music at: