Every Christian worker should desire to render their very best service for the Lord and His church. One of the Bible principles of labor is: “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might…” (1 Corinthians 10:31). If this is God’s will in every arena of work, it is most certainly vital when it comes to church ministry!
All who preach and teach the Bible are conscious of the fact that there is a team of people behind the scenes who make it possible for others to hear the Word of God plainly and without distraction. Thank God for prayer partners, nursery workers, ushers, safety teams, and, yes – audio and video technicians. Those who care for the sound and media are not on the platform but they are vitally connected to everything that is done on the platform and what people hear in the pews.
When things go wrong with a sound system these servants usually get the blame, but when things run smoothly they rarely get thanks. They are silent and essential workers. In evangelism I work with different audio/visual helpers each week and have enjoyed talking with many of them about how we can work together to get the message out.
I do not understand all of the technology and would make a mess of a digital sound board. But please permit me to share a few practical suggestions from a preacher’s perspective:
- Set the volume for older people in the audience and those who may be hard of hearing. Others won’t complain and everyone will be able to hear. When it comes to the clarity of the message it is always better to be too loud than too soft.
- Don’t turn the preacher up and down. If he is getting loud or soft it is for emphasis. Monitors on the platform would help the speaker be able to hear what the congregation hears and adjust accordingly.
- Record everything! You never know when God is going to do something special and how that message could be multiplied to minister to others.
- Watch the platform. Keep your eyes on those at the front. It is helpful if the pastor and those who help him have easy cues for some adjustments. If you are dealing with a guest speaker, get to know them before the meeting and help to make them feel at home. For example, I typically prefer to use a handheld mic if it is available. Years ago I had some significant trouble with my voice and learned that using a handheld mic helped me not to strain. This is different for each speaker but if you help the man who is preaching you are helping all of those to whom he is preaching.
- Remove all distractions from the sound booth and don’t be a distraction yourself. The sound booth is not a place to talk or scroll social media or watch a ballgame…you get the idea. If your job is to help listeners pay attention this means you need to as well.
- Have a pre-service checklist. Preparation saves so much difficulty and embarrassment. Fresh batteries, the number of mics needed, and other “little” things make a big difference. Get a copy of the order of service as a starting point and then be ready for spontaneous changes in the plans.
- Participate in the service yourself. This is most important to your own spiritual health. Sing. Pray. Bring your Bible. Enter into the spirit of the meeting and view the work you are doing as an act of worship.
I had a wonderful group of men helping me this week in a revival meeting. They were a reminder to me of how important these servants are to the whole church gathering. When you see them working behind the scenes be sure to say thank you and pray that God will use them every time you meet.