If you step foot in any church on any Sunday morning an hour or more before the service begins, you will hear one common phrase being repeated over and over:
“Check One, Check One, Two, Three… Is this thing on?”
Sunday morning sound check: the inevitable yet necessary process of setting up the sound equipment in preparation for well-prepared music and a Holy Spirit-inspired sermon. Volunteers run around the church’s auditorium with cables and microphones, adjusting levels, and verifying connections. The audio configuration that seemed to work well last week is now completely different and has to be redone by a new team of volunteers. Feedback rings out loud and monitors remain silent. It is a fevered dash to get everything set up and ready to go before the first worshippers come through the doors.
One of the most important aspects of running a church is producing and maintaining excellent sound for music and speakers so that those in the congregation can hear well enough to fully experience all that God has planned for them every week during the worship service. Churches just starting out may need only a microphone and an upright piano. As churches grow, however, the need is great for a high quality sound system and a team of people who know how to run it. Nothing is more distracting than a sound system that is acting up and pulling attention away from what God might be trying to say.
Adding to the normal audio needs, churches today have to contend with recording sermons to put online, and others are even live streaming their full services to an emerging online church community. Churches aim to create an experience for their online members that is comparable to what they would get in person. The needs for recording and online production are similar to, but not the same as, live performance. It requires another full set of production skills to meet the needs required for savvy internet usage.
Thankfully, a host of experts around the world have shared their valuable knowledge by writing articles and blogs that are aimed at helping sound technicians at all levels of proficiency. Whether you’re just starting out or you’ve been volunteering for ages, there is information online that can help you take the next step in producing excellent quality worship services.
Here are some of the best articles out there that will help pastors and church sound technicians in practical ways.
Church Sound System Basics
10 Best Practices for Worship Sound Techs
Keeping it Simple for the Volunteer Audio Team
Church Audio Guide – 24 Tips For Great Sound
Why 15 Techs at Elevation Church Went All-In With Their Headsets
The Top Ten Tech Tips for Portable Churches
Ready Your Church Audio for Live Streaming