How to Empower Your Sound Team
By Caleb Chan
verb make (someone) stronger and more confident
The role of a sound volunteer is becoming an increasingly crucial need in churches, spanning from simply ensuring that there is sound, to helping create an atmosphere for God-encounters to take place.
More and more churches and leaders are beginning to recognise the need for, not only available but equipped sound volunteers in the church. However, most don’t know where to start.
In this post, I hope to help get you started on 3 powerful investments you can make to empower your sound volunteers to rise up and meet the needs of your church.
1. People Investment
Unfortunately, the sound team is usually not an area to which much value or attention is given. In my previous post, I encouraged sound crews to view themselves as part of the Worship Ministry. I would like to encourage leaders to view the sound team the same way.
The sound team is often made up of volunteers who want to be a part of the worship team but do not play an instrument, non-serving members who have been called upon to fill a need (that was how I began), or musicians who double up on sound every other week. It can quickly become a gathering of passionless volunteers who report weekly, turn systems on, and push volume faders.
You could always start with a simple “Thank you”, and if you already do that, go further! Empower them! If you see a need to meet up with your worship leaders, band members, or singers, then also include your sound team. Involve them in the briefings, debriefs, bible studies, appreciation dinners, meals, and anything else you plan for your worship team.
Make investments into the lives of the volunteers and crew on your sound team. When you sow into this relationship, I believe you will reap volunteers who serve passionately because they know they are a part of the bigger picture.
2. Equipment Investment
A practical way to empower your sound team is to invest in necessary equipment.
We want our songs and sermons to be heard clearly and audibly, but sometimes our equipment is no longer able to support the ever growing needs of the church. Newer and more capable gear are being released at lower prices these days and it might be time to consider an upgrade.
I’m not suggesting you go out and purchase the best mixers and speakers available, but perhaps keep in mind that you plan to empower your sound team by providing them with better tools for the job.
Listen to their needs and opinions, and work towards a good goal. Upgrades can also be done in phases if the budget does not yet allow for a full major upgrade. New gear might also renew interest and desire in your team to learn more, which leads me to my last point…
3. Training Investment
You could give a car to an unlicensed driver and he is likely to get into an accident and wreck it.
One of the best ways to empower your sound team is not only to equip them with the right tools but the necessary know-how in using the tools to operate effectively. There is a common saying that it’s the ears behind the sound that make it sound good. We may never have the perfect system, but we can certainly optimise what we have. To do that, your sound volunteers need to be trained.
It does not take an engineer with a diploma or degree to achieve good sound, no matter how technical sound can be. There are certain fundamental concepts that can help provide a platform for sound volunteers with no experience to start off. Just as much as we would not like to roster an inexperienced guitarist on the music team, it is unfair to roster a sound volunteer with no training and expect good sound.
Again, I challenge you to make these investments. Have a plan to develop and empower your sound volunteers and I believe you will see – or hear – the difference! Empowered sound teams empower worship teams to usher in the Presence of God.
For more information on Awaken Generation’s Sound Training Courses, please click here.
Caleb is a full-time live sound & recording engineer and mentor with Awaken Generation.