My name is Mike O’Brien and I am passionate about teaching and mentoring worship leaders and teams. My calling is to use my experience as a producer, worship leader, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist to come alongside musicians, helping them more fully worship God with their instrument and lives. Find out more about how I can help your worship leaders and teams HERE.
In many churches, communication with the sound tech is a touchy subject. Most worship leaders can rattle off a list of offenses occurred from interactions from techs they have worked alongside. Likewise, most sound techs have countless horror stories of aggressive, diva musicians committing relational and technical fouls on stage before, during and after church services.We must own, confess and repent for our part in relational damage with church techs; going forward, worship pastors and leaders must create a culture of honor, care and respect for those serving our sound. Click To Tweet
The solutions are more relational than technical (although gear runs a close second). Below are a few ways to engage your tech and make your church culture one that honors these valuable servants:
1. Become Their Chief Encourager
Most technical people in church only get attention when something is wrong. Many have been shamed and ridiculed from the stage when things have gone wrong. Insecure musicians and communicators will often place blame on sound and media people from the stage. Stop…. Right….. Now…. and ask God to reveal any techs from your past that you might have offended. Message, text, call and make it right.
After each and every rehearsal and service I strive to pinpoint a specific expression of kudos for the sound techs.
“Thanks for always being on time, it really makes a difference for us.”
“That kick drum sounded massive today!”
“The vocals were spot on tonight – I loved how easy you made it.”
“When you took time to help Sue with her bass amp, it really helped make the rehearsal go easy.”
Brand this phrase on your leadership heart: “what is rewarded is repeated.” This one concept has guided my leadership style more than any other in creating positive and healthy relationships in worship ministry.
In churches, our sound volunteers have a difficult job: take a novice rock band, a poorly tuned room, inferior equipment and somehow get it all sounding beautiful before noon on a Sunday. “No feedback!” and “not too loud!” sums up many church’s sound techs manuals. Hurtful volume at church has less to do with decibels, but with the poor timbres that painfully pile up. As a result, many churches put so many volume safeguards in place, it results in a very timid and sad sound. Many have taken the role of simply babysitting the soundboard, but I suggest we take a more active role in the worship experience. If what we proclaim through our gathered worship is true, then it would make sense to desire a captivating sonic engagement! Sound techs, let’s work with the worship leader and musicians to get the most beautiful, dare I say loud mix, without it hurting the average ears. Here are some practical tips: