In my library, I have lot of books. The other day someone came into my office and asked, “Have you read all those books?” I gave him a long answer of how some are reference works so you don’t sit down and it them cover to cover. But you, I will give you the short answer, “No.”. I have not read all the books in my library. I have not even read all the books that I should have read cover to cover. I have a place for my books called a bookshelf.
Most of my books set on the bookshelf year after year and never get touch let alone read. They might make me look smart but really setting on the bookshelf they don’t me any good. Unfortunately, that is where most people keep the Bible. They keep it on the bookshelf. It rarely gets read and it is never understood. The Word of God does this person no good.
There is another way we can keep the Word of God on the bookshelves of our lives. How? When we read it and then walk away from it. We go to church hear the preaching of God’s Word and then go out to eat like we were never there. We just go through the motions of church, but come Monday morning we are the same person we were on Saturday night. No transformation. No Change and the sad part is there are lot a people that thinks this is okay. I hope and pray that this is not you or me.
“Check! Check! Is this thing on?”
I believe that one of the most important ministries in the church is often overlooked and forgotten about… until someone can’t be heard. I have been doing church sound off and on for 25 years. I started at my home church in Lawrence, Kansas. It was my introduction to ministry and I loved it. I have spent countless hours in church sound. I am not a professional sound engineer but I have learned a few things over the years and I wanted to share then with you. Hopefully, you will come to appreciate the person “running sound” at your church.
The sound booth can be a lonely place especially when the speakers are feeding back that high pitch whistle that everyone hates. One thing that every church sound person can be assured of when the sound invades the room is that every head will turn and look toward the booth. Here are some things that that sound operator wants you to know in that moment.
I am a volunteer so please cut me some slack. I am working as hard as I can to get the problem fixed.
It is taking me a long time to get the problem fixed because I am not well trained. I am 14, 15, 16 years old and this is my first taste of ministry. Everyone thinks that because I am young I understand technology. While I am good with my smartphone and tablet, I have never really worked with this kind of thing before. As far as training goes, I sat next to “Bob” for one service and he “showed” me how everything works. The problem is Bob is a good guy and the services he runs the board in sound great but he is a terrible teacher; for me at least. He went to fast. He did everything himself. I never even got to touch the soundboard and now I am on the schedule for the next 16 Sundays in a row.
Everyone wants the sound in the church set just for them. They will come up to you, or even worse they will tell someone else while you are within earshot, that they could not hear. They say, “Hi Jim. I am so glad you are doing sound but I could hear today. Next week could you please turn it up a little bit?” What they don’t know is that 30 people have already talked to you and said, “Hi Jim. I am so glad that you are going sound but it was too loud today. Next week could you please turn it down?” Now, who do you listen too?
A lot of “performers” have no idea how microphones work. The classic example is the person that has the mic too far from their mouth. What does the tech do? Right, they turn up the volume. How does the “performer” respond? Right again! They pull the mic farther from their mouth which causes the tech to again turn them up even more. The tech and the perform play this game until either the sound echoes or “performer’s” arm becomes too short so they bring back to where they started and blasts everyone out of the church and the game begins again.
We spent $XXXXX 5 years ago, how come this piece of equipment doesn’t work? While I know it is frustrating to spend a pile of money on new equipment and things not work properly, the problem is Audio/Visual equipment is constantly needing to be tweaked in some form or fashion. When you add that with #2, there are times that the equipment is not the problem. It is the fact that the tech running it does not know enough to run it well. Not only that some sound equipment is delicate. You put a “hot” amp in a cabinet with poor ventilation it is not going to last as long as an amp that is properly ventilated.
Do we really need that? Again I understand that churches have tight budgets and that piece of equipment or repair might not be “doable.” For this reason, I would advise that churches budget for A/V repairs and replacement. The attitude of “if it not broken don’t budget for it” will cost you more in the long run. If you budget for A/V equipment over time, when the time comes to purchase the equipment you can afford the better stuff. You won’t have to get the budget equipment that will need to be replaced sooner rather than later.
Why did you put it there? There are so many churches that have balconies and that is almost always where the A/V equipment goes. While the A/V equipment is out of the way, the problem is that the sound tech does not hear what the congregation hears. I would recommend if at all possible put your A/V equipment on the same level as the majority of your congregation sits. This will cause the A/V tech to see and hear the same things that your congregation sees and hears. In turn, this allows the tech to make adjustments that are actually a benefit to the overall enjoyment of the experience.
It can be a thankless job. The Sunday service went perfect; not a problem or mistake. The pastor shakes hands at the door as everyone files out. People are telling the minister that the service was great and that they did a great job. Where is the A/V tech? They are collecting mics to take back the sound booth, putting rechargeable batteries back in their chargers for next week and other after service things that need to be done. While they are not on the sound team for the praise, you know how many people come up to them and say, “Great job up their today?” Right again. no one. But you let there be one A/V mistake and a line will form, not to shake the tech’s hand but to ask, “What went wrong?” at best or at worst “chew you out” for not doing your job.
Not enough people! Have you ever looked back at the tech and wondered why the same person does it every week? The reason is simple. No one else wants to do it which can lead back to number two above. The pastor asks for volunteers but no one comes forward. The tech wonders how they ever got “conned” into this job.
Finally, number 10? What do you think 10 should be? Leave a comment and tell us your Number 10!
Be Angry! Anger is a real emotion that God has given humanity. It is even an “emotion” displayed by God! But, we usually think of anger as being sinful. It’s not! I believe what we do with that anger determines whether we have sinned or not.
John was sitting in the back of the patrol car not sure what had just happened. There were red and blue lights everywhere. Some of them were on firetrucks, some on ambulances, but most were on cop cars. Why were they there? John looked through the caged window that made sure he stayed inside the car. On the ground, he saw his wife’s lifeless and bloody body. What had happened? Anger started to well up in him and as it did he started to remember.
John had gotten home early. Since it was Friday, he thought he would surprise Mindy, but he was the surprised one. As he walked through the front door yelling, “Honey, I am home! How about we go to your favorite…” John stopped mid-sentence as his jaw hit the ground. Mindy and Jack, John’s best friend were kissing. Jack saw John before Mindy. Jack quickly released his lip-lock on Mindy and ran through the kitchen and out of the house. Mindy was not so lucky. John’s face went from disbelief to anger in the blink of an eye.
Mindy slowly got off the love seat as John yelled, “How could you? And with Jack, my best friend!!” Suddenly, the door to the police car opened as the officer told John, “Mr. Williams, you are under arrest for the murder of your wife, Mindy Williams.” John began to cry as the officer read John his rights. The last words John remembered saying to his wife were “How could you? An with Jack, my best friend.” John guessed that something in him snapped and he killed his beloved Mindy. He didn’t know how he killed her. All he could remember was why he had killed her. Betrayed by his wife and best friend.
In our story, John has every right to be angry. He had found Jack and Mindy kissing. John then proceeded to kill his wife. The anger was not were John fell. It was when he murdered his wife; that was the sin that put him in the back of the police car.
Psalms 4 seems to leave the possibility at least that John could have made it out of that situation without sinning. “Be angry, but do not sin.” The million-dollar question for John and for us is how? How can we be angry and not sin?” I believe the answer is in the next part of the verse, “ponder in our own hearts on your beds and be silent. Selah”
The psalmist David wrote those words over 2500 years ago. What is he trying to tell us? “Be angry but be careful not to sin. Don’t do something stupid while your angry. Go home! Ponder in your heart what has made you angry. Think about the situation. Lay there in silence and think, “What part did I play in this whole mess?” Maybe if John would have or could have stopped and thought about what part he had played to cause Mindy to run to Jack for love, maybe Mindy would still be alive. Unfortunately, he didn’t and now he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
It has been a long time since I have uploaded a blog post or podcast. I think it is time to relaunch this podcast/blog/website. In the past 6 months, my son has graduated from high school, we have moved to a new town, started in a new place of ministry, taken my son to college and began life as empty nesters. I have been pretty busy but I think know is the right time to relaunch. I hope that you will continue to come back and read my blog and listen to my podcast. I will try to get the content coming at a steady pace. I will also do my best to make it helpful for you. I hope to interview all kinds of people doing all kinds of ministry from all kinds of places.
I don’t know how long I have been working on this new website and podcast. But one thing that I was not ready for was all the steps that are necessary. In the next couple of weeks, I will blog about all the different steps. I will post about what equipment I will be using to produce the podcast and what I think of each piece of audio gear. Starting a podcast and the corresponding website is not as easy as I had hoped. I will get it done and I will learn a lot then I will pass my new knowledge on to you. Let me give a sneak peek into some of the steps we will be covering.
Step 1: Why? Why do I want to create a blog, podcast, and website? Step 2: Podcast: What do I need? Step 4: Website: What do I need? Step5: Blog? Should I or Should I not? Step 6: Topics Step 7: Guest Step 8: Scheduling Guest Step 9: Audio Recording Step 10: Producing the Podcast Step 11: Finding Time To Blog Step 12: Website Hosting Step 13: Podcast Hosting Step 14: Problems Step 15: Problems Solved! I hope? Step 16: When to Launch? Step 17: Getting Ready to Launch Step 18: Launching Step 19: New and Noteworthy. Step 20: I don’t know what’s next?
All Things Church is getting ready to launch!!! I am looking to launch All Things Church Podcast at the beginning of 2019 and one thing that didn’t realize is all the work that goes into pre-launch. For example, I will be conducting interviews so that means I have to come up with topics to discuss. After I brainstorm topics, I brainstorm who could be guest speakers that I can interview. Then I have to email them, follow up to schedule and the list goes on. This is just the interview side of the podcast. There is also the audio equipment side of the podcast. I had to find or buy the right mics, mic stands, mixer, audio interface, headphone, cables to connect everything and that list goes on as well.
One thing that was kind of puzzling was how I was going to do a mix-minus so that the guest could hear me, the music but not themselves when they call in for an interview. That’s the reason for the picture of the Apple connect. I needed to figure out a way to get a mic input signal and an audio output signal from my phone into and out of my mixer. Thankfully, the connector did just that when I plugged in the right splitter. Now, I can make phone calls through my soundboard; I am ready to do some interviews.
Look for these interviews to begin on the first Monday of each month. From time to time, I will even put out come bonus content. Be looking for bonus content especially in the first 8 weeks. The extra content and your rating, review, and commenting will give All Things Church a better chance of becoming featured on new and noteworthy.
The All Things Church Blog will have all kinds of topics. We will talk about tech in the church, the importance of theology in the local church, best practices for ministry to different ages groups, church history, current issues facing churches, and many other topics. We will blog about different topics on a weekly basis. We might even through in a devotional blog post from time to time. I look forward to interacting with you so find your pew and let’s talk about church.