This is the most sensitive and important part of the sound system. People are the deciding factor in the sound equation. Most people that volunteer for the sound ministry at church have a great heart of service. They are content to be behind the scenes and never be mentioned.
They spend long hours at rehearsals and practices for worship, skits, plays, women’s dinners, coffee houses, youth rallies and the like. They are also faithful to be at church, usually before anyone else to set up the stage, and the last ones to leave.
They are the unofficial information center to direct people to the restrooms, lost and found, and the nursery. Most of the time no one tells them when they have done a good job but they are the first to hear about any problems, and not by one person but everyone that passes by the sound booth. The sound person is blamed for many things including, but not limited to:
Singers who are flat, sing the wrong words, or don’t know the words at all;
Bass players who unplug during the prayer or before their channel is muted;
Guitar players whose amps mysteriously get louder and louder during worship;
Or Pastors who put a cable knit sweater over their lapel mic and wonder why they can’t be heard.
(NOTE: CALLING OUT MISTAKES FROM THE STAGE IS THE #1 WAY TO GET VOLUNTEERS IN THE CONTROL BOOTH TO WANT TO LEAVE THE TECH MINISTRY.)
Make no mistake about it, volunteer sound people are the unsung heroes of the church. The truth of the matter is that most sound people are professionals who work hard all week at their ‘real job’ and then serve in the sound ministry at night and on the weekend. Because of this, most people come into the sound ministry with a willing heart but not very much knowledge about music, sound or sound systems. This lack of knowledge breeds either the ‘tweeker’ who is always turning knobs but doesn’t really know what changes are being made or the ‘petrified rock’ who never touches anything on the mixer because they are afraid of messing something up. Both of these make for a challenging service and, most of all, lead to a VERY frustrated Pastor-worship leader-band-etc. This also leads to burn out on the volunteers part, because it creates stress and frustration on their part, as well.