by J. Collins
I am quite fortunate to be able to say I have traveled all over the globe, working with some of the greatest artists, entertainers, and performers. I have participated in creating awesome experiences in just about every type of venue and environment that you can possibly think of. And having grown up in the church, I am amazed at how consistently I have been asked the same questions over and over again. These questions range from what would you do here or how would you do this, or what would you suggest we…
Inevitably one of the most common questions takes the form of “How can we make it sound better?”
Let me just say, I love this question. I love being asked the question and I love that it shines a light on just how truly connected we all are in the church. I love working with churches and love partnering with the church to see us all engage our audiences better, in order that we can impact the world around us.
So whether or not you are currently on staff at a church, as I used to be, or a volunteer who serves on the production team at your local church, this article is for you.
And so without further delay, let me tell you what I’ve found to be the #1 way to make your worship services sound better.
Turn the volume down!
Now is that life shattering or what! I know, I know, some of you are sitting there thinking, “well, duh!” but seriously let’s consider the realities, and together, reframe and refocus, so that we can understand what we’re trying to accomplish here.
So first, let us be reminded what the point of the church should be. C.S. Lewis does this beautifully inMere Christianity.
“It is easy to think that the Church has a lot of different objects — education, building, missions, holding services. Just as it is easy to think the State has a lot of different objects — military, political, economic, and what not. But in a way things are much simpler than that. The State exists simply to promote and to protect the ordinary happiness of human beings in this life. A husband and wife chatting over a fire, a couple of friends having a game of darts in a pub, a man reading a book in his own room or digging in his own garden — that is what the State is for. And unless they are helping to increase and prolong and protect such moments, all the laws, parliaments, armies, courts, police, economics, etc., are simply a waste of time. In the same way the Church exists for nothing else but to draw men into Christ, to make them little Christs. If they are not doing that, all the cathedrals, clergy, missions, sermons, even the Bible itself, are simply a waste of time. God became Man for no other purpose. (p. 171)”
If the Church exists for nothing else than to draw us in, as C.S. Lewis suggests, then every little bit of ‘doing‘ should be filtered through that lens. This includes, obviously, how we create the weekend experience and all the peripherals involved.
I’ve personally seen time and time again, this drawing in, being sabotaged by poorly mixed services, in which often times the solution could be found by simply pulling the master fader down 3-5 db. This includes any instruments, amps, and fold back mixes on stage as well. By minimizing and keeping things simple, we alleviate many of the pressures on our volunteers, instead, providing for the margin to properly focus on the things that help us create better experiences for our audiences, ultimately drawing us all in to wonderful message of The Gospel.
And isn’t that the point?
Obviously, there are dozens and dozens of other factors to take into consideration when honestly seeking solutions to improve the overall sound of any particular room, or worship gathering. And in no way am I minimizing the importance of pursuing those solutions, but I can tell you from experience, often times you’ll do better to begin by simply turning it down.
SpaceCoast AV Communications create awesome experiences that change the way we engage audiences.
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