Unsurprisingly, as much as 68 percent of Americans own a smartphone that keeps them constantly engaged in multimedia experiences. Because of this increased interaction with technology, organizations across a spectrum of industries are opting to include AV integration into their operations. Audio, video and lighting tools, or AVL, come in handy in a variety of markets, including all levels of education, museums, performance spaces and themed entertainment venues like theme parks, casinos and nightclubs. AVL technology has found a home within church worship services as well.
Many places of worship use audiovisual integration. As churches, synagogues, mosques and houses of worship grow, these facilities are using technology to spread their mission and message in a contemporary and inclusive medium. A skilled AV service can design and build an AVL project that delivers an immersive and engaging experience to all worshippers, offering them the opportunity to observe, listen and interact with their fellow gatherers.
Illuminated Integration understands the importance of AVL in worship and wants to help create an inviting and engaging environment for your parishioners. We realize an appropriate use of audiovisual technology can tastefully support your religious gathering and immerse your audience in a contemporary, yet reverent, manner. Our AVL integration offers AV techs and worship leaders the opportunity to enhance the worship experience in religious facilities of any size.
The Role of Tech in Worship
In many religious centers, the tech is just as important to the worship as the worship leader and musicians. The responsible and respectful inclusion of audiovisual equipment into a worship service can create an engaging experience for worshippers. Proper lighting effects can add contrast, depth and dimension to set the tone of the service or song. Appropriate graphics, music and video elements can also lend an additional layer of engagement during the service.
AVL technology is a versatile tool that can be effective in worship. However, like any tool, its misuse can negatively impact a worship service. Whether you decide to employ a full AVL installation or use a simple setup of audiovisual tools, it’s critical for all equipment to be high-quality. This principle also applies to the features of the tech: The AVL equipment should complement the service, no more and no less. The best AVL implementation still places the worship service front and center.
House of worship AVL techs must not distract from the service. One crucial role the worship AV team plays is not to be seen or heard. Whether from technical failure or human error, mistakes during a worship service can negatively impact the environment. Audio levels that are unbalanced, too low or too high can be a distraction, as can interfering frequencies and audio spikes that create a “pop” sound. Even a quality sound system can perform poorly if an inexperienced person uses speakers, microphones and soundboards incorrectly.
As technology increases in nearly every facet of our lives, it’s natural for more and more religious organizations to consider adding AVL equipment to their worship services. Technology can enable the mission of the church by increasing communication, growing the community and offering worshippers a contemporary way to engage in their worship services. This technology, combined with the guidance of AV techs and worship leaders, can have a profound impact on worship services.
AV Techs Are Worship Leaders Too
An audiovisual technician assumes a role that revolves around the operation and maintenance of AVL equipment. These individuals are knowledgeable about a range of AVL equipment, including video recorders and projectors, stage lighting, sound mixing boards and PA systems. AV technical directors manage the audio and visual components of an event. In worship services, they may be responsible for performing a variety of functions involving the house music, live musicians, video presentations and lighting effects. What many may not realize is that AV techs act as worship leaders too.
We can define a worship leader as someone who:
- Produces worship services and special programs
- Oversees and coordinates the worship service
- Inspires and communicates a vision creatively
- Is a leader who works with a team to share and spread the mission and message of the church
In comparing the role of a worship leader to that of an AV technical director, there are many similarities. Both are actively performing in a role that not only facilitates the worship service, but also enhances the experience by engaging worshippers visually, audibly and spiritually. In reality, AV techs and worship leaders aren’t separate entities — their actions blend to promote the collective mission of the church. These two teams balance each other throughout the service and unite those gathered under one cohesive vision.
The worship AV team has the responsibility to lead people in worship through the use of audiovisual technologies. Through music, atmospheric sounds, videos, graphics and lighting, church AVL technicians augment the service in subtly powerful ways that beautifully create a natural and unencumbered worship experience.
Although AV techs are worship leaders too, they also must be able to cooperate with other worship leaders on the team. That includes engaging in lateral leadership with the worship team’s leader. The tech director and worship leader serve the same goal, and it’s critical they forge a relationship that emphasizes mutual respect, trust and an understanding of one another.
The Relationship Between Tech Leaders and Worship Leaders
At its foundation, your church and your ministry are built upon one thing: a trusting relationship. The faith your community has in that relationship brings men, women and children from all walks of life together to share in celebration and worship together as one united group. Genuine relationships with those who hold your same beliefs and virtues will strengthen your faith and encourage the growth of your church. As your church becomes larger, it’s important you continue to develop strong bonds with your teammates.
Effective ministry teams all portray similar characteristics. First and foremost, they share the same vision of the church and understand what they must do to bring that vision to life. The team is composed of individuals with distinct roles that are vital to bringing that vision to fruition. They are motivated and accountable for their responsibilities and can openly give or receive constructive feedback that keeps the vision in view. Perhaps most importantly, each member provides leadership and works together to achieve the collective goal.
A trusting relationship between the technical leaders and the worship leaders is critical to completing the vision of the church. Without it, even the greatest AVL setup can dilute the worship experience by the negativity harbored between them. Though it may seem at times as if the sound tech and those leading the worship are performing two separate duties, they are, in fact, working toward a common goal. They can bridge this gap in communication by creating a partnership that understands how each role actively facilitates the vision.
When both leaders share a dedication to the overall vision of the church, they can begin improving their communication and build a rapport. They’ll each gain an understanding of how both roles complement one another and develop trust in each other. As they learn to solve problems and engage in constructive conversation, they’ll arrive at solutions that enrich the worship experience. Although at times pride may create strain in the partnership, it’s important to remember the shared vision and seek reconciliation and forgiveness.
Cooperation and communication are the initial steps in forging a trusting relationship between tech leaders and worship leaders. To help cultivate that positive relationship and deliver a wonderful worship experience, audio techs and worship teams may want to consider the following advice:
- Attempt to build a friendship with the other leader. Find the time to get to know one another on more than a superficial level. Knowing someone’s family, interests and feelings will help you understand their frustrations and empathize with the pressures of their role.
- Be committed to communication. On a professional level, both leaders should strive to have a clear understanding of the plan for each worship service. That includes going over the song arrangements, performing a thorough sound check, rehearsing adequately and agreeing on the volume levels between the stage musicians and the house mix. You can also record each service and constructively identify areas of success and opportunities for improvement.
- Keep each other engaged and involved. Remember, the AV team cannot be successful without the worship team, and vice versa. A great way to increase communication and build trust is to stay engaged and involved as a team. Make sure both teams are involved in meetings and have ample time to express their thoughts. Make sure all members of the teams are trained. Consider cross-training members to improve the utility of each group. Leaders can also find the time to mentor, encourage and show appreciation to one another.
Building a Quality Worship AVL Team
Before you build a quality church AVL team, it will help to identify which traits you’ll look for in potential team members. With that in mind, here are the five “C”s of a great worship team member.
- Character: All members of your worship AV team need to be of remarkable character. They’ll be cooperative and constructive, willing to support the other members of their team and push the vision forward. They’ll also take responsibility for their actions and own up to any moments of weakness they may experience.
- Commitment: Every worship service is important. A reliable and dependable teammate will take their role seriously and commit to their responsibilities.
- Communication: It’s so important, it bears repeating: Straightforward and honest communication can build a successful and trustworthy team.
- Charisma: More than half of all communication is visual. As a worship leader, member of the band or AV team, this individual needs to project an excitement for their faith throughout the service.
- Creativity: Not only do you want all your teammates to be skilled in their craft, but you also want them to be confident enough to suggest new ideas and allow their passion and creativity to thrive. Their creativity may enhance the worship experience in ways that align with the vision of the church, empowering the mission and the message.
Now that you have a sense of the characteristics you desire from your teammate, it’s time to build your team. Some churches may be able to employ a tech staff, others may rely on the kindness of volunteers. In either scenario, you’ll want to create a team that is sustainable. Even if you only have the resources to use a small number of members during each service, keeping them engaged and connected through training and meetings will strengthen their commitment to the team.
You can also achieve sustainability by effectively communicating the vision, goals and responsibilities of the team. Being vocal about the expectations for each member clearly defines what is required for success. With the members all on the same page, you can collectively move forward toward your vision for the worship service. As they learn and grow, empowering them with opportunities to train or mentor others will add another layer of ownership to their role. They will become more than a member — they’ll be a leader, too.
Ultimately, sharing a vision and working toward a goal with a sincere and motivated team is what truly makes the difference. As your worship leaders, AV techs, musicians and technical directors work together, their passion, commitment and love for the church will be readily apparent. When you have a cohesive team that brings your vision to life, you’ll discover the effectiveness of AVL in worship and the teamwork of the AV techs and worship leaders are directly connected.
Designing Your Church AVL
Before you decide to start piecing together your church AVL, it’s best if you take a few initial steps that will build a strong foundation for the completion of the build. Your church needs a full AVL build that enhances your weekly worship and creates an engaging atmosphere for all attending. Taking a moment to ensure your leadership team, as well as your technical director and support, are on the same page will help maximize efficiency and create an unforgettable experience.
Make sure your vision is inclusive. Whether you’re the AV tech or the worship leader, you need to remember to share your vision with your entire group. Both the church leaders and technical team members want to support and achieve the mission of the church. The vision may involve lighting, sound and visual elements that perfectly create an inspiring environment and capture the essence of your message. When everyone shares the same vision and agrees on its creation, it can come to life beautifully.
Tips for Building Your Church AVL
Regardless of whether you’re renovating an existing AVL setup, or if your church is deciding to construct a new worship space that includes lighting, audio and video projection, it’s critical to plan the project responsibly.
- Orient AVL technicians prior to the project construction. Although any construction is a huge undertaking, it shouldn’t distract from the overall goal of the project: building an amazing AVL setup for your worship. An experienced team of design and integration professionals will understand your goals and advise you on the most effective way to reach them. They’ll ensure all equipment will fit in your space, detail power requirements for specific machines and execute the build properly from design to completion.
- Identify how AVL will satisfy your ministry values. As you define what your AVL equipment will provide, you should also explain why the AVL build will achieve the ministry’s vision while encompassing its values. What needs will AVL satisfy that aren’t currently being met? How will AVL transform the worship space into the desired environment? Will this equipment be satisfactory as the ministry grows? Knowing how and why an AVL installation will meet the needs of worship and the church’s overall mission will keep the project in focus.
- Detail the master plan. You know the goal, now divide it into phases. Each step of the plan should have clearly defined benchmarks. Knowing how to organize the implementation and what each phase requires for completion will ensure you’re fully aware of how your expectations for the build, and any limitations, will impact the final product.
Most importantly, you need to remember your ministry does not have to design a complete AVL build alone. There are teams of talented design and implementation specialists that can adapt your worship vision to your unique church’s needs.
Let an Illuminated Integration Design Professional Help Bring Your Vision to Life
Illuminated Integration knows how vital AVL is in worship, and we’re committed to bringing that element to your church services. Our creative staff has decades of combined experience in design and consulting, sales, production, implementation, integration, education and training.
We can help you enhance your worship services with an AVL project that caters to your size and budget. With services including lighting, video, audio, rigging, curtains and acoustics, the experts at Illuminated Integration are ready to bring the vision for your worship services to life.
With responsible implementation and the right design, AVL technology can provide your worship services with audio, visual and lighting capabilities that further the vision of your church. Call Illuminated Integration and enhance your worship services with a customized AVL design today.