I firmly believe that everyone and everything was created to worship God.
According to Psalm 66:4 (ESV), “All the earth worships You and sings praises to You; they sing praises to Your name”. Notice it says, “all the earth.”
If you are the audio director at a church, and are leading a team of people, the first point of order is to hold yourself to a higher standard.
Everything was created to worship God.
Audio consoles and gear are just a part of that. They are an instrument of worship, similar to guitars or keyboards. They should be used and applied in a manner that worships God.
It should be our goal to steadily steer people to focus their entire lives toward worshipping God. What we do in our personal lives counts. It makes a difference how we act and interact with others around us.
If you are the audio director at a church, and are leading a team of people, the first point of order is to hold yourself to a higher standard. You are a role model for your team, in not only moral and ethical standards, but emotional and leadership standards as well. It’s easy to fall into a pattern of negativity and bring the team down, by talking poorly about leadership.
You can’t be a part of that negativity.
You need to root it out.
I believe this is the first and most important step to be an audio director.
Here are a few others that will help you build your team.
Technical standards are important: how an audio mixing console is laid out, decibel level criteria, what a mix should feel like, etc. They help a team operate efficiently. These standards help those attending have the same technical experience from week to week.
By having these technical standards, you are better able to train volunteers. What they learn on day 1 is similar to day 30. They know the goals.
As an audio director, you should have more than just technical standards. A code of conduct is also important. How people treat each other, showing up on time, being polite and honest, communicating clearly and firmly, and addressing conflict are all important.
Write down your standards and talk about them with the team regularly. If you want to be a successful audio director, creating standards is an important step.
Levels of Talent
The next step is developing a training program, one that allows you to ascertain each person’s level of talent.
Everyone has a talent.
Through training and development, it’s your job to figure out how much natural talent that each member on your team may have, what needs to be further developed and what position is best for each of them.
Not everyone is going to start as your main front of house sound engineer, but everyone who joins your team has a position. I have had members of the audio team that prepped the platform and got it ready for the worship team, and then provided feedback to the engineers on the sound.
I have also seen audio team members with zero natural audio talent start to develop, train and learn in an uplifting and positive environment. They progressed from an entry level, to being descent audio mix engineers.
All of this, though, required a key component. That component is coaching.
You will not be able to move people forward through your training system, unless you or someone on your team is a coach.
Let me define what I mean by a coach. As a kid, some of my fondest memories were playing for a team. I would consider my coaches role models that really helped me in my sport and in life.
A coach, though, doesn’t just say what you need to learn. They point it out and then push you to learn it. They stretch you and sometimes they need to have painful conversations.
Many times, a coach will ask you to do more than you feel that you can handle. They are always encouraging, but also firm when they know you can do better. They admit when they make mistakes and generally show you how you should always act with your team. They know that what you are good at, your strength, can also be a weakness or a blind spot. So, they help you reveal your strengths and weaknesses and fit you in the team, right where you belong.
This coach doesn’t necessarily have to be the audio director, but when it is, it’s best. If you feel that you are called to be an audio director, you need to develop this coaching talent.
The last item I will discuss concerning being an audio director, is the promise.
I was visiting a friend in a hospital and noticed something posted on the wall of his room. It said, “PROMISE.” What it stood for summed up everything you need to know about being an audio director.
As an audio director you must have a Positive attitude. It should always be your goal to treat your team with Respect. Take Ownership in everything that you do. Be Mindful of others and Include the team on developing standards, training and coaching. Always strive to have Superior communication. Do your best to Exceed every expectation. If you work hard to keep this “P-R-O-M-I-S-E,” you will be an amazing audio director.