Realizing the Need
Contrary to the belief of some, your equipment will not last forever.
It's often wise for churches to forecast their system replacement needs and continually save for the inevitable.
Gear will fail at some point, and churches constantly face the scenario of having to decide between repair versus replace. On the larger scale, the decision to fully embrace a new system workflow or primary signal protocol, is often up for debate when a major piece of equipment fails.
It's often wise for churches to forecast their system replacement needs and continually save for the inevitable. It is considered that a wise time window for replacement for major pieces of equipment is 10 years. This is due not only to the fact that equipment with better fidelity is available a decade later, but new protocols (often network-based) are presented as a "must do" scenario for long-term system flexibility and optional expansion.
Assuming a 10-year lifespan only encourages churches to plan for replacement and budget accordingly your gear will not last forever and churches must realize this for effective ministry.
The right systems cost real money.
The perfect solution does not exist to replace exactly what you currently have it exists for what you need to accomplish in the future, and it costs what it costs. Churches often want something for nothing (or very, very little).
It's hardly unusual in that we are inclined to search for "the deal."
The focus on how "I know a guy" or "I got it barely used," as the way to purchase equipment, might not be the best course of action, especially if it is seen as a benefit that we got something more than the church down the street or made a deal that is worth the sacrifice.
While stewardship is incredibly important, the successful implementation of your system, along with longevity is even more valuable than the few bucks saved to get the "deal."
Expect things to cost more than you will want. They always seem to, don't they?
The key is realizing value in the right solution and longevity. Is an extra 20 percent worth the immediate expense for RGBW colored house lights, instead of white only, with the understanding you'll have more long-term flexibility to do what you need with the room 5, 10, or 15 years down the road?
Don't cut corners.
Churches across the country are terribly guilty of choosing the least expensive solution and attempting to "make it work."
Solutions that are initially framed as "temporary," always become permanent, and you end up having to support a workflow you never planned on embracing in the first place. It never works out the way you hope. Cheap solutions cost what they do, for a reason.
I encourage you to prioritize quality and baseline infrastructure. That means arriving at the right solution, installed the right way, the first time. If a solution looks too good to be true, it often is.
If you choose a solution that may cost less, but you have to "do" more to make it work, just realize there will always be a tax on your team to produce elements in less than ideal circumstances.
Partnerships and Longevity
Most integration groups believe that the right solution for a church should last a long time. While it lasts, it should also be adaptable, flexible, and do what you need.
A good PA system could last 10, 15 or even 20 years, if it's well maintained, but when you originally install, is a center mono cluster good enough, or should the church have originally installed an LCR "immersive" system for music reproduction that surrounds and engages the congregation at a greater level? Questions like these are ones that can be answered by partnering with the right integrator.
Wise stewardship isn't accepting "maybe" as a viable option.
A church should know the goal they are trying to achieve, budget accordingly, and strive to meet that goal with the partnership of a church integration group. Sometimes this takes faith to invest at a level that church has never been able to before.
Few churches actually take the time to craft a plan for the eventual and necessary replacement of technical systems.
As part of wise stewardship, we're called to make the right choice for the greatest impact for the Gospel one that meets the need - not the least expensive choice that often misses the goal. If we can stay focused on the goal, the funds will often become available in a culture that is Gospel-centered and built on excellence.