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Tech Volunteers - Part 1

There are two aspects to working audio, visual and lighting technical ministries (or tech in any environment, for that matter). The first is that technical people need to bewell, technical. You need to be comfortable with lots of knobs and buttons; or, in this increasingly digital age, computers. Those who aren't comfortable with that will be very intimidated by the gear that the tech ministries need.

However, it's more than just understanding how the knobs and buttons work. You also ultimately must know why they work, and when things aren't working, what might be causing it, and how to fix it.

You know how to use your heating system, right? There are thermostats in your house, and you know how to raise and lower the temperature. Many of you have programmable thermostats, and most of you know how to program them. But probably not all of you. However, if you turn your thermostat down in the summer and no cool air comes out, what do you do? Do you fix it yourself? A few of you might. But most of you can't. You call in an expert, who are a small fraction of the population. And usually within a few hours, or a day or so at most, someone comes and fixes it.

You can't wait hours for someone to show up at your church to figure out why, when you turn on the electric guitar input on your audio console, you get a horrendous buzz. Your sound engineer needs to know how to fix it. And there are lots of things that can go wrong in a sound system probably far more than in your home HVAC system. If your tech volunteers can't assess and address problems like this, they may get by on many days, but when something unusual happens, you're going to be in trouble if your tech person can't fix it. And that's a skill that's long in developing. Can it be taught? Of course. Is it learned quickly, by volunteers who usually have other full-time jobs to do? Rarely. Is it something they can practice at home as they learn? Not usuallymost tech volunteers don't' have a professional PA, lighting or video system at home.

The second aspect of technical volunteers is gifting. Which, we'll talk about in the next article, in a couple of weeks.

TAGS: Gear Gear
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