Audio systems in the church have changed so much over the past 20 years in which I’ve worked in church ministry.
Your ministry vision not only should be clear, but it should be closely aligned to other technical ministries in the church, as well as the church’s overall ministry vision.
When I first started attending church, an audio console was typically in a highly protected area (most likely a closet in the back of the sanctuary). This technical area was for those few who held the keys to the room, and everyone else need not enter.
The systems inside those rooms were very simple by today’s standards. Fast forward to today, though, and the growth and complexity of audio system, in church, has grown with the “modern” praise and worship movement that started several decades ago and continues to this day.
With this complexity, comes the need of someone who oversees the operation, maintenance, and use of the audio equipment: the role of an audio director.
To me, the priority of an audio director is to establish a vision for the ministry. A clear vison for the audio ministry will act as a guiding principle to all things related to your ministry.
Your ministry vision not only should be clear, but it should be closely aligned to other technical ministries in the church, as well as the church’s overall ministry vision. This alignment will show unity within your church and help reinforce what everything is ultimately about.
Coming up with a vision statement may seem like a daunting task, but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Your church leadership should have already done most of the work for you with its own vision or mission statement for the church’s ministry.
Starting with your church’s mission statement, you should use common language that your team - both staff and volunteer - will understand and quickly see its tie to the church’s mission. For example, if your church’s vision is to, “Help people come to know Jesus…,” then the mission for the audio ministry could be something like, “Will use audio to help people come to know Jesus through a distraction-free experience.”
It’s that simple.
The vision doesn’t have to be a cool or an all-encompassing statement. It just needs to be memorable, and clearly aligned with your church’s ministry vision.
The next order of business, for an audio director, is to establish systems that will help your team accomplish its mission. Systems give practical application to your vision. These are simple and repeatable processes that help guide, measure, and give consistency to what needs to happen on an ongoing basis.
Systems could be things such as a soundcheck process, equipment maintenance schedules, volunteer schedules, etc. Think of it this way, if your vision is the goal for the ministry, then systems are how you’re going to achieve that goal.
Team values are the “why” behind everything that happens in a ministry. Even if you haven’t written your team values down or shared them with your team, you have them. If you’re someone who stresses arriving and starting on time, for example, then punctuality is one of your values. Or, if you regularly plan team trainings or conferences for team members to attend, then having your team comprised of skilled volunteers is a value.
To me, it’s not enough to just have these assumed core values.
One thing I suggest is writing out your core values.
Choose a few, less than five, core ideals that drive your ministry. Things such as teamwork, excellence, and flexibility are a few team values that come to mind but think about what really sets the tone and pace for your ministry.
Once you’ve writing your values down, then share them with your team. By doing so, your team will have context and understanding to your vision and systems.
Or simply put, they’ll know the “why” behind what is done within the ministry.
You may be thinking, “How does this apply to me? I’m in a small church with very few staff members, much less one with a dedicated audio director.”
Understand that no matter if you’re on a large team, with specialized responsibilities or a small team where audio is one of the many things you oversee, ministry stewardship applies to all those assigned to the task. You’re responsible for setting and keeping the vision, value, and system for your teams.
So, go and lead, and lead well!