Eliminating Distractions: Easter Service Edition
Over the years, I have learned many valuable lessons about planning and taking necessary steps to make sure that it’s “all systems go” for Easter weekends. Having spent over ten years actively engaged in ministry, our heart was to ensure each weekend was conducted with excellence. As most of you may know, Easter is different. This specific weekend was always a special time to celebrate our faith, but also to welcome new guests into our family.
Being prepared was everything—especially when it came to our gear. I have always said to myself and to my teams that technology can be such a helpful tool to enhance the environment for worship. It can also be the greatest distraction. In preparation for your Easter weekend, here are a few simple steps to help ensure it doesn’t become a distraction for you, your pastor, or your congregation.
1. Make sure stuff works.
Yes, it’s that simple. Test everything. Look for weaknesses, fail points, and ensure that things are technically sound. You’d be amazed at how a frazzled cable can ruin a sensitive time of ministry or someone’s message. If you have old equipment, make sure it is in top-notch condition. Even though I personally couldn’t control when something would fail, I did my best to ensure I knew the last time I checked it, cleaned it, or serviced it.
2. Tune up your sound system.
Sound reinforcement systems can make or break your services. If your system was designed properly when it was installed, audio coverage to the seating areas should be completely even from front to back and side to side. If not, it can create issues with what people hear and how they hear it. I have visited many a church in my lifetime with poorly designed sound systems. When it’s hard to hear someone or something being played, it creates a distraction and causes ear fatigue. Sooner or later, the listener will check out. That’s the last thing any congregation wants to happen. If you haven’t tuned up your system lately or think your system was never done right in the first place, now is the time to do something about it.
3. Plan your services with the technology in mind.
Here’s where I think most pastors, worship leaders, and ministry leaders forget something—they forget to include the tech teams in their service planning. Again, our job is to limit distractions. By engaging the tech teams and working through transitions (these can include audio, video, lighting, speaking, solos, pastors…oh wait, everyone!!) it will help to build a flow that feels smooth and natural. Using special presentation software, like ProPresenter, helps to streamline text, video, and much more to help enhance the video presentations. If you have never thought about engaging someone to help you work through this, you may want to consider it! Having technology is one thing, but knowing how to make it all come together to share your voice and vision is sometimes harder than operating it.
4. Bring in a pro to help you get to a new level.
I know this will sound cliché, but professionals are called professionals for a reason. They are the experts and they know what they are doing. After leaving ministry, one of the greatest joys I have had recently has been helping all types of clients communicate their voice and vision through the smart, thoughtful integration of technology. This isn’t always easy, as it takes planning, knowledge, wisdom, and a deep desire to help dreams come to reality. Surround yourself with the best, and hopefully some of it will rub off! Aim for the stars, and you’ll land on the moon.
John Pierce is the director of operations at Audio-Video Group. With over ten years of experience working in ministry, he has seen his fair share of church A/V gone wrong. Let AVG help prepare your equipment for Easter so you can spend your time celebrating your faith.