New technologies replace old ones nearly every day. When we look at the past 20 years, we can clearly see the technologies that we used to enhance communication in HOWs. In the 20th century, particularly in the Christian faith, we used slide projectors and overhead projectors that enabled us to share lyric and sermon notes with the congregation. They served an important purpose. But they were also prone to failure. I can still remember the horror I felt when the slide projector jammed during congregational singing.
We were overjoyed when the PC and new “worship software” arrived that enabled us to create song lyrics and sermon notes that we displayed using video projectors. Although the software was far better than a slide projector, that software was buggy. In fact, it was so buggy, and the PC platform so unstable, that we would literally pray and ask God to keep the PC and presentation software working properly during worship.
I also think back to the sound equipment we used in the 1980s and 1990s, and I am amazed that we were able to do such good work with gear that was, by today’s standards, inefficient and riddled with phase cancellation.
Every few years, new and “better” technology was introduced that replaced the previous “better” than ever product. Today, we are introduced to new gear, possibly too frequently.
Nevertheless, we are blessed with amazing audio, video and lighting technologies that enable us to do more and “better” than ever before in history. Yet, in spite of the invention of these new technologies, many of the same old problems continue to plague the technical teams that serve in houses of worship. I think it would serve us well to look at three primary challenges that tech teams face, and determine how we can help these wonderful people serve their HOWs more effectively.
- Training: In many HOWs around the world, wonderful volunteers rise early each weekend to serve as technical team members. Unfortunately, these amazing people are rarely trained to perform their job effectively. They do their very best; however, the obvious result is (typically) that they will not use the technology as effectively as they could if they had training.
- Bad sound: A result of little or no training can certainly be bad sound. Obviously, an untrained technician would struggle to balance the loud stage volume demanded by performers. This kind of problem often results in bad sound plagued with feedback. A secondary result is that the technician turns up the volume in the audience so loud that it is painful. Or turns the house volume down so low that the primary sound source for the audience is the loud stage monitors. In either case, the result is bad sound.
- Bad technology: A major problem not a result of poor training is the purchase and installation of low quality technology. Frequently, I visit with HOWs that were sold equipment that does not adequately address their communication needs. I am disappointed when I find this problem, particularly when the gear was sold and installed poorly by people who claim to be reputable integrators.
- I believe that these three challenges can be door openers for us. I say that because every HOW leader wants a trained tech team. Every HOW leader wants good sound. And every leader wants good technology. Thus, these problems give us opportunities to provide solutions. We can address these challenges by developing realistic training solutions that can lead to sales.
One way to do this is to get permission to use one of your better installations to train perspective clients. Or, in your sale, include time for training on the equipment. Then, you could also provide training when the gear is installed.
As time passes, the tech team will learn how to use the gear more effectively. As they do, they will develop more questions. Thus, you could offer follow up training every 30 days for six months. The point is that these challenges can be addressed from many different perspectives.
However, these problems give us opportunities to generate revenue while also helping a magnificent group of people to use their communication technologies to effectively cultivate a wonderful worship experience. That is what I believe. I want to know what you believe.