Volunteers and Consoles: Placing Volunteers in the Audio ‘Hot Seat’

The faster you move on getting potential volunteers into action, the faster you will have full-fledged audio operators confident and knowledgeable to serve the calling that God has led them to.

Volunteers and Consoles: Placing Volunteers in the Audio ‘Hot Seat’
Debbie Keough has many times in the past found herself in the "hot seat,' working on a digital audio console, and sees this to be an age in audio where those in FOH positions are ideally suited to train budding audio engineers to become successful, full-fledged audio operators in the near future.

Volunteers and Consoles News

Volunteers and Consoles: Learning Should Never Be Rushed
Volunteers and Consoles: Placing Volunteers in the Audio ‘Hot Seat’
Volunteers and Consoles: Teach By Showing, Watching, Reporting
Volunteers and Consoles: From ‘Critical Listening’ To Valuable Features

Technology Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.
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Audio in houses of worship are requiring more skill sets, using more current technology, all while handling the single most important technical position during a service. That’s because, if video goes down (unless you happen to be a video venue), or lighting stops changing lights, ProPresenter crashes, the COMs stop working, the service won’t stop.

There has never been an age in audio in which we have been more perfectly prepared to train audio engineers.

However, the moment the audio stops, the service comes to a screeching, silent halt.

Often we see in larger churches, that the Front Of House, or FOH, engineer is a staff or contract position. The reason for this is that the largest churches, which often run very complex professional audio systems in very large auditoriums, may have several thousand attending their weekend services.

In that setting, they see value in having a consistent professional at the helm, to make sure the services run smoothly. When those rare glitches or fast changes occur, though, there is the sense that the professional can handle them with expert instinct. In all honesty, I think it takes far longer to become a really good audio engineer, than it does to become a solid ProPresenter operator.

So why would we take a volunteer, who hasn’t made it their choice of profession, and place them in the audio ‘hot seat’?

There is so much pressure on the person in this position, to never make a mistake.

So then, why? It’s because the mission of the church is to reach out into the world and replicate ourselves. If we bury our talents in the sand, then we have wasted a valuable gift that God gave us. As we raise up the next generation of believers, we also need to equip them to sustain the needs of the church.

Let’s pretend for a moment there is no difference between large and small churches, when it comes to training volunteers. In large part, the only difference is the scale at which they do things. If you think about it, though, how you would develop your volunteers shouldn’t vary. Hopefully these steps can set up a template to successfully get your audio training program well on its way.

1. Don’t wait, get them started now

The single most frustrating thing for prospective volunteers is after signing up, or having a conversation with the lead tech person about volunteering, that they don’t hear back from anyone for a month or longer. Or possibly don’t at all. Volunteers will not stick around, if they are not valued and participating.


More About Debbie Keough
Debbie Keough is currently a freelance audio engineer based in the Orange County area of Southern California. She has held FOH, lighting, media and technical director positions from the largest megachurches to smaller local churches. Additionally, she is an instructor at The Recording Arts Center in San Diego, California. She loves mixing and her heart is to teach, encourage and raise up the next generation of technical artists in the church. She can be reached on Instagram and Twitter @debbiekeough.
Get in Touch: debbiekeough1@gmail.com    More by Debbie Keough

Latest Resource

Worship Facilities Magazine, September-October 2017
The September-October 2017 issue of Worship Facilities Magazine offers a glance at a Granger Community Church, and their recent install of a Lawo audio mixing console system.


Article Topics

Technology · Audio · Team Management · Leadership · Spiritual Health · Team Development · Volunteers · Audio Engineers · Digital Audio Consoles · Faders · Front Of House · ProPresenter · Services · All Topics

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