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Worship Workflow

Jan 7, 2011 12:00 PM, By Mark Johnson

A week in the life of a church technical volunteer.

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Yamaha PM5D

A Yamaha PM5D mixing console in the main sanctuary provides control over equipment including Shure ULX wireless mic systems. Sound is piped through a Meyer Sound M’elodie line-array system, and JBL SRX700 series speakers are used as monitors.

Depending on our individual work schedules or if there are any special events or presentations, we may come in on other days. Concerts and events that have been held in the new facility include Christian artists Tommy Walker and Paul Baloche. And while the sound system was designed to support a concert type of event, we had never put the pedal to the metal to see what she’ll do. The opportunity arose when the Unashamed Tour—a Christian hip-hop and rap tour featuring Lecrae, Trip Lee, Sho Baraka, Tedashii, DJ Official, and Pro—selected Hilltop as its Northern California stop. I’m happy to report the system had more than enough level and punch to satisfy a standing-room-only crowd of teenagers for 3 hours of high-energy rap and hip-hop. We did supplement the low end with some additional subwoofers. We have hosted community meetings, and Hilltop was a training site for census workers. We also were a satellite site for Willow Creek Association’s annual Leadership Conference this past August.

While we are functioning, there is still work to be done, including completing the lighting and video systems, as well as resolving some issues with the building proper. Getting the old sanctuary back up and running was a challenge for the all-volunteer crew. Part of the original concept for the new facility included a café/coffeehouse, but that part of the construction was initially stalled due to budget constraints. The completion of that part of the building is now a focus. The end of the year is also very busy as we juggle regular services as well as preparations for our annual Christmas production.

Being a volunteer at a house of worship can be immensely satisfying and also extremely frustrating at the same time. Things can go undone because there is not necessarily an advocate on the full-time staff for your particular cause or concern, and communication is always a challenge. However, an especially meaningful and impactful service or a successful event can be great reminders of why we do this.

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