It often baffles me that so many churches seem to spend the equivalent of a third world nation’s GDP on their church buildings and yet install the sound system that Noah used to call the animals into the ark.
People expect quality sound that has clarity, balance and if needed can thunder the foundation. They experience this in the theatre, at concerts, in their cars and now in their own homes with full 5.1 and 7.1 surround sound experiences.
If sharing the Word of God through scripture readings, music and the message is so important then it must at least rate at the same level as the budget for the seating.
The rule of thumb today is that at least 10 – 15% of the value of your current sanctuary should be designated for the audio-visual system. If you have built a half million dollar sanctuary then you should be spending at least $50,000 to $75,000 in audio-visual equipment. This can and often should go much higher, but this is the minimum starting point.
A church that offers a full ‘contemporary’ service with a full praise band and a projection system will need to spend approximately four times what a church with simply a traditional service will need to spend.
When people enter your church, they expect high quality sound. If the sound system hums like a cheap crystal radio set from the ‘50’s then it also says to the visitor, “We’re not relevant to the culture you live in.”
I will share more on sound systems in a later blog. We'll delve into acoustics, in-ear monitors, digital boards, budgeting and many other details. We'll keep it in layman's language.
To help out, I am going to be tapping into the minds and experience of some of the best audio trainers and consultants for churches.
Our next blog moves into elements of the worship service. Stick around . . .