As volunteers in AV ministries we often feel like our ministries aren’t being successful. So, then what dose a successful AV ministry look like? Before we can answer this question, we must first answer the question of, what is a ministry? and how do we measure its success?
1 Corinthians Chapter 3 Verse 1-23 describes the main goal and point of ministry as; proclaiming the gospel (telling others about it), relying on the Holly spirit to help share the gospel and being servants of God. Therefore, a successful ministry is one that:
1. Proclaims and speaks the gospel
2. Relies on the Holy spirit to reveal the truth
3. Is aligned with God
So, what does this look like in our AV ministries? Ah-ha trick question. When was the last time someone in your AV ministry did point 1 and 2? So then why aren’t our AV ministries designed to achieve these previous 3 points? And if AV ministries aren’t focused on them, does it mean that our AV ministries aren’t good ministries?
The short answer is that, AV ministries aren’t actually ministries because they don’t actually “minister” the gospel to any one; on their own. I’d like to think of churches’ AV department as a AV service.
Now by service I don’t mean servant. By servant I mean the IT Service Management definition of the word. A service is provided when a business out sources their IT needs to an external company. As the IT service company handles the monetary risk, the IT infrastructure and the IT management the business doesn’t have to.
Likewise, we have church AV service so that our pastors, worship teams and congregations don’t have to worry about how to operate and manage an AV system.
For instance, during the during a Sunday service the AV team is:
- Operating the sound equipment so that the worship team can lead the congregation in worship
- Creating monitor mixes so that the worship team can hear themselves
- Operating the projection system so that the congregation can see the words to each song
- Operating the sound equipment so that the congregation can hear the pastor’s sermon
So, then what does an AV service look like? (with in a church context)
When constructing a AV service, it must be built with a God Focus. This means that the AV team should be focused on using the AV equipment to help people share the gospel and worship. Therefore, a successful the AV department looks like a team assisting people who are proclaiming Christ by operating the AV equipment.
So, then what dose a successful AV service look like in practice? (with in a church context)
If our goal is to serve those who are people proclaiming Christ by providing an AV service than we should be competent at providing such a service. This means that each AV service member must be mature in communication skills, technical knowledge and knowledge of the gospel. If we don’t have these skills that we aren’t able to provide a good service or the service we do provide is counterproductive to people we are providing it to.
Good communications skills are essential. As members of the AV service we need to be able to talk to people to find out what Sound and Vision (projection) equipment they need to proclaim the gospel. The AV service is also made up of a team and therefore each member must also have communication skills to work as part of a team.
The AV team must have skills to operate, design and manage the AV system. After all, how can you use sound, vision or lighting technology if you don’t know how to use it? Part of having good technical skills also means being able design and implement an effective AV system. An AV system that is too big or too small or is designed upon incorrect specifications it is not an effective system.
Just as important as having skills to operate equipment is being able to disciple new AV service members. If we don’t train new people the AV service will die when the people in it decide to move on. Likewise, if there aren’t enough people in the AV service team, the team members are at risk of burning out.
Also, the equipment must be maintained so that it is in good working order. If the system isn’t working or is only partly working how can it be effective at helping others with sharing the gospel? Therefore, it’s important to set aside money to have equipment serviced and replaced so, the AV equipment remains an effective tool.
The AV service personnel also need a good understanding of the Gods word, so that they are able to figure out the best way to help present the gospel using the AV system. If the AV team is not aligned with what God is about, how can they help others to present the gospel?
Zach Radloff lives on the Gold Coast. He is studding IT and Multimedia at university and is a qualified Live Production, Theatre and Events Technician.
Zach Radloff's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/zach-radloff.html