Church Tech Operators vs. Technicians

There is often frustration with church leadership when things go wrong with AVL during services, especially if the problem isn’t addressed quickly and fixed by those serving that weekend. There’s a good reason why this happens.

Jim Kumorek  ·  July 13, 2017

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There is often a lot of frustration in church leadership when things go wrong with the AVL during a service, especially if the problem isn’t addressed quickly, and even more so if the problem isn’t able to be fixed by those serving that weekend.

There’s a good reason why this happens.

Frequently, those serving in technical areas on the weekend are merely trained to be operators.

This means that they know enough to turn equipment on, get things up and running, and operate the equipment with some degree of artistic success through the service.

What they are frequently NOT trained for, is how to diagnose and fix issues such as equipment failure, or settings changed to outside the norm for your services.

That’s what I would call being trained to be a technician instead of “merely” an operator.

A technician would know more about the details of how audio, video and lighting systems work, far beyond the needs of just the events you normally conduct at your church. If little fingers managed to get at key pieces of equipment and change all the settings, a technician would know enough to set things right again.

They can look at the symptoms of a failure and deduce what equipment is likely causing the issue, and deal with adjusting the equipment or if possible bypassing it to get things operating again.

The training level difference is significant. You could look at it as the difference between being able to read a passage of the bible out loud, and writing an accurate and inciteful commentary on that same passage.

You’d expect that many in your congregation could read a passage out loud in a clear, compelling way; but I imagine you’d expect few could write an in-depth commentary on that passage.

If you want your key volunteers to become technicians, this requires a significant investment in training for them, and likely training from outside educational sources.

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Technology · Blogs & Opinion · Equipment Maintenance · Live Mixing · Live Production · Technical Team · All Topics


Jim Kumorek
Jim Kumorek is the owner of Spreading Flames Media, providing video/media production and writing services to the A/V/L, technology, architectural and hospitality industries. He has led audio, video and lighting teams in churches as both staff and a volunteer for over 10 years.
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