This group of dedicated individuals from the Audio Ministry works tirelessly behind the scenes to enhance every churchgoer’s experience in church.
Contributed By Amanda Jayne Lee
Romans 10:17 declares that “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” It is on this biblical basis that City Harvest Church’s Audio Ministry believes its role in the church is to ensure every churchgoer gets to hear the word preached every weekend, and hear it well.
Having good sound may not be the most obvious element about the church, but it is an integral part of the CHC experience. There is a “CHC sound” and we’re not talking about the music, but the audio quality in every service in the church.
The church’s Audio Ministry has over 50 active members from all walks of life. Most have little to no experience with audio engineering, but as they gain experience, with on-the-job training, they are soon able to help run the audio aspects for a church service and ensure that worshippers have an optimum and meaningful worship experience.
Every weekend, the dedicated members of this ministry serve the audio and technical needs in CHC—from the music and preaching on stage in the main English services, to the extended meetings of the Children’s Church, Indonesian Service, Chinese Church and even in the Interpreter’s Room. Most of the time, they ensure that the sound is balanced between the high (treble) and low (bass), the volume in the hall is clear and comfortable to the ears, and the overall sound mix is at its optimum level. Prior to this, proper sound checks and calibration are done before the service starts.
More than just providing the technical know-how of audio mixing, each member of the ministry also has distinct roles to play in the running of the church services and events. Some of the crew are assigned to the sound console where they adjust the individual channels accordingly to achieve a good sound mix on the microphone and house speakers.
Others are stationed in front of the stage to ensure the monitors and speakers provide a clean and clear sound at all times in the service. Another group of sound crew assists the stage users, including the pastors making announcements, worship leaders, musicians and the choir. They communicate the required audio settings as requested by the stage user to the main sound controller at the console, who in turn adjusts the various levels accordingly.
SERVING WITH DEDICATION
Lee Shuxia, 29, a ministry leader in the Audio Ministry, said, “I am definitely proud to be identified with a group of people who serve tirelessly covering not just the main English service and ministries, but also weddings and funerals for the church.”
She explained that during peak wedding seasons in the church, the team has to provide sound support for about two weddings every weekend at different venues across Singapore. For funerals, only a few hours’ notice is usually given, but members of the Audio Ministry regularly offer their assistance at the drop of a hat, demonstrating a level of commitment to serve the church and its congregation in any way possible.
Apart from this, when CHC holds large-scale events like the Asia Conference or drama productions for Easter and Christmas, the entire ministry is mobilized to support the different aspects of the event. For example, the team provided support in multiple meetings which were conducted simultaneously during the 2010 Asia Conference.
Naresh Vijayakumaran, 27, who will be graduating in July 2011 with a double major in Information Systems and Management, and Corporate Communications from the Singapore Management University, was part of the crew that served during the Asia Conference last year. One of his main responsibilities was to be attached to some of the key speakers of the conference. He ensured that every technical or sound requirement from these speakers was met; whether for the main conference event or workshops they were involved in.
Naresh also explained how the members of the Audio Ministry were stretched so lean during that event and yet, everyone displayed a willingness to serve and cover each other’s back when necessary. “There were many workshops scheduled in the afternoons, most of which were back-to-back. Each seminar had different sound requirements and we had very little time to prepare the room for the next workshop. So what we did was to plan a day ahead and prepare the resources that were needed way before the session started,” he recounted.
IT”S ALL ABOUT TEAMWORK
Part of an Audio Ministry member’s job is to be the first to arrive to set up the venue, and the last to leave after packing up, especially during major church events.
Although the crew from the Audio Ministry are not in the spotlight, unlike the singers from the Backup Vocalist Ministry who are seen on stage, they are of equal importance to the church. It is a backstage ministry, where one has to work hard, sometimes work long hours, and do his or her best working in a team to help support the many other CHC ministries.
Charis Wee Pei Shan, 26, joined the ministry in 2002 and has been serving faithfully every week. One thing that she loves about being part of this ministry is the level of teamwork among her peers.
She shared, “In many instances, we are scheduled for different duties. But at the end of the day, it is all about teamwork. The little things we do make a big difference even though we do not realize it. Moreover, I love the people I serve with because they put in their best in everything they do. When I see the volunteers coming together, their team work and their sacrifice make me want to be part of it all.”
You don’t need experience in audio engineering. The Audio Ministry is looking for people who are teachable and willing to commit time and energy to learning new things. To join, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.