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The Heart of the Console
by Kent Morris

Mixing sound in church is totally different from mixing audio in any other environment. Mixing in clubs is all about making the red lights come on to the faders and making the people go deaf. Mixing at a festival is all about making it so loud that you drive people back to the concession stands so they buy more food.

Church sound is all about worship. It's about conveying the message of God's Word. Since the aim of church sound is to convey the message of God's Word, the church audio team mission statement ought to read something like this:

The goal of the church audio team is to provide audio that is worthy of the worship of Jesus Christ. This goal is best accomplished by ministering to the technical, physical, and spiritual needs of those who have entrusted God's Word to us (those ministering to the congregation) so that we can impart that message to the hearts and ears of the Body of Christ.

According to 1 Thessalonians 2:4-10, we are: To please God and not man (v.4). That's good because we cannot please man. Someone complains that it's too loud. Someone else complains that it's too soft. Another complains, "The only thing I can hear is the keyboard." Another, "The only thing I can't hear is the keyboard," (usually, the keyboardist's husband).

Entrusted with the gospel (v.4) When someone speaks, prays, or sings the Word of God, it flows through our system. Everything flows through us and flows out from us. So if Satan gets to us, or if we're not on top of our game for any time during that hour, it affects the entire service. That's why it's so important that we remember that we're dealing with the gospel.

To be a burden lifter (v.6) Consider in Luke 10, the account of Mary and Martha. Martha was encumbered with much serving. Mary, on the other hand, was worshiping at Jesus' feet. Martha was enabling Mary to worship by her work, but she didn't have the right attitude about it. We too enable others to worship. We are there to lift others' burdens so that they can worship. We can work very hard, but if we don't have the right attitude about it, if we're not working to enable others to worship, we're not doing our job.

To be gentle as a mother (v.7) Paul speaks in this passage of a nursing mother caressing her child. That's how we are to treat those on the stage. Those on the stage are servants to the Body of Christ. We are servants to the servants, sub-servants, so to speak.

To labor night and day (v.9) We are to be the first ones there and the last ones to leave. That's normal.

To be holy, just, and blameless (v.10) Our job is to have a heart for God and an ear for sound, so that we can provide ministry to the ministers and ministry to the Body of Christ as a whole.

Any person is capable of providing audio worthy of worship. Audio is a learned set of skills. Given a basic understanding and a decent amount of hearing, anyone can learn this skill set. What is much more important than the technology is the ability to take your heart and put it on the console.

You need to be able to interface with people, not just so that you can make them sound good, but so that people can worship God. It's all about reaching people for Christ, reaching the unchurched with the gospel and edifying the churched through an encounter with God.

People don't notice all the things you do. That's fine. The only thing that matters are the two words that you will hear at the judgment: "Well done."

Everything else is irrelevant. You do well for Christ, then nothing else matters. If you think about it, God doesn't really need us to do this. He did it with Christ on earth without any of this technical help. Today he chooses to utilize us as technicians to further His Word. That is a responsibility that you and I bear. Let's bear it honorably before Christ.

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