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Young sound engeneer.
Hello Church Media,
My name is David C. I am 15 years old. My church just opened 6 months ago. My part in the church is sound technician But i do not only do sound i also do the following, Computer technician, stage arrangements, Lighting technician and Video technician also when the drummer, Basses, guitarist or even actor is a no show i fill in.
I have done all of this from the first service to the next service and maybe the next. I am the main technician in our church and do all plus more then needed. The leaders can relay on me and they know that the sky is the limit with there ideas. The have asked me to do the most random, and to some, most impossible things at the last minute before church start. But the leaders know that i will do it.
So far my team consists of me, myself and I. I have done all this for gods glory and his alone. But at this point i have asked myself "David what is your futer going to be like? What is your career in life?" So i guess my question is Should i keep going and hope that i get a full time job in my church? or should I start planning my career. I have also, as a Hobey, mange two solo artists Lego Cheb and iTaras(Links at bottom) so if i start in a career then i will be going for a music manger.
The final question is for those whos main income come from church, Is it possible or me to do that? Right now our church has no finances to pay the pastor so obviously they cant pay me. but is it possible for that to happen?
Let me say that I admire what you are doing, not only at your age, but just what you are doing. To be able to have the ability to carry off the duties that are expected of you from week to week and do it with a servant's heart is something that all of the Technical Directors on this sight look for in the people we recruit and if possible, hire.
I also envy your energy, but that is another thing all together.
My advice to you is to gain as much experience doing all the things that you love to do and to listen to God's voice. He has a desire for your heart and above all else you need to listen to Him.
Peace (Phil 4:7)
To add to that, I would suggest moving forward in planning your career and your professional life until God tells you otherwise. You should never put yourself in a position where you stifle you livelihood for the sake of what you hope for. If you base your plans on the actions of others, more often than not, you will end up with the short end of the stick.
AVOID VIDEO THEFT! Convert over to Betamax!
If you want to do this as a full time job practice being teachable, get outside of your church and get some experience, learn from people that have been doing it for years. I have one friend that now has a great job but he started doing grunt work for a rental company at your age. He volunteered at his church and started them recording sermons and probably knew the most about the sound system, yet he had to start coiling cables when he got a job. He ended up working full time for a year for the company, after he finished high school, saved his money and paid for a year long tech school.
Make sure you pace yourself, don't let this become something you do, make sure you are still serving and know who you are serving. As soon as you lose that you will fill under appreciated and burned out.
Josh this "As soon as you lose that you will fill under appreciated and burned out." Is so true. The first time i felt like that I almost lost my faith but now i look back and see it was God testing my faith for after i overcame that obstacle i got the gift of toungs and it was like God re-charged my "Batteries" Now i see and know that I have to wake up every day and remember why God put me on this planet. Thanks to all you guys i have kinda felt burned out (Mostly because i sleep on a couch) and unappreciated the last Sunday but after our prayer and reading your replies it i was like i got recharged. if only i had some one say this kinda stuff every day Oh wait i do the Bible. Thanks guys
Going a little off topic here but I think it should be said...
Having been in your shoes before...don't get to the point where you are burned out.
I started working our sanctuary's media ministry team when I was 14 or 15...somewhere around there. I started off with a fairly simple task of creating a podcast. Then, I ended up taking over lighting. Then helping out with IT. Then, video. Then, web casting. On top of everything I was doing for our student ministry.
Well, needless to say I got burnt out quickly. When technology things weren't going my way and I was up at church constantly, I got irritated really quickly. My church administrator stopped me in the hall one day and told me I HAD to take some time off. It wasn't a question of if I wanted to or not. So, I took about three months off.
After that time, I re-prioritized things. Only decided to do student ministry stuff plus lighting and webcasting. And, it's still the same thing I do today. I help out in other areas as I've found it valuable to be trained and know a good deal about our A/V and IT systems, but I'm not the "go to" guy for those areas.
I think you really need to train a couple of people that can do what you do from time to time. Working every single service, every single sunday is not generally a good idea. You're going to need time off.
Just my .02 there.
Now back on topic...haha.
After working at church in lighting for some time, a guy I know asked if I wanted to do a show at a local high school as an LD. Well, I did that, and then ended up volunteering for a community theater. After a couple shows there, I was asked to do my first paying gig (yay!!!) at a theater as an LD for a Christmas Benefit concert for the American Heart Assocation. And, I've also had the opportunity to work with our local TV station doing a statewide high school football broadcast too.
Working outside of church is a great way to gain a lot more experience with (sometimes) a lot better equipment. It also allows you to work with other people. I've had directors cuss me out before and been in environments I didn't really care for, but I think it's times like those that allow a Christian to be a light to others.
So, make sure you take care of yourself. If you have the time, go volunteer at your high school. (or another one, like i did, if your hs doesn't have a drama dept) Go meet adults that will be able to utilize your talents elsewhere. And you'll have a great deal of experience under your belt by the time you're out of school.
Derek Van Winkle
FBC Biloxi, MS
I was doing a websearch for something completely different, but when I saw this, I felt like contributing.
I am in a similar situation as you, quite a bit older(I'm 23) and little over a year ago I was made the only sound tech at my church, though I had NO experience with it before.(I was just the only one willing)
I also do lots of things for the church, I run the board every Sunday, which isn't a big deal, cuz its just the pastors headset mic, and pulpit mix for my dad who just recently became liturgist. I don't do anything music related other then playing disks, cuz that's ALL I can play when it comes to music LOL. But I do VBS decorations and stuff, and you are right, when you loose focus on WHY you are doing it, you can get burned out quickly. I've faced that issue before. When I first started, we had hired a choir from the highschool, which dwindled down to 2 regular singers and the choir director, and I'd constantly get frustrated becuz you could never hear them. Later on, we had to let them all go, and after awhile I'd get frustrated becuz all I was doing is watching the pastors mic instead of sitting down with the family. When we started recording the sermons, sometimes the board will fail and not record it(which is an issue I'm still working on) and then I'd get frustrated, that even that I was going to all the trouble of recording and editing, they aren't doing anything with it. (IE: putting it on the website, which has yet to be completed) Some Sunday's I really felt like I as wasting my time, cuz all there is, is just the one mic. Its a small church, so we don't have lights or media cept on VERY rare occasions. I'm going to continue on with some of my low experiences, not to complain, but to point out my own folly when I lost sight of what was important.
We did have some bands come in to play during a service, and I'd mix for them, and I also started at a local theater, which I'll go into in a bit. But I soon learned that God has giving me a gift for this, In just a years time, I was able to soak up so much experience, and have been told on occasion the the theater's sound has improved drastically since I took over. All well and good, but that dern pride keeps creeping up. Instead of always giving God the glory like I should, I've had moments where I became full of myself. 1 time we had a special service with my pastor and a congregation member singing, and they forgot to tell me that practice was that Sunday morning bout 2 hours before service. The sound was terrible. The guitar was WAY over powering, and her mic was WAY to low. I also didn't know which cable was in what input, so I couldn't effectively compensate. I was alittle ticked bout it, then another time, at a community service, there was a full band, a couple members from my church, and other churches, and all that. Again, music was WAY too loud, and overshadowed the singers. I had wanted to go to the practices, and was invited by their sound guy to do so, but my pastor defiantly came across that I really shouldn't come. Anyway, this all led me to the conclusion that I was the only one around that really knew what they where doing. True or not, isn't really the point.
Fall of last year, we started a Wednesday night contemporary service, started once a month, but went to twice a month. Band, media, lights, all that. It is set in the former fellowship hall we had remolded for this. This service has another sound guy, the reason is, is that this guy after talking with the pastor, had been interested in helping with sound, and he is not a regular church goer, so the pastor wanted to get him in church(as this new service is suppose to reach out the the un-churched) at times I felt alittle shut out as it where. All I mostly do at this, is push the light buttons, and occasionaly help the band setup IF I can get there in time. The media stuff isn't really my thing, so I don't really do much, just change the light color, and put the equipment away when we're done. Again, when I think I'm doing this for myself, or other people or anyone else other then God, I feel like what I'm doing is pretty insignificant, a waste of my talent and energy. My point of all this, and believe me, alot of self reflection came out in this post that really hadn't been shown to me in detail before. Is that, truth be told, NO task is insignificant to God when you do it for His Glory, and to serve him with a pure heart. In what you do, do it for His glory alone!
That being said, I also think it is a good idea to get experience in other places aswell. As I metioned, I'm the lead sound tech at the theater aswell.(I don't like to label myself with the sound engineer title, as I have no formal education or certification to earn that title yet) Working at this theater has been one of the single biggest blessings in my life! Its a long story of how I got to work here full time, that I'd be happy to go into detail at a later point or though PM or whatever, but it was obviously set up by God from the start!
Our theater is just live music, sorta karaoke style, but little different. Most of my sound expiriance comes from the theater, and has helped at church when we've required things that I didn't know how to do a year ago.
We had a X-mas play at church, and I did sound for it, with multiple wireless mics, a couple condenser mics and a handheld all in the general area(which made me VERY nervous since I hadn't done anything like this before) but I had enough experience to be able to handle it with God's help of course. But to show how one thing can lead to another, working with this play, I met a girl(the star) through whom I have gotten to know her father alittle, and he told me about his brother, who is a not-unknown record producer who owns a recording studio in the area. (You can google Malcolm Springer) I'm probably going to meet him in June, as he is one of the guest local celebrity judges for the theaters Dixie Idol jr contest.(the theater is called The Dixie Theater) and I'd eventually hope to learn from him or even intern at his studio.
The main point of all this being, is that you should just keep serving God, take all the bad, learn from it, trust God that he has whats best for you in mind, and that appreciation from people amounts to nothing compared to God's appreciation. My church only has 3 paid employees, that is the pastor, the nursery worker, and the secretary. All other positions are volunteer. I still wont even apply for a job that could make me work Sunday's or anytime that interferes with my volunteer time at church or theater, cuz to me, that work is much more important then the money. Believe me, being broke isn't fun, but God always takes care of me!