Audio, Video, and Media in the Ministry

Audio, Video, and Media in the Ministry

by Clarence Floyd Richmond, Michael Lawson

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In a worship service, a great measure of responsibility rests on those who volunteer in the audio, video, and media ministries. When everything is going well, no one notices, but when the microphones don’t work or the projected song lyrics aren't in sync, everyone does. A well-functioning audio, video, and media team can help the congregation enter into a deeper and more meaningful worship.

Each area of AV ministry is included: sound, projection, lighting, audio, video, broadcast, and web. The book also provides tips and instructions on selecting equipment and the set-up, storage, operation, and maintenance of it. Other leadership topics such as trouble-shooting problems in rehearsal and during services as well as tips for working with ministry leaders, musicians, and fellow congregants are discussed.

If you’re a new volunteer to this ministry or just wanting a topical refresher, this handbook is the perfect guide for you.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781418560485
Publisher: Nelson, Thomas, Inc.
Publication date: 04/19/2010
Series: Nelson's Tech Guides
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 176
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Dr. C. Floyd Richmond is a church musician and technology specialist. He is the author or editor of nine books on music technology, and is the chair of the education and curriculum committee for the Technology Institute for Music Educators (TI:ME).

Mike Lawson launched MIX Books in 1996 (a spin-off from MIX Magazine), publishing titles on music production, audio technology and entertainment business. Lawson serves on the Advisory Board of TI:ME and Board of Directors for the TEC Awards/MIX Foundation.

Read an Excerpt

Audio, Video and Media in the Ministry


Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2010 Thomas Nelson Publishers
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4185-4174-3

Chapter One



Dear Media Team Member,

Welcome to our team. Your work in the media ministry at our church is greatly appreciated and will make a significant difference in the quality of our church's worship and the scope of our ministry.

Today's church members are oft en media-centric. They attend movies, watch hundreds of channels on television, spend hours on the Internet, and download music and video to their phones and other personal media devices. With this increased exposure to media comes an expectation that the quality of music and media that they encounter in churches and worship will be exemplary. The goal of the media team is to meet those expectations, to deepen the worship experience, and to broaden the ministry of our church. In this effort we partner with our pastors, music ministers, and other ministries within the church. In many ways our role is one of service and support. In this we are following the example set by Christ (Philippians 2: 5-8). Also, lest anyone forget, there is no member of the body of Christ that does not perform an essential function (1 Corinthians 12:12-27). Your unique contributions are essential to our worship and other services, and to our outreach as a whole. Thank you for your ministry and service.

Sincerely, Your Media Team Coordinator


Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Philippians 2:5-8

For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body-whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free-and have all been made to drink into one Spirit. For in fact the body is not one member but many.

If the foot should say, "Because I am not a hand, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? And if the ear should say, "Because I am not an eye, I am not of the body," is it therefore not of the body? If the whole body were an eye, where would be the hearing? If the whole were hearing, where would be the smelling? But now God has set the members, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased. And if they were all one member, where would the body be? But now indeed there are many members, yet one body. And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; nor again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you." No, much rather, those members of the body which seem to be weaker are necessary. And those members of the body which we think to be less honorable, on these we bestow greater honor; and our unpresentable parts have greater modesty, but our presentable parts have no need. But God composed the body, having given greater honor to that part which lacks it, that there should be no schism in the body, but that the members should have the same care for one another. And if one member suffers, all the members suffer with it; or if one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it.

Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually. 1 Corinthians 12:12-30


This book is intended to serve as a guide to help churches achieve success in the ministry of audio, video, and media. The first two chapters contain an introduction and explanation of the organization and maintenance of the ministry. The remaining chapters are devoted to the technical aspects including the basics of sound reinforcement, video projection, lighting, recording and editing audio and video, broadcasting, Web development, and network maintenance. Each chapter has a checklist, which can be used by the media ministry leader, distributed to ministry team members, or customized for specific needs within the church. Each chapter has a troubleshooting section that will help solve many of the problems that will be encountered in the media ministry. Each chapter also has a discussion of the function, setup, care, and maintenance of relevant equipment.


The importance of the media team in enhancing the church's ministry cannot be overstated. Without sound amplification or reinforcement, members of the congregation may not be able to hear what is being said thereby missing important material. Without a microphone, preachers or presenters in a large space could lose their voice, long before their message is complete. Without appropriate equipment, the quality of the music may drive people away from worship rather than draw them into it. In many of today's churches worship songs come and go rapidly and printed materials cannot be produced quickly enough. Without projection of lyrics, people will find it more difficult to worship. Without audio and video examples, many sermon points will fall flat. Without a recording or broadcast ministry, many may not hear of God's great love.

But ta-da, enter the audio and video ministry team. With a well-honed media ministry, these, and many more pitfalls can be avoided. With a healthy media ministry, the congregation can hear and understand the proclamation of the word of God; preachers and presenters can speak with ease, even when their voices are weak; the worship music may be enhanced so that it is more attractive and people can draw closer to God; the lyrics of each song can be projected and the people can truly sing a new song unto the Lord; and many sermon points can be visually illustrated so that they are both easier to understand and more memorable. With a properly functioning media team, the equipment which makes these things possible can be maintained, and used to its fullest advantage, the distractions produced by audio feedback can be avoided, the volume of the music can be set to a comfortable level, and worship can be enhanced. With an active media team and recording or broadcast ministry, the reach of the church can be expanded and the kingdom of God can be built.


There is no ministry in the church that is not ultimately about service. The pastor, though in a leadership role, must have a servant's heart to be successful. The shepherd's job may be mistaken for a position of power. Actually, it is one of service and responsibility to the sheep (the congregation). The shepherd must gather the sheep into the flock and keep them from getting lost. If one is lost, the shepherd must find and rescue it. The shepherd must find green pastures where the sheep may safely feed. He must find clean water to quench the thirst of their flock. The shepherd must keep the sheep safe from the wolves and bears, bind their wounds, and nourish the lame and sick. The goals of the church are the same. God does not desire that any should perish. He longs for all to come to know Christ, to be filled with His Holy Spirit, and to grow and mature spiritually. Much of this is accomplished by the ministry of the church's servant-leaders, not just the pastors. As a member of the audio, video, and media ministry, you are a part of that servant leadership.


God has a unique plan for every individual and their contribution to building His kingdom. That plan includes many positions, but the Holy Spirit directs each.

Now concerning spiritual gift s, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant: You know that you were Gentiles, carried away to these dumb idols, however you were led. Therefore I make known to you that no one speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed, and no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit. There are diversities of gift s, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gift s of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:1-11

The teachings of Christ contain many examples of service. When Jesus said that the first shall be last and the last, first, it is immediately followed by an explanation of the seeming contradiction of His servant leadership.

So the last will be first, and the first last. For many are called, but few chosen." Now Jesus, going up to Jerusalem, took the twelve disciples aside on the road and said to them, "Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death, and deliver Him to the Gentiles to mock and to scourge and to crucify. And the third day He will rise again." Matthew 20:16-19

According to Christ, the Gentiles lord their position over those beneath them. Christians, however, are not to do so.

Then the mother of Zebedee's sons came to Him with her sons, kneeling down and asking something from Him. And He said to her, "What do you wish?" She said to Him, "Grant that these two sons of mine may sit, one on Your right hand and the other on the left , in Your kingdom." But Jesus answered and said, "You do not know what you ask. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?" They said to Him, "We are able." So He said to them, "You will indeed drink My cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with; but to sit on My right hand and on My left is not Mine to give, but it is for those for whom it is prepared by My Father." And when the ten heard it, they were greatly displeased with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to Himself and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave-just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many." Matthew 20:20-28


Now there was also a dispute among them, as to which of them should be considered the greatest. And He said to them, "The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and those who exercise authority over them are called 'benefactors.' But not so among you; on the contrary, he who is greatest among you, let him be as the younger, and he who governs as he who serves. Luke 22:24-26

Jesus set a high standard for service by washing his disciple's feet. He showed great humility, and by doing so, he taught his disciples that they should serve one another in the same manner.

So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them:

"Do you know what I have done to you? You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. John 13:12-15

Christ did not come to be served, but to serve. He gave the perfect model of service in His sacrifice on the cross, and challenged us to do the same.

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me. Matthew 16:24

Our job is to serve Christ to the best of our ability. With the correct heart for service, the goals of the media ministry can be achieved.

Chapter Two

Media Team Organization and Oversight

In a small church it may be possible for one person to do much of the work associated with the media ministry. As the size of the church increases, however, it is desirable to incorporate more volunteers in this ministry, and consequently, there is a great need for an organized approach.

Churches throughout the world vary in both type and size. Although it is impossible for each one to organize their media ministries in the same way, some principles apply from the smallest to the largest churches. All, regardless of size, will need to create a plan for applying these principles within their media ministries.


First, there needs to be someone who has responsibility for the media ministry. This person should have technical skills, a servant's heart, and a vision for the media ministry. They should be able to handle criticism well, work within an environment where conflicting signals are sometimes received, be an effective communicator, and be flexible.


The responsibilities of the media coordinator include:

Research and purchase the equipment needed for the various ministries of the church. Prepare a budget each year for the maintenance and replacement of equipment used in the church. Set up the equipment for the most efficient operation. Execute the necessary maintenance each year on existing equipment. Recruit members for the various media positions described below. Train or plan training for members for the various media positions described below. Prepare instructions and checklists for the various media positions described below. Critique each service for strengths and weaknesses in the media ministry and address problems so that they are less likely to occur in the future. Coordinate media personnel for various services and special events. Coordinate media personnel for various spaces in the church. Work cooperatively with various church ministries requiring media support, especially the music ministry. Secure the necessary licensing for broadcast, Web streaming, projection of lyrics, etc. Make certain that the individuals who work in these areas are aware of licensing limitations and take the necessary precautions to avoid violating them. Do any necessary reporting of copyright usage. Secure permissions from any individuals who are being broadcast or whose images are being used in the church's Web pages. Oversee a system for providing backup strategies for failed equipment and be available to assist in implementing those plans.


It is important that the media coordinator understand their relationship to the pastor, who oversees all ministries within a church. In the day-to-day operations of the church, the pastor is the final authority on any matters of dispute. Typically the pastor, however, is someone who presents a vision and explains goals and then leaves the details of their implementation to those most directly involved in the ministry. The Pastor, however, will be a great ally as his or her role in leadership includes the responsibility to make certain that the materials and resources to do an effective job are available. The media coordinator will have to work through issues related to the budget with the pastor and/or others designated for that purpose.


Budget is a primary concern for a successful media ministry. A media ministry depends heavily on equipment. When that equipment breaks down, it needs to be repaired or replaced immediately-in time for the next service. The media coordinator should develop a budget for required maintenance on existing equipment and its replacement at the end of its life cycle. The media coordinator will need to spend a great deal of time researching specifications as the budget is developed. Caution must be used to find objective advice. An outside consultant who is not a salesman can oft en give balanced advice, more so than someone who has a vested interest in the product being considered. Be on guard if salesmen suggest that whoever did the previous installation didn't know what they were doing. While this is sometimes true, it's very likely that equipment acquired in the past was well-advised at the time. The world of media is not one that is marked clearly with road signs indicating what will work and what will not. There will be some perfectly good solutions that may not work as well as hoped in specific installations. Guard against salesmen who do the following:

Try to establish their expertise at the expense of competitors or those doing previous installations. Try to pressure purchase decisions. Imposes deadlines on special prices. (Continues...)

Excerpted from Audio, Video and Media in the Ministry by CLARENCE FLOYD RICHMOND Copyright © 2010 by Thomas Nelson Publishers. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Foreword vii

Chapter 1 Introduction 1

Open Letter to Media Team Members 1

Scriptures for Study 2

Purpose 3

Importance of the Media Ministry Team 3

It's About Service 4

A Scriptural Foundation for Service 5

The Disciples Argue About Greatness 7

Chapter 2 Media Team Organization and Oversight 9

The Media Coordinator 9

Media Coordinator Responsibilities 10

Working with the Pastor 11

Budget 11

Tips for Dealing with Salesmen 12

Look for Consultants Who Do the Following 12

Double Purposing Equipment 12

The Media Ministry Organization 13

Working with Musicians 14

The Media Ministry Tasks 14

Keep It Simple 15

Media Team Organization 16

Editing and Preparation of the Recordings for Broadcast or Internet Streaming 22

Oversight of the Church's Website 23

Maintenance of Computer Networks 25

Chapter 3 Sound Reinforcement 27

Soundboard Operator, Platform/Stage Setup 27

An Effective Soundcheck 29

Balancing the Ensemble 30

Platform or Stage Setup 33

Miking 34

Placing Microphones for Vocals 36

Placing Microphones for Instruments 38

Electronic Instruments 45

A Word About Electric Guitars and Basses 47

The Mixing Board-How It Works 48

About Input Signals 50

Wireless Microphone Systems 51

In-Ear Monitoring Systems 52

A Word About Monitoring 54

Media Players 55

Decibel Meter 56

Testing Equipment 57

Acoustically Treating a Sanctuary 57

Amplifiers 58

Common Problems-Prevention and Solutions 59

Microphone Crackles, Clicks, or Static 61

Testing a Cable 61

Wiring and Resoldering a Cable 61

There Is a Hum in the Monitors or House Sound 64

Feedback 65

Sound is Metallic 66

Sound is Booming 66

Soundtrack Won't Play 66

Musicians Not Staying Together, Can't Hear Each Other, Can't Hear Themselves, or Are Out of Tune 66

Speaker Mic Has Reverb, Soloist Does Not 67

Chapter 4 Projection 69

Projection 69

Lyrics and Sermon Notes 70

Design Principles 70

Operational Principles 73

Checklist 75

Projecting Video of the Service 78

Equipment Selection, Setup, Operation, Storage, and Maintenance 79

Common Problems: Prevention and Solutions 82

Chapter 5 Lighting 87

Lighting 87

Checklist 91

Lighting Ideas 93

Troubleshooting 94

Chapter 6 Audio Recording 97

Why Record Audio? 97

Equipment 97

Microphones 99

Volunteers 100

Recording Board Operator 100

Computer and Software Operator 100

Sound Editor 101

Music Editor 101

Checklist for Audio Recording 101

Audio Studio within the Church 103

Recording 103

Gear 105

Recording and Editing Hardware and Software 105

Duplication Equipment 108

Audio Editing Techniques 109

Copyright and Licensing 112

Common Recording Problems: Prevention and Solutions 116

Chapter 7 Video Recording 117

Video Recording and Mixing 117

Software 119

Checklist for Video Recording 120

Video Studio within the Church 122

Troubleshooting 122

Lost Signal 123

Broken Equipment 123

Chapter 8 Broadcasting 125

Broadcasting 125

Volunteers 129

Checklist for Editing and Preparing Recordings for Broadcast and Internet Streaming 129

Chapter 9 Web Pages 133

Volunteer Positions/Roles 133

How to Do It 134

What Does It Take to Post a Website? 135

What Software Should Be Used to Create and Maintain a Web Page? 136

A Brief Discussion of File Types 137

Checklist 140

Meta Tags 142

Broadcasting Audio or Video 142

Troubleshooting 143

How to Use Your Web Page as an Outreach 144

Chapter 10 Computer Networks 145

Local Network 145

How It's Done 146

Server-based Applications 148

World Wide Network 148

How It's Done 149

Conclusion 151

Glossary 153

Index 163

About the Author 168

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