For many churches, the annual Christmas and Carols services are some of the most attended and effective outreach services they will run each year. For this reason, they end up being some of the most prepared for and special services run, sometimes with extra decorations and elements. They can even be held outside in public spaces and heavily advertised to the community.
One question that is often neglected for these events is, ‘How will we do AV?’
For many outdoor carols, organising the AV is left to the last minute, and a makeshift system of gear pulled together from equipment people have borrowed or spare bits from the church. This approach might save a bit of money but it quickly becomes a hassle to pull everything together, and often the sound isn’t as good or smooth as it could be. It might be too loud at the front and too quiet at the back, or maybe not all the band have microphones and no one onstage can hear properly. Sometimes there ends up being a struggle to get enough power to run everything.
These events will usually be pulled off, although there are often plans to improve the next year. However, unfortunately, changes can often be slow in coming, as the organisation is left to the last minute again the next year, or because no-one really knows how to address the issues.
With this in mind, here are a couple of simple thoughts to help your church to improve the AV for their carols this year.
- Think ahead! There is not much worse than finding out you’ve got these issues at the last minute. Well ahead of the event, work out where it will be held, how many people you expect to attend, how big the band is, and roughly what the schedule for the night will be.
- Do something a little different. Often Christmas services are a little different or contain special segments. Why not do the same with the AV? You can do something as simple as adding a couple of little lights around the space to add atmosphere and remind people it’s a special night. Just remember it’s important not make the event so big and fancy that visitors no longer understand the values and style of the church. If you don’t normally have a large scale production, don’t feel like you have to for the Christmas event.
- Make sure you have what you need. Once you have a plan for the night, put together a list of all the things you need in order to pull it off. Try not to go scavenging around the church for gear, but take the time to work out exactly what it is you need and get it, or even form a small budget to hire gear. Alternatively, buy bits and pieces each year so that over time you have a good system you can use. Or, if you want to make sure it’s done well and easily, hire a group to come in and run the AV for you. You could even get them to work alongside some of the church sound volunteers. It then might also become a great opportunity to train and grow your volunteers in running larger events to a more professional standard.
- Pray. Pray that God might use the gifts of those in the church to help the organisation and ideas for the services to come together. Pray that the services are well thought through and run smoothly. Pray for those doing AV, that they are not doing it for their own glory but for God’s. Most importantly pray for all those attending the services, particularly if it’s their first time, that they would be clearly taught the gospel and would see the love of God throughout the service.
If you have any questions about or want more information about running AV for carols or other church events, please contact us. Our aim is to help churches do AV well, whether that’s for events they’re running or installations they might undertake. Our experienced Hire and Sales team are the perfect people to talk to if you are interested in working out a plan to help your church do their carols better.
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