One of the most overlooked and yet most important members of the worship team is your sound tech.

Sound is one of the easiest things for the congregation and team to complain about and probably also one of the least-praised positions. The sound techs may not be talked about much, but our worship would be limited in its scope and reach if it wasn’t for them.

Let me start off by saying this: if your church does not have a skilled sound technician ‒ begin to pray for one. For real! Praying for the Lord to send a sound tech who is passionate and skilled is one of the most important prayers for your team. You will be amazed by the fruit that will come from this.

WORSHIP LEADERS: One of the most overlooked and yet most important members of the worship team is your sound tech. Click To Tweet

Worship leaders, whether your sound technician is new or really seasoned, I want to encourage you to include and sow into that person as much as possible. Try to get him or her to attend your band practice. Try to make sure that the sound tech is there for all of your briefings and debriefings; make him or her a full-fledged member of your team. Sound techs are not a peripheral part of the ministry.

Here are four things to look for in a good sound technician:

A base level of skill.
This is the first thing you want to look for. Again, depending on the size of your ministry, you may need to take someone with a little less foundation in sound. The same principle applies to how you may need take in a less-skilled bass player or guitar player. The sound tech doesn’t have to be fully trained; if he or she has a willing heart, that is a great place to start.

Hunger to learn.
Equally important to skill is the candidate’s hunger to learn more about sound. Sound is just like an instrument; it has so many dimensions and you can never stop learning the nature of sound or the function of a sound board.

This is something I am definitely looking for in a sound tech. A very important factor is that the sound tech knows that he or she is on the team first and foremost to serve the pastor, the congregation, and the worship team. A sound tech is called to serve in the same way that the worship team is called to serve. It can, however, be a little more challenging because this person is often in the back of the room and receives a lot less praise than the worship team that sounded great during Sunday morning service. Your sound tech could easily hear verbal praise given to members in the band and think, “Well they sound great because I made them sound great!” It takes a lot of humility to be in this position, which is why I so strongly encourage you as a worship leader to sow into your sound tech.

A desire to invest in others.
In the same way that you as a worship leader and musicians on your team should be replicating themselves, you want a sound tech who is always looking for that younger or newer person to sow into. You want someone who is investing his or her time and knowledge to train others in the art of sound.

How to relate to your sound technician

Be open and honest. In the same way that you would be open and honest with a singer on your team, you want to have an open line of communication between you and your sound tech. That goes both ways. You want your sound tech to be open and honest with you about the way your voice sounds, the way your band sounds, what he or she thinks about arrangements, etc. I have had sound techs in the past who have come to me to talk about a singer that they notice is always off-pitch. I once had a sound tech ask if I was drinking coffee right before my morning set. He could hear the raspiness in my voice when I sang. I was totally busted, but so grateful that he took the time to call me out on that. Sound techs are not trying to take your job as a worship leader; they are simply trying to communicate that they notice something as a sound tech and want to bring it to your attention.

Here are four things to look for in a good sound tech. Click To Tweet

Let me tell you, having a good relationship with your sound tech is a profound thing. It will raise the level of your team in so many ways. I have been blessed with sound techs in the past who were not just my techs, but also my friends. Maybe the sound tech you currently have is someone you do not naturally relate well with. I guarantee you that as you begin to make even baby steps of effort to invest in him or her, the fruit will begin to be evident on your team.

Huge thanks to my friend Jordan Vanderplate for letting me use this photo of Truman Reservoir, MO. Check out more of his work here.

I’m Justin Rizzo. I enable worship leaders who feel isolated, overworked, and unfocused to experience peace, confidence and create thriving worship communities.

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  1. Alicia Stephens

    This is so needed. So many times, I see worship leaders complaining about their sound techs online and then find out that they haven’t invested in them at all .The best thing we ever did was pay for ours (and any interested worship leader on my team) to go to a sound tech class that a local, bigger church was offering. It was such a great equipping and we now have people we can reach out to for advice, if needed. My husband has been our head sound tech for years (which is amazing, but also challenging at times, lol) , but was really encouraged and filled with energy after each week…because as you said it is an extremely humbling and difficult job to do week after week.

    1. Justin Rizzo

      Thanks so much for sharing this, Alicia. I love that your church invests into them for training. That’s huge!

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