As a reminder, here is what happened at church this Sunday:
- Eric McAllister led us in singing.
- Braden Greer gave announcements.
- We welcomed the 2012 class of Sovereign Grace Pastors College students.
- Robin Boisvert taught from Colossians 3.
- Most importantly, God met with us and spoke to us!
Backup Sound System - First, I want to thank the sound crew for preparing a backup sound system in case hurricane Irene caused a power outage on Saturday night. Because our sound system is not powered through the generator during an outage, we have instead wired two circuits of generator power to the stage in a quad outlet with a red panel near the stage right door. Those outlets could power a small mixer and two powered speakers, enough to be able to support speech and a miniature band. I hope we never have to use this backup option.
Drum Baffles - The choir this week was small, eight people small. That made getting sound out of the choir all the more difficult, so we tried using some studio baffles to reduce the drum bleed into the choir mics. I'm not sure if they really helped, but maybe Jim can comment on that. Unfortunately, the didn't pass the aesthetics test in their gray state, so we'll need to build something more attractive if we want to do something similar in the future.
Ministry Mic - I know the video crews have generally been working hard to get prepared for video shots of the ministry mic. I also know that in some cases, you don't get much warning. I think this is an area where we can still improve, however. Specifically, camera 4 operators need to be faithful to write down the zoom and focus markings for the ministry mic. Then, use them to get lined up. I don't think anyone actually does this any more. Please start again the very next time you serve.
Also, camera directors, you must, without exception, call for camera 4 to prep the ministry mic shot as soon as someone is talking to one of the pastors. I know that is both limiting for you when shooting the music and boring for the camera operator. However, the ministry mic shot is the money shot for camera 4, and it needs to be treated that way. This is the shot you must get right.
Matrix Preset Switching - In general our house directors do a great job switching between presets on the matrix switcher. However, at the end of the sermon, we often miss the transition to Preset 2 during the closing prayer. The result is that there are no lyrics on the confidence monitors when the post-sermon song begins.
This Sunday was the perfect storm: Not only is this the oft-forgotten transition, we also forgot to include "Closing Prayer" as a separate line item in Planning Center, and the house director was trying to handle the recording responsibilities as well as his normal switching. On top of that, someone "borrowed" the worship leader's chord chart, meaning that he literally didn't have access to the words of the song in any way at all. It wasn't pretty.
All that to say that, until we are more solid on this every-service transition, we need to take a team approach. Anyone who does remember should remind someone who can remind the house director to make that switch as soon as the closing prayer begins.
Mics for Closing Comments - To our mixers - you have been improving steadily in keeping your eyes up to watch out for the mystery pastor spontaneously coming up on stage to share something from his heart. It is rare for you to miss a mic cue during the opening worship set. Let's make sure to take that same sense of anticipation into the closing song segment. Specifically, watch out for the pastor who is going to close the service. He may come up more than once depending on the situation, and he may not have the worship leader's full attention if he wants to change the plan. Go ahead and turn his mic on even as he comes up the steps. I know that runs some risks of stray singing, but it will ensure that we have his mic on as soon as he wants to interrupt the music to either direct or dismiss.
These are small things in a generally great weekend, so thanks for seeking to improve in the little details. Anyone else have any thoughts or suggestions from Sunday?