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Helping Eyes to See and Ears to Hear… the Audio/Visual Ministry
By Sara Burrows

Imagine a weekend service at the Rock with no microphones, no speakers, no video cameras, no big screens and no Rock TV. Imagine our worship time with no lyrics on the screen and no amplified voices or instruments leading the choir.

Imagine sitting in the back of the auditorium and not being able to see Miles' comical expressions and gestures on the TV screens, and not being able to hear his sermon even though he is yelling it out at the top of his lungs. Imagine knocking off the sixth, the fifth and maybe even the fourth weekend service because Miles lost his voice from shouting during the first three.

You have just imagined a weekend at the Rock with no Audio/Visual Ministry.

Audio/Visual is a behind-the-scenes type of ministry. It is easy to forget that it even exists, but if its volunteers all stayed home, even for one weekend, church-goers would instantly understand what a vital part the Audio/Visual Ministry has in making a worship service possible.

The Sound of Silence

Working the audio mixer board during one of the Rock's many weekend worship services
Working the audio mixer board during one of the Rock's many weekend worship services

James Allen, the ministry leader, says that the reason why Audio/Visual is such an important ministry, is that it enables Miles to speak six times a weekend in front of thousands of people with the assistance of a very capable sound system.

"Without this ministry," James explains, "you would have to struggle to hear what anyone was saying on stage. The band would have to be really simple, just a piano or an electric guitar, but you wouldn't be able to hear the vocals."

He says the visual aspect of his ministry is also necessary to show Miles' expressive and charismatic body language and to help plant the message into our minds by the use of sermon notes on the screen.

One of James' most dedicated volunteers, Jeff Olson, agrees that the purpose of the Audio/Visual Ministry is all about enabling more people to hear and see the gospel, whether in church, on Rock TV, or through internet broadcasting.

"Speakers and video screens bring large crowds of people up close and personal with Miles and the Message," says Jeff. What makes the ministry worthwhile, for both James and Jeff, is the knowledge that they are leading people to salvation.

"The most rewarding part of my job is the altar call at the end of the service…seeing people get saved and feeling like I had a small part in making that happen," says Jeff.

James adds, "All Sunday service ministries contribute to the effectiveness of the altar call, either by making parking smooth or by making people feel welcome, but none of that would matter if Miles couldn't be seen or heard once people got there." Seeing people really get into the music is another highlight for James.

"How we mix the band has a big effect on whether or not people can worship without distraction."

Help Wanted

James and Ben taking time to pose after another long, rewarding Sunday
James and Ben taking time to pose after another long, rewarding Sunday

The most challenging parts of James' job are the long hours and the lack of volunteers in the ministry. He works six to seven days and anywhere from 60 to 80+ hours per week.

"I really admire James," Jeff says. "He's the most dedicated man I know."

James loves his job, but the fact is that he cannot do it without the help of volunteers, and right now there are just not enough.

Are you looking for a way to get involved in Christ's Great Commission to "go therefore and make disciples of all nations"? Matthew 28:19

Are you too shy to be a televangelist, a preacher or a worship leader? Do you have a natural gift for electronics, sound or video equipment, or simply a desire to serve the body of Christ?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, pray about whether God wants to use you in this integral ministry. To get involved, please contact Kimberly Menard at [email protected].

For more information about the Audio/Visual Ministry, click here »