My first “job” in the AV industry was to provide lighting for a t-shirt table during a christian concert at my church. I was 14. Back then, those of us who were on front of house, lighting, camera, editing, and projection were considered on the “production” team. As the years went by, and I was more educated about how this intersected with the AV industry, I realized we really were a part of the Audio-Visual industry.
The reason for bringing this up is something I have noticed in the world of Church Production. It is a tendency for those that work in Church AV to segregate themselves from the rest of the AV industry. They have different names for functions (“running sound”, “light guy”, “duct tape antenna”) and even look at what they do different. Now, of course I am generalizing here. There are a number of great Church AV techs who are members of InfoComm, go to the show, and participate in the industry at large. However, those are few. When you choose to call yourself a “technical artist” instead of an AV Professional, you are choosing to separate yourself. And I think that is a shame. Those who work in houses of worship are no more or less artists than those who perform the same functions in nightclubs or education facilities. So why the disconnect?
I think it is time for those in the Church AV market to embrace their AV-ness. Join InfoComm, go to manufacturer’s training, get involved in the industry. This goes for both the ones getting paid as well as the volunteers. If you are a car salesman who also volunteers in your church’s AV department, you have as much need to connect with others in the AV industry as the full-time lead tech of a 10,000 member congregation. So, join up with the rest of the AV world, and stop sitting in the corner. At this dance, we all learn from one another.
Thanks for reading my blog. Have a great week.