One of the most misunderstood and tension-filled relationships inside the church environment is that of the sound guy and worship leader. This relationship takes heart in my life even more because I am the sound guy, and my wife…she’s the worship leader.  Our relationship in the church world can be a whole separate topic and a thousand page novel, but we’ll just cover the basic battles that each person has with one and another and what we can do to solve some of these issues.

So, what’s the big deal? Why so much tension?

Sometimes in my experience working with the worship team there is a lack of understanding of each other’s roles and needs.  The worship leader has priorities, and so does the sound guy. Sometimes if not most of the time these priorities don’t line up with each other. An example, the sound guy may prefer the worship team to practice their songs continuously without stopping, however this may be unrealistic with a worship leader that is working on vocal or instrumental parts of a new song that stopping and starting will happen.

Both the sound guy and worship leader have to remember that they are on the same team. They are both moving in the same direction and working extremely hard for the same cause. When trust is established and an understanding of each others roles happen the relationship tends to grow. So, in order to build trust, spend time together and grow a relationship outside the work environment. Communication is key and hanging out with each other will help both of you talk through some of the things that cause tension.  Be vulnerable during this time, as hard as it may be put down your preconceived notions about each other and have a good humbled conversation. When your relationship is not built on trust, things get tense, and people begin to knows it, and people become even more tense and uncomfortable.

Here are some quick and helpful tips on how to have a better relationship.

Be on time

This is for both sides of the relationship. If you have a sound check before practice, show up before it’s that time. Being on time shows that you respect for each other and it shows importance for each others roles.

Don’t yell at each other

There is usually a large distance between the tech. booth and the stage. I have found myself trying to talk to the worship team and the only way they can hear me is if I yell.  This makes me sound like I am angry. For me this doesn’t work out well with my wife after practice if all I do is yell at her. Pick up a talkback microphone and speak to the worship team.  The same goes with the worship leader and team. You have microphones, use them.

Worship leader, learn about the audio equipment

It would be very helpful to the sound guy if the worship leader learned a little about the sound equipment. Learn how to hook up instruments and microphones Learn what an XLR cable is or a direct box is. Learn how to turn on amps, and the sound mixer. 

Sound Guy, learn about the worship leader’s plan

If the worship leader has a plan during rehearsal learn it. Ask the worship leader about it, it’ll make your life a little easier knowing what is on his or hers mind.

If you are asked to do something. Do it!

Sometimes I hate being told what to do. Especially coming from the worship leader in a very tense moment. If the request is reasonable, just do it. If you don’t agree with the request pull the person aside away from everyone else and talk to them about it. Remember, that you are on the same team.

Don’t speak poorly about each other

Sometimes when things are not going my way during rehearsal I get more tense that is needed and it begins to show when I speak to the worship leader and team. Negative comments and talk only embarrass and hurt yourself.

Admit your mistakes

We all make mistakes. Be humble about them and own up to your mistakes.

Pray

This seems simple enough, however prayer is often very hard and missed.  Pray for each other as a team and individually. Include both teams in any pre-service or post-service prayer.

Both sides have to remember that it takes a lot of time and energy to have a great worship set. Collaboration on both sides is very necessary to make sure everything goes smooth. Both the sound guy and worship leader need to continually be on the same page, praying and encouraging each other to keep the relationship healthy. Keep the vision of why you are here in the first place in front of you at all times. 

Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.

Your relationship with each other is very important and hundreds if not thousands of people in your church and in your community around you depend on your relationship working out.  I feel personally blessed to have worship leader being my wife. At times, it probably can be harder taking off the husband hat and putting on the sound guy hat, but no matter how difficult it gets we both know why we are here, and what we are to accomplish during the weekend service. 

God’s people need us!

Are you a worship leader or sound guy? Share with us some funny moments or some struggles that you have encountered, and how you dealt with it.

Written by Rob Sorensen

I have been serving as the social media manager along with the Audio/Video/Lighting engineer at Life Change Church since 2014. When I'm not serving at Life Change I can almost always can be found with my wife and 4 children.

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