In our visits to churches we see a wide variety of sound systems, and often they are many years old and overgrown with labels and signs and warnings. Systems often have labels or barriers on certain controls suggesting that no one should touch them, as doing so might alter the natural order of all things sound. While I understand the motive in not wanting someone to mess up settings and levels that were established at some point in time in the past, I think there also becomes a fear over time that someone might do something wrong that cannot be fixed. However, this isn’t the way that things should ultimately be.
I would suggest that it is far better for someone to try doing something as a way of understanding how your sound system works than to simply be afraid to touch anything at all. You cannot learn much without the possibly breaking a few eggs along the way, and for the most part if you if you document where you started before you change anything, you can always go back to where you started before you made the change.
Don’t get me wrong there are perhaps some people who you might not want anywhere near your equipment (I know many of these wonderful well-intentioned people personally). And I would suggest these individuals have other gifts (that I do not have), which can be utilized in other areas within your Church community.
But if you do have someone who you have trusted to use your sound system or video system on Sunday mornings, I would encourage that person to educate themselves as to how the systems work and how to use the equipment that your Church has invested in. To simply sit someone behind a sound board and say “only push this button” when someone is speaking, but “never touch anything else” will not serve your Church very well in the long-run. It will in-fact restrict what you can do for yourselves when you do need to change something, or when something does go wrong.
So please help and encourage your volunteers to educate themselves, as there are so many wonderful resources available currently both on-line and through formal training offered by A/V Organizations, A/V Integrators and A/V Vendors (some for little or no cost to the end user).
Of course, you do always have the option of reaching out to your local A/V professional should you not have anyone who does understand what they need to know. We are always happy to help you out here at DWL Audio Visual.