By Kevin Kindelin
A few weeks ago before the Saturday service, I went to the front of the sanctuary before the altar to check the microphone placement as I would be reading the prayers of the church that evening. As I glanced around the presumably empty sanctuary, the “wanna-be rock star” in me emerged and I went into my best Tom Jones impersonation belting out “It’s not Unusual.” Then lo and behold, I heard a voice from above descend upon me… “the mic’s not on Kevin.” I looked up to the balcony to see AJ Weller, the scheduling manager of the AV team, looking down with a “give it up” look on his face. My point here is we often don’t see or appreciate what’s going on behind the scenes, or in this case, above. My feeling at that moment was not one of embarrassment, but of relief and security that the microphones, as well as all the other technical equipment, would be operational and on or off at the appropriate times.
We have quite a few dedicated volunteers on Immanuel’s AV/Technical Team that can most certainly be described as a ministry. Dave Brazzle, the “Technical Architect” of the group also provides technical support and supervises live production along with fellow “managers” (there are no official titles) AJ Weller, who also works live production along with his scheduling duties, Brian Reuter, technical support and live production, Andy Liebold, technical support and live production, and Jenny Laabs, staff support, general assistance, and maintenance support. The manager on duty supervises the various “stations” that control the video, the microphones, the cameras, and the projection of graphics and media support for each event. Dave referred to the team as the AV Balcony Ministry.
The impact this ministry has on our church and community is mind-boggling, to say the least. I never really thought about what they do; I just subconsciously expected it to be done. The AV Team, AV Balcony Ministry, whatever the moniker, is not only responsible for the live production of our worship services and special events, but also the video live streaming on our various websites, including the Give Me a Sign Deaf Ministry presentation of our Contemporary Worship Service that is specifically designed for, and targeted at, the deaf community. For each worship service and special event, each video is archived; a “sermon only” video is extracted and placed on the church website; and the audio and video-only versions are created and published onto our media outlets. This ministry does so much yet their goal is to go unnoticed, as this shows everything is running smoothly.
This little-noticed team of volunteers includes Bryce August, Bethany Fingerle, Bob Morris, Brandon Brzostowski, David Chalifoux, Griffin Maloney, Jeff Berger, Jerry Putman, Joe Martisus, Kylee Stammer, Sydney Schilf, Terry Wilhelms, Tim Laabs, Garrett Nelson, and Corey Sandusky. Jenny Laabs said working on the AV team is a wonderful service opportunity and to not let the technical aspect of it all intimidate you and prevent you from volunteering. These
Because of Immanuel’s AV Balcony Ministry, our message is not only beautifully presented at our live worship services and special events, but also goes out to thousands of worshippers around the world. Hopefully, this has given you a glimpse of what goes on “behind the curtain,” so to speak. I never really noticed how much goes into the production and presentation of what Immanuel has to offer on so many different levels. Oops…let the cat out of the bag. The goal of the AV Balcony Ministry may be to go unnoticed, but it’s clear they deserve a little noticing.