Just a few years ago, teaching worship leaders and teams about technology was one part of Steve Hamrick’s job. Now, it’s a key focus area for IBSA’s director of worship and technology.
“Five or six years ago, we went from having technology as part of our worship conference, to offering an entire conference on church technology,” Hamrick said. More than 150 worship leaders and team members met at the IBSA Building Feb. 16 for the 2019 Church Technology Conference.
The annual meeting included 30 breakout sessions on specific technologies—like the ProPresenter software used in many churches—plus hands-on training from worship practitioners from across the state.
“We’ve discovered that technology people like to experience the gear,” Hamrick said. The classes and gear won’t all fit in a single church, so IBSA hosts the annual conference and Hamrick follows up with regional training sessions on technologies like sound or video. He also consults with individual churches about gear they’re considering or training they might need.
Worship planning and execution isn’t a one-size-fits-all enterprise, Hamrick said. “What dictates technology is what you’re trying to do with your worship.” A small sound board and a few mics may be enough for a church with a choir, piano, and organ, but more participants equal more technology, Hamrick said. Guitars, other instruments, praise teams, multi-tracks, video technology—each element presents specific needs. And getting it right is vital.
“Technology is the conduit between the spoken Word of God and the listener’s ear,” Hamrick said. “Everything we do in the technical ministry is to help the congregation participate, hear clearly, and understand.
“If the technology’s right, it will help people participate in worship.”
Dozens of worship and technology resources are available through IBSA’s online Resource Center. Go to IBSA.org/Worship and click on Resource Center on the right to sign up for access.