Maintaining the upkeep of your church AVL gear is important. Just like any other technological equipment, it needs our attention to ensure smooth and reliable operation week in and week out. I don’t mean to sound pessimistic, but neglecting proper maintenance can result in a myriad of issues like unreliable performance, intermittent glitches, and a range of technical problems, which will persistently disrupt your church productions.
If your church currently lacks a regular maintenance program for its technology gear, it is strongly recommended that you consider implementing one. Regardless of whether your church is small and has only a few pieces of equipment or large with an abundance of gear, maintaining it diligently will lead you to a realm of technical tranquility.
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If you already have a technology gear maintenance program in place at your church, that is great news. For those that don’t yet or are in the process of establishing one, here are three simple steps to maintain your church AVL gear:
Step #1 – Perform a Complete Inventory
To know what maintenance tasks are applicable and need to be performed, you need a complete understanding of all your technology gear and the equipment-specific details. This includes things like the manufacturer, model, location, serial #, P/N#’s, etc. Gather all this information into an Excel Workbook, Google Sheets, or even a maintenance database so the information is centralized and easy to update.
Step #2 – Detail Maintenance Procedures
There are many different methods for procedures: Some people choose to extract the important maintenance items from the manufacturer’s manual and develop their own simple one- or two-page procedures. Taking the technical jargon and turning it into an easy-to-read document that can be understood by anyone. Or another option would be to just use the procedures listed in the manufacturer manuals, which are typically found in the back of it. Once you create these procedures, make sure it’s posted in a public location so that others can fill in if need be.
Step #3 – Create a Master Maintenance Schedule
Creating a master maintenance schedule can assist with getting a grip on all that needs to be maintained. This master schedule should list each piece of technology gear, the maintenance task that needs to be completed, and the recommended maintenance schedule. Examples include:
Projectors: Clean air filter and lens quarterly
Computer systems: Blow the dust out of hardware components, wipe down monitors, reboot, and perform any operating system updates monthly
Lighting Fixtures: Remove dust from the head fans and air vents monthly
Once you have these basic items in place, then it’s time to start performing the maintenance. You yourself can do it if you have the experience, if the equipment is within the warranty period, the manufacturer may offer it as a free service or you can train church volunteers to do it. For out-of-warranty equipment, there are many good AVL companies that could lend a hand.
Think of maintaining your church AVL gear like maintaining your car. You know that your car needs maintenance to run efficiently. With proactive regular maintenance of your car, you feel safer when you drive it and you save money with things like better gas mileage and longer engine life. But when it’s not properly maintained, it doesn’t function effectively and sooner or later it will break down and won’t run at all. That’s called “Reactive Maintenance” — Let’s wait until it breaks, and then fix it. I don’t recommend that approach. That approach not only will cost you more, but in some cases, it takes a lot more time to get things repaired and back to normal operation.
I am a huge advocate of performing regular maintenance on church AVL gear. Witnessing the increased reliability and performance is well worth the effort and time investment. Of course, no church is exempt from gear glitches every now and again, but it sure does give the tech people and the pastors peace of mind knowing that they can just serve God with their gifts and talents without the technology creating a major distraction to the spiritual climate of the production.
The bottom line is this, whether you’re a tech person or a pastor, maintaining the church AVL gear your church relies on week in, and week out is vital. We need to be good stewards of the technology God has blessed us with, which means taking care of it regularly.
By implementing a basic maintenance program, you will see the fruit of a church AVL system that when turned, on will produce the level of excellence, reliability, and performance you desire for your church.
Why Attend WAVE? (What makes us different)
The WAVE conference focuses on audiovisual and lighting first and is a traditional conference and expo with the best church AVL exhibitors and vendors in the industry. At WAVE, you and your tech team will have the time to talk with exhibitors because our expo floor is less crowded and better organized than other AVL conferences. WAVE offers the opportunity to see what others are doing and even boasts and church tour local to the conference. Experience roundtable discussions during meals and after sessions. Visit the biggest manufacturers in your area. Maximize your team’s time for education, training on equipment, and industry connection and collaboration. Lastly, WAVE offers incredible value for the education, exhibit access, networking, worship, and amenities for the price of the ticket. Lastly, we at WAVE want to see your church grow, help others find God, and feel personal satisfaction with their jobs by being educated and connecting within the AVL church tech industry. Register for WAVE today!