It is a chilly evening and I wish I had brought an extra hoodie. I clamp my jaw tightly so that I won’t shiver as my sister complains about the breeze.
Fortunately, we have almost arrived at church, where it will be warm. Our church is small; a brick building on a hill, the woods behind it. As we approach it, we dutifully cover our noses and mouths with our face masks. Our dad turns the handles on the white double-doors leading to the familiar church lobby. The two pastors are already there, chatting in the sanctuary, and after waving to them, I punch the code into the handle of a narrow door in the corner of the lobby and open it.
The staircase leading up is even narrower, with steep green-carpeted steps. The white walls have pencil marks on them. There is dirt in the corners. Once up the steps, we turn left into a short, equally dirty hallway until we reach another door. Dad unlocks it.
Welcome to the AV room!
Honestly, it isn’t impressive. Two computers sit on one side, a pile of CDs and cardboard boxes on the opposite wall. A little farther forward, you will find the switcher monitor at your right and the microphones and batteries at your left. There are small three computers under the switcher monitor, and behind them there are more boxes and dust and pieces of discarded wire. Another computer has been set beside them. Something like a glassless window faces the stage, and there is an audio mixer right before it, to its left a brand-new iMac and to its right the old one. Not to mention that there are several chairs that cramp up the tiny room even more. Did I say there’s more boxes and dirt? And when the program starts, there are so many features and “ingredients” to remember, and anything could go wrong!
And yet, I’m not saying these things to criticize my church’s AV. I’m telling this because, despite all its flaws, I appreciate it. Despite all the details to remember, cramped space, and overall untidiness of our little AV room, it is reassuring to remember the difference we are making in the people who can’t come in person.
It’s something that can’t be overlooked. People need Jesus.
This was written in October 2020 when my dad was still the director of the AV at my church. Now I don’t go to help as often as I used to, but I’m still glad I could be of help in the midst of the pandemic. I wonder — have any of u guys ever done AV?