A critical relationship in the church world is the one between the worship leader and the audio engineer. The relationship is essential in creating a distraction free environment, and can also develop into a covenant friendship with time, trust and communication.
From the audio engineer side of things, the better your communication and relationship with your worship leader, the better your mix will become. It is vital to remember that the two of you are on the same team. In fact, the audio engineer can be considered just another band member; he or she just plays a different instrument. The engineer is the last one to touch the mix before the congregation hears it.
Rehearsal time is precious time and allows you to have all you need in front of you to create a distraction free environment.
In order to create an optimal rehearsal zone for your worship leader, and the team, you should be the first one there and have everything up and ready for the band to begin.
Doing this shows your respect for the worship leader, and also honors their time and makes them feel valued and appreciated. Being prepared for rehearsal allows your time with the band to become more efficient. It permits you to focus on creating one sound with all the individual moving parts of the worship set, without being concerned with the minor things that can be taken care of prior to the start of rehearsal.
During rehearsals, honor and respect the authority of your worship leader. If there is a band or vocal issue that needs addressing, communicate with the worship leader alone on this and allow them to teach and refine their team. On our team we spend time at the end of rehearsal checking in with each worship member, as well as the worship leader, to ensure everyone is comfortable and prepared for services. By doing this, you are showing that they are important and that you value them and their talents. This not only builds trust with the team, but also allows them to confide in you as the audio engineer.
Cultivating the relationship between you and your worship leader will take intentional time.
This can be a weekly coffee visit or finding an activity you have in common. Get to know each other on a personal level and pray for each other. Strive to know your worship leader so well that you can tell by their body language or facial expressions when something needs to be adjusted or if there is a problem. As the audio engineer you are the least distracting person to help him if a situation arises.
You are viewing the room from the back and the worship leader is viewing the room from the front, this allows you to have a 360-degree audio view of the room. When the relationship between you and your worship leader is strong, and you are working together towards one goal, you are opening the door to a distraction free environment allowing God to move in the service. We are on ONE team, focused on ONE goal, and serving ONE God.