WorshipGod West 2013: Called to be Faithful is only a few weeks away, and on-line registration ends June 14. I’m excited about the opportunity to bring the conference to the West for the first time.
One of the seminar speakers will be Darius Fong, a Grammy-award winning audio engineer whose passion is the Church. He wrote Debtcibel and also founded Audio Must Preach, an independent consultation company that helps churches focus on ministry and stewardship by removing audio related obstacles. In his seminar he’ll be addressing questions to ask before you spend money on sound equipment.
Darius graciously took the time to answer a few questions about his life and seminar.
1. Briefly share your testimony of conversion with us.
I grew up in Hong Kong with Christian parents. Although HK was a colony of England and a place with freedom of worship, churches are extremely weak and in many cases secular. Churches emphasized superficial morality and social activities. Lacking solid teaching, I couldn’t reconcile trying to be a good person and Christ dying for my sins. I sought HIS approval on my own terms and relying on my own strengths. Through my parents’ consistent prayer, faithfulness and discipleship, I began to change. I cannot pinpoint my exact day of conversion. But I can happily proclaim that today, Christ is my only love. To live is Christ, to die is gain.
2. Why do you think what you’re teaching on is an important topic?
I believe that church sound is one of the most important supporting ministries. Churches should strive to proclaim the gospel through preaching and music with clarity. Sound can be a great partner in doing that when it is operated properly and when it is not presenting distractions.
3. What do you hope will be filling people’s minds and hearts as they walk away from your message?
My hope is that people will walk away focusing on the core needs of the church in serving the congregation, and in stewarding God’s money in the area of sound. Music and sound often come with baggage of personal preferences and subjectivity.
4. Is there any passage of Scripture that sums up what you’ll be sharing?
Romans 10:14 “How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching?”
5. Can you expound on one point that you’ll be making in your message?
Churches most often ask about what they should purchase to improve sound quality. This is the wrong question to ask because 80% of the time, sound problems in churches are not equipment related. Profiting parties (consultants, distributors, etc) have conditioned churches to purchase more gear knowing that there’s a lack of resource within churches. Buying better equipment might sound like a better solution, but in reality, it only amplifies the lack of skill in operating the equipment.
6. How has what you’re going to speak on affected your own life?
Addressing the fundamental problems of church sound has granted me personal relationships with many churches across the country. I have been very encouraged by their passion to serve Christ.
7. Can you recommend any books, articles, websites, or materials on this topic?
I would encourage everyone in ministry to read Debtcibel. I wrote Debtcibel because I have found no other resource available that addresses sound for churches in a non-technical way and focuses on ministry and stewardship. It clears up many common understandings among churches. If someone is looking for an easy to read technical book , I recommend buying the Yamaha sound reinforcement handbook by Gary Davis/Ralph Jones. It is not too complicated to digest, and it has many useful resources and tips.
8. What would you say to someone who is trying to decide whether or not to come to WorshipGod2013?
I walked away from WG11 refreshed and encouraged. I was also amazed by how many insightful and practical seminars there were to help me navigate the world of music ministry. And of course singing and worshipping together with thousands of fellow music pastors is an experience not be missed.
Darius will also be participating in a sound panel along with Doug Gould, whose interview appears here. And if you’re still unsure about attending WorshipGod West, check out my 12 reasons you should come.