Skylark – Church Audio Video & Lighting Systems

Skylark Audio Video

Over the past year, I have taken on side projects to help fund Open Church. A few months ago, I was given the providential opportunity to join the team at Skylark Audio Video to lead their rebranding and ongoing communications.

Formerly known as AVi Worship, Skylark Audio Video was founded in 2005 by recognizing churches’ need for more attentive care and financially responsible audio, video, and lighting systems without compromising high-end performance.

Although young, Skylark is one of the few church audio video companies that LifeChurch.tv (Edmond, OK) chooses to work with. While popular among multi-site churches, Skylark also helps church plants take their first steps and 100-year-old landmarks overhaul their church audio while still preserving their historic character.

Skylark Audio Video at Oklahoma Baptist University

4 REASONS WHY I JOINED SKYLARK

What I appreciate most about Skylark is their emphasis on high performance, frugality, relationships, and the client’s best interests.

  1. High Performance Technology
    If you are going to get a church audio, video, and lighting system, you need an AV company that stays current, knows their stuff, and can turn all the talk into reality. While you should never base your decision solely on an AV company’s technical prowess, you should never choose one that lacks it.
  2. Frugality
    This is where Skylark really stands out. Some churches think they need the most expensive equipment or to build everything now for the future. What they don’t realize is they can almost always slash their expenses without sacrificing tech quality by choosing more reasonably priced gear and designing the church AV system for scalability and add-ons when needed. The opposite is also true. Penny-pinching to the extreme costs more in the long-run because cutting-corners leaves you with gear that can’t perform until you upgrade. Skylark gives each church advice on where to spend and where to save in order to meet their goals.
  3. Relationships
    Skylark regards their clients as friends and family. We work to understand how your church operates and then customize their approach to mesh with your team. The goal is to create less work for you and your organization. When the focus is on relationships and not a business bottom line, it is much easier to ensure each church is happy, taken care of, and using Skylark for years to come.
  4. Your Best Interests
    Making your best interests Skylark’s top focus doesn’t make sense to some businessmen. It means spending more time. It can mean sacrificing some paycheck to get you the best solution (not the priciest one). But Skylark does audio, video, and lighting because they love it, and they learned quickly that focusing on your best interests is Skylark’s best interests because it keeps clients coming back, and it helps the cause of Christ.

Before I joined the team at Skylark, Marcus Walker (the founder) and I had several conversations to determine if we were a mutually good fit. I asked, “What values unify your team and drive their performance?” And I love his answer.

We don’t say what are values are. They just are. What unifies us is the constant pursuit to be better than we were on the last job. The quest to learn more and do things better unifies us. We love our job. We are doing what we love and getting paid for it, and it actually means something.

FREE CHURCH CONSULTING

One of the ways Skylark serves churches is by offering free audio, video, and lighting consulting. No strings attached. You need a church AV system that meets your goals, fits within your budget, and works for your facility. We would love to start a conversation to identify what is the best solution for you.

Call 888-365-7770 to get started.

Twitter’s Popular Hashtags for Ministry and Churches

As Twitter has risen in popularity, so has its use among ministers to discuss ministry ideas, dogmas, and methodologies. Each ministry niche centers around a Twitter hashtag.

By definition, a hashtag is when the # symbol is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

But before you can join in the discussion, you first need to figure out what are Twitter’s popular hashtags for ministry and churches. Here are some common ministry hashtags:

Children’s Ministry: #cmconnect // #kidmin

@tijuanabecky
RT @jeffmcclung: Ministry doesn’t just happen in a office. It happens where people are. #kidmin #fammin #stumin #cmconnect

@SavedSister7
It all goes back to teaching the Word in a way that children can grasp & start being doers of the Word now. – @jimwideman #theClub #kidmin

Church: #church // #churches

@Jaredrdunn
Ministry Dream Team Attributes: Character (who we are), Knowledge (what we know), & Skills (what a person is able to do). #Church #Ministry

@WTJank
In the USA, there are approximately 400,000 #churches and 6,000 first-run theaters. Which do you think affects our #culture more?

College Ministry: #collegemin // #umin

@danwboles
#collegemin RT @chronicle Community college students who take online courses more likely to drop out new study finds chroni.cl/qoxByQ

@tapounder
It’s earning season in the business world. What would your earnings look like in ministry? http://ht.ly/5IUbc #thinkorange #stumin #umin

Creative Arts: #churchmedia // #crtvmin

@LifeChurchOPEN
FREE colorful background loops at http://ow.ly/5J7is #worshiploopwednesday #churchmedia

@whitneygeorge
Don’t make announcements, tell stories. Very few respond to announcements but stories connect with everyone. #crtvmin

Family Ministry: #fammin

@chrissprad
The more designer our lives, the more generic our kids seem to be!! http://ow.ly/5IGXr #kidmin #stumin #fammin

Ministry: #ministry

@rmKocak
“A life of prayer is the connective tissue between holy day proclamation and weekday discipleship.” – Eugene Peterson on #ministry #fb

Missions: #missions

@suechil
Hands-on missions projects for children. Click link for a list of missionaries & their wish lists. http://bit.ly/olGJUd #kidmin #missions

Pastoral: #pastor // #pastors

@PastorJoeDutton
#PASTOR you spend so much time encouraging ur flock & destroy urself in the office thinking “how bad u did”… Get free of that devil!

@ISS_Injoy
Unless #God moves in my heart, He will never get the best of my time, talent, and wallet. And I’ll never get the best of Him. #Pastors

Special Needs Ministry: #spnmin

@gutsygrace
Celebrate when your church ministers to families affected by disability but don’t turn them into mascot stories #SpNMin #kidmin

Technology: #churchtech // #citrt

@CrossWiredMin
Government shutting down hundreds of data centers http://t.co/rIrCtkQ via @cnet #churchtech #citrt #digitaldisciples

@JasonPowell
Server rack temps much more even after rack relocation & we’ve added no cooling into the space #citrt http://post.ly/2TULq

Worship: #worship // #sundaysetlist

@krayhall
Abba doesn’t care about sound systems, lighting, or instruments. He cares about your heart. #worship #fb

@paulbaloche
I get to lead tmrw. Lord reign in me, We are Saved (new), Lord I give u my heart, Joy will come #Sundaysetlist

Youth Ministry: #stumin // #uthmin // #youthmin // #youthministry

@brockstamps
“Average” should never describe your ministry or what happens in it. #stumin #aylacog #ayla11

@timothyeldred
“Quick to listen. Slow to speak.” (James 1:19). How would this verse applied change #uthmin? Please wade in! #stumin #uthdoingmin

@NateWorthington
Parenting tip #46: Encourage compassion over competition, especially between siblings. #parenting #kidmin #youthmin #familymin

@jbshankle
Realizing more and more how we model the kind of people our children and students will become #youthministry

What ministry hashtags do you use that aren’t mentioned?

How to Build & Lead a Creative Arts Team

Whitney George at Seeds Conference

At Seeds Conference, Whitney George of Church on the Move (Tulsa, OK), Pace Hartfield of Fellowship Church (Grapevine, TX), and Marty Taylor of Northland, A Church Distributed (Orlando, FL) gave a behind the scenes discussion of how they lead their creative arts teams.

WG: It is not so much about what you do as who you are. What are the personalities like that make up your creative team? Those personalities will shape your art.

MT: Each week, we focus on some specific attribute of God and we connect that attribute to some type of call & response for the church to act on that week.

MT: We don’t ever buy anything just because it’s cool. We buy something because it will help the message.

WG: You don’t do all the lights for the sake of lights. You do it to create environments for worship. God did the same for us when He created a beautiful environment for us to worship in.

PH: And sometimes creating the environment means turning the technology off. Sometimes that is most powerful.

WG: It is about using it in the right way. You always want to keep at the heart of what you are doing, “What am I trying to say?”

WG: When we opened our new auditorium, we asked, “What is the appropriate response?” We thought up a lot of crazy ideas but decided that the appropriate response to launching a new auditorium is worship.

MT: We find out 6 weeks out what a weekend will be and start planning.

PH: We plan 10 weeks to a week out, and sometimes start planning 6 months in advance. We start with whomever will be teaching. Ed Young Jr. will do a mind dump and journaling, and the create planning team will read it all. Then we meet as a group to talk it out. We leave more on the cutting room floor then in the final sermon.

PH: To as best you can, match the leadership style of your pastor. When your pastor feels that support, he will trust you more.

WG: I have to remember that God didn’t call me to run Church on the Move. He called me to serve Church on the Move. You have to make sure that mindset is aligned if you want to be creative.

WG: One of the main things about collaboration is that when start going up, you will see the fruits of that, the disjointedness, showing up on stage. The tech guys and the media guys and the worship guys need to be able to speak into the lives and process of everyone around them.

WG: During rehearsals, we have someone always watching it who is not doing it. That kind of feedback in the time you are putting it together is critical to a great worship environment.

PH: We always have to keep one hand free to adjust for what God wants. You have to be careful to never spiritualize your laziness. Don’t do things on the fly. God is in the details.

MT: I think the approach is greatly affected by how you view the video and the lighting and everything. If you look at the lighting as just another tool, as another worship leader, then it helps to evaluate if it is working together.

WG: Stop thinking of worship as one thing and lighting as one thing and production guys as one thing. They are all one thing together. They are all communication.

WG: Honor and serve. Start honoring the sound man. He is as much of the process as the person on stage. Serving them means respecting their process and putting yourself in their shoes. That relationship is essential.

Further Reading:
2012 Church Conference Calendar