Author: Lyndon Dueck


Stop Buying Coffee Mugs for Your Church!

“If this is your first time visiting our church, fill out the connect card and bring it to the connect centre to exchange it for a free gift at the end of the service.” How many times have you gone to a church and heard a statement similar to that? Probably every Sunday at every church you’ve ever been to. And more than likely, the “free gift” that they gave you was a branded mug, tumbler, or other product. Did you know that most of these mugs end up in cupboards never to be seen again, or in the trash? The truth is, No One Cares About a Mug with Your Churches Logo on it! Churches are spending hundreds, if not thousands of dollars a year on branded products to give to guests, or out as prizes in ministries. But the majority of people don’t care about this. The argument I hear the most is that this: “If they see our logo on a mug in their cupboard, they’ll remember our church and come back.” I disagree with this. When someone looks at this mug that they’re never going to use in their cupboard, are the going to remember to go back to your church, or are they going to remember how un-meaningful and impersonal this “gift” was. See the problem with branded gifts is that it’s just another way to advertise your church. If someone has entered your church already, you don’t need to advertise to them, they’re there! They made it! If they’re going to come back, its going to be because of a meaningful interaction with them, not because you gave them a mug with your churches name on it. So what should you give instead? Here are my top 3 “free gift” ideas for newcomers. 1. $5 Coffee Gift Card (Tim Hortons, StarBucks, etc) A coffee gift card has real monetary value to the person you are giving it to. It’s something they are almost guaranteed to use, and when they use it, they’ll be thinking of where they got the card from, and the kindness behind that gift. A $5 Tim Hortons or Starbucks card will go a long way then giving them an empty mug that has no drink in it. You could even include a note saying that you value them, and a number for the pastors to give them a call and get together to share that coffee with. It’s all about connection, and relationship, and a gift card to get a cup of coffee is a great starting point in a conversation to meet with a pastor or someone from the church to get to know them more. 2. A Bible The biggest thing I see is the impersonality of the interaction when a guest exchanges their connect card for their gift. Take a minute to ask who they are, find out if they’ve ever been to church before, and just get to know them a bit. In this conversation hopefully you can discover…


PSA: Single Awareness Day

Here’s a funny video for you on this Valentines Day Morning. Why being single is important. A PSA.


How to be a Happy In Ear Monitor User

Over the last 10 years there has been a slow, gradual shift to using In Ear monitors. The Church has struggled the most with this transition and it seems it goes slower and with more opposition. People are afraid of change, and most churches are pre-equipped with floor wedges, so “why change what isn’t broken?” I think this response comes from the notion of, “it outputs sound, therefore it works and requires no change.” From here on out I will refer to In Ear Monitors as IEM’s. Please note that these are my own opinions. I am not a trained sound professional but have spent significant time as an audio engineer and spoken to many IEM and Sound Engineer experts. While these are practices I enforce with my teams, they are by no means the golden standard.  So why the shift to in ear monitors? Stage Volume – How many times have you done a set and had someone come up to you after and complain about how loud it was, or how the drums were too loud, or that electric guitar player needs to tone it down a bit? The issue with wedges is they are so incredibly loud, and when you have 8 band members all with their own wedges, it produces so much stage noise. You try to compensate this volume by raising the volume of your main loudspeakers, but then you just have even more volume in the room. By switching to IEM’s you eliminate that stage noise and allow your sound guy to properly mix your FOH speakers allowing the sound in the room to be clear, at a proper volume, and not overwhelmed. Aesthetics – This isn’t as an important of a point but I think its worth mentioning. Having multiple large floor wedges on the stage is a bit of an eyesore. When you remove these wedges and switch to IEM’s, you clean up your stage a bit, and it just looks nicer. Keep in mind, not all IEM systems are created equal. Systems like the Behringer PowerPlay system still require equipment on stage which can get clunky and ugly. My personal preference is fully wireless and/or wired monitor belt packs where the control is from a mobile device (iPhone/iPad) rather then an on stage control surface. Click & Tracks – We’ve seen a huge surge of tracks being used in the church recently. If you are a touring band you probably use tracks often as well. Tracks allow you to fill out your band with instruments you may not have available on stage (additional synths, strings, drum loops/machines, etc). Tracks come paired with click, a metronome that plays in your ear to help keep your band on time. Obviously you want click to be heard by the band and not the audience so using IEM’s is the only way to accomplish this. Side Note: Any band that I have every played on/worked with that has used and embraced the click, has improved…


Behringer X32 vs PreSonus StudioLive Series III 32 Channel

Edit Oct 18 (again) I just want to point out that I am not a professional, and this is definitely a biased article towards PreSonus. I have been asked multiple times what I think about the new PreSonus board compared to other boards, namely the X32. Ive done my best to correct factual errors, but please don’t take this as Gods Golden Truth, this is simply my experiences with the two boards and how I think PreSonus is poised to become the new industry standard with this board (in this price range) unless Behringer can respond accordingly. If you want more detailed information on the boards I would encourage you to check the respective websites. Also I did not go into much depth with the DAW functionality of either board since 1) I have not used it much 2) PreSonus’ DAW integration is not yet available. If you have any other questions feel free to comment below or tweet me @lyndondueck and I’ll do my best to answer your questions and provide insight as to my opinions on both boards.  When PreSonus announced the PreSonus StudioLive Series III, I was ecstatic. I became a fan of the PreSonus mixers after using their Series I and Series II mixers. The tone and sound processing is what sold me, but the ingenuity and forwarding thinking to make it easy to use a digital board while still trying to stay relevant in the digital age were all factors that made me into a PreSonus fanboy. The only thing that I wished for was a bit more of a digital interface (The Series I and II are more analog focused) and some more modern features that sound boards like the Behringer X32 had made standard, so when the Series III came out I was eager to see if it lived up to the hype and if it matched to other boards that were dubbed “industry standards.” (Spoiler Alert, it did) I’ve used both the Behringer X32 and the StudioLive SIII so I’m going to go ahead and give my opinion and try not to be biased at all… For context, I installed a PreSonus SIII in my home church and use a Behringer X32 at Chapel Services at a Bible College and various other events. First Impressions Right off the bat the PreSonus gets a win for aesthetics. The Blues and Blacks mesh nicely to create a very visually appealing board, coupled with the fact that everything is laid out in such a way that navigating the board is easy, its an obvious win in my book. The X32 maintains a darker look with dark greys and less focus on colours except for coloured LEDs in some places. This may be of benefit to those who are looking to maintain a dark aesthetic, but to me it actually makes it harder to navigate. The PreSonus has a lighter workspace on the faders, and then a darker workspace where the buttons and LEDs can be found allowing for…