by Rich Birch: The scene is set. It’s a Sunday morning, and the band is cranking through the second of a four-song set. You loved the latest Hillsong or Bethel song and things are moving in the right direction. However, at the back of the room is an individual you’ve seen before: the person who loves to say, “It’s too loud.”
Over the last 20 years of being a part of growing churches, I’ve noticed a constant din of people who complain about how loud church can be. Whether the music is blasting during worship or a speaker is simply turned on, these folks find a problem with the volume on any given Sunday. However, I’ve also noticed that churches that are growing and making a difference tend to run at a loud volume—it’s not an exception.
The reality is that if your church uses contemporary music to connect with and build up your community, chances are you’ve heard complaints about the volume.
I recently connected with executive pastors and leaders at some of the fastest-growing, most influential churches in the country to find out exactly how loud their weekend worship services are. As you can see below, a trend emerged: each of these churches tends to run loud volumes in their main auditoriums. Here’s a list of eight churches along with their speaker volumes in A-weighted decibels: