Provide Assistive Listening Systems (ALS) for your congregation and let people know that they’re available.
Many churches have Assistive Listening Systems (ALS) on premises, but very few let people know that they’re available. I’ll admit that ALS may well be the most boring category of product that we offer, but let me tell you about my own experience. A few years ago, my own church decided to install an ALS system. The church leadership debated its merits and whether it “was worth it to spend $800 on something that people may not use.” I’ll bet that sounds familiar to some of you.
The first day of use, we passed out just one of the four receivers to Mr. Borton, a 92-year-old man in the congregation who already wore hearing aids in both ears, but still couldn’t hear well. Our pastor had prepared well, our worship team was well-rehearsed, and the audio mix was, of course, spectacular with Yours Truly at the helm. None of that mattered.
For at least a couple years, Mr. Borton had been so deaf that he never picked up more than an occasional word, despite hearing aids, a good sound system, and sitting on the third row. A person had to almost yell at him in order for him to hear anything at all.
This day was different, and Mr. Borton’s first reaction is known only to the members of our choir who witnessed it. Before the choir’s featured song, the pastor called the children up to the platform to share a story. Only the choir members could see Mr. Borton’s face light up and his eyes dart back and forth as he followed what was taking place on the platform. After the service, he gave me a huge smile, a thumbs up, and each week after that, I looked forward to his stopping by to pick up his receiver and earphones. We got our “$800 worth” during the first service.
Have you ever listened to a hearing aid? I tried one once, and it was enough to make me realize that amplifying all of the noise in the room just makes the clutter louder.
How does an ALS work differently? An ALS is a simple one-way radio transmitter/receiver combination that allows the wearer to hear only what you want the person to hear.
Imagine giving your members the ability to hear only the overall message itself without having to amplify the HVAC fans, the ambience of the room, paper rattling and pages turning, or even the people talking nearby. That’s exactly what an ALS offers. Any signal that you can select from your mixer (same as the speakers, a special mix, or the pastor’s voice only) can be routed into the ALS with a simple cable.
Without a doubt, our ALS was the best $800 our church has ever spent on technology. If it had made a difference for Mr. Borton for only one service, it would have still been worth every penny.
ALS can also be utilized for language translation, by your ushers, and for room-to-room distributed audio for nursery and overflow space – wirelessly. Visit our assistive listening for churches page for a free demo.