I carry our chapel program in my van.  Each week, The Special Gathering of Indian River meets in two locations.  Saturday, we are in Vero.  Sunday, we are in Melbourne.  In addition, there are chapel programs that meet on Sundays in Cocoa and Titusville.  There are other programs that meets in South Carolina and Jacksonville.  During the week, two Volusia programs meet.

Over the years, we’ve all learned a few things about equipment survival and self-preservation when you carry church with you.  I say self-preservation because there is nothing more defeating than arriving at your program only to find that you have left a vital piece of equipment somewhere across the state.

Here are a couple of things we have learned over the years:

  1. If possible have more than one set of equipment.  Ask the facility you are borrowing, if you can use a locked closet to store your equipment.  This is the optimum way to travel from one venue to another.  However, this is the most tricky because you must have a great working relationship with the church or owners of the facility to merit this kind of favor.
  2. Barring this, do not attempt to transfer your equipment from your car or van each week. 
  3. Make your trunk or the back of your van your equipment storage unit. 
  4. Eliminating the number of times you must move the equipment also eliminates the number of times you will leave an amplifier or a microphone in a place it should not be.
  5. Purchase the best equipment you can afford.  Buying cheap doesn’t pay in this regard.  Moving your things from one place to another is difficult, especially on delicate sound equipment.  Therefore, purchase the best you can afford.
  6. The Fender company has a portable sound station that includes a good quality sound board, amplifier and speakers.  There is even a microphone included.  This is built sturdy enough to withstand most abuse you can thow at it.  We have found nothing like it in the world of sound.  It isn’t cheap but it also isn’t expensive for what you get.
  7. Personally check and recheck your equipment each time you leave one place to travel to another.  I check the equipment in my van.  Then I also go back into the building and check to be sure that all my wires and mikes and stuff is gone from the building.
  8. Learn the things you are most likely to leave somewhere.  Be sure that you also recheck that one thing that seems to hid from you when you are transferring your equipment.  It is usually a small things.  For me it is an electrical wall adapter or my offering plates.  If possible, try to have spare of this piece of equipment that you carry with you. 

Leading a chapel without walls can be exciting and frustrating.  Eliminating as much of the frustration as possible will make it even more exciting.

What are some of the ways you’ve learned to make your life traveling easier?  What is the thing you lose most often?  What can you do to eliminate the frustration of lost stuff?