a digital mixer is much harder to use and train people on. often it comes off as intimidating. I have been doing sound for 8 years and playing for 4. I love using analog boards. much better if your church is smaller. hope i helped
Digital mixers can be a bit intimidating, but they make everything easier, if used correctly. The LS9 is a fantastic platform. What you might consider is hiring a part time sound guy - somebody to be the lead on your AV systems who can then focus on recruiting and training. A church your size should probably have one already. Ours is just hitting the 2k marker - and we have had a professional sound person for probably three or four years now. As a double bonus, he just went full time this last spring.
He handled all Sound, A/V, and IT functions at the church. Part of the church's growth plan includes excellence in their worship offering to God in all areas, including audio. So they made a few sacrifices to have a paid and professional sound crew early on. It has paid off well for them as they don't have the sound problems that plague most churches.
Great quality sound is probably more important than the quality of the message and music itself. Because if the message isn't being delivered in a way that people can listen to it comfortably, many people will find someplace else to worship.
Sadly, many churches don't admit to this fact and short cut their sound crew and congregations with inadequate equipment, including acoustical treatments, and training for the sound crews. The consequences are steep.
The trouble with a lot of digital desks is you have to navigate lots of menus to get to what were once easily accessible parameters. If you don't know what menu you're in, or where to find what you need to access, it can sometimes be a nightmare. I'm not a big fan of the Yamaha digital desks for this reason.
We recently changed from analogue to digital. We went for a Mackie TT24 which is awesome because there are so many routing options and it has a very analogue feel to it. It can be configured so you don't have to be switching between fader banks and the most number of button touches to access any parameter is only two. It is also made much easier when connected to a computer, so you can easily see the settings on screen and adjust with the mouse if not the console itself.
I found that this desk was fairly easy to train those used to analogue desks. I've also found that it is easier to train people on this desk from scratch (those with no pa experience at all). They seem to learn quicker because they don't know the differences between analogue desks and the way our digital one works, so no confusion.
If you're interested here's a link, and I highly recommend it for those looking for a suitable digital live desk:
We have had that problem and we are now finally looking to hire someone to run the LS9 as a part time position. We are a church of about 600 and have 2 services on Sunday plus a Thursday rehearsal and it's time to get someone in that knows what they're doing. Question is what to pay them.
This ia a good idea - even if all you have is an analogue desk. If your church is growth oriented, sound is one of the most important investments you'll need to make.
As for pay - good question. I live in Topeka, Kansas, just show up Sunday morning for three or four hours, no rehearsal, no maintenance, you might be able to get away with as little as 100-200/wk. Start asking them to be at rehearsal, train volunteers, do maintenance and purchase recommendations, it goes up from there. Again, in Topeka, Kansas part time 20hr's /wk you are looking at no less than 250-300/wk with paid time off.