Our Neighbor – “Sound Man” Kirk S

By Amy Jo Steinbruecker on March 21, 2016

Sometimes volunteering can steer you to a new passion. Sound team volunteer Kirk S knew nothing about operating a sound board or the production of a music team before coming to Bloomingdale Church. Now, if you talk to him you’d know he’s one of those people that can hear things that most of us don’t hear. He’s taken on as a mission to improve the sound quality so our regular attenders and guests can get the best experience possible – whether that’s from the music team, drama team or the message. And since we have a teaching pastor who likes to shake things up occasionally with creative methods like speaking while riding his bicycle around the sanctuary, there is rarely a dull moment in his responsibility.

Kirk and his wife Amy Jo started attending Bloomingdale Church in 2004 when they moved into the Westwind neighborhood near the church. After one visit they were hooked. “By 2005 my wife Amy Jo was in a play with the drama team and I volunteered to do sound on an old portable system in the gym. Things went crazy, the power kept going out due to the lights we were using. I guess that since I came through that unharmed, they felt I could handle sound for one of regular weekend services.”

As Kirk learned more about the technology, he became more engaged. At one point a few years ago, he was between jobs and he took classes at Harper Community College in sound engineering and received his certification. He met sound engineers from all across Chicago involved in a professional organization and he did some work in a recording studio in the city.

Kirk and Amy Jo have both been involved with the high school youth group and teen mentoring program in recent years. One of Kirk’s most impactful experiences was going on a mission trip to San Carlos, Arizona with the teens. “It was an eye opening experience for me. I was invited to be the photographer, but it turned into so much more. I was hesitant to go at first, but I finally agreed (with a little push from Amy Jo). I was glad I did.”

Though he had attended Catholic schools and served as an “altar boy” in his youth, Kirk was far from a church goer in his adult years by the time he met Amy Jo. “My wife likes to tease that she had to drag me to church when we first started attending, and now she has to drag me out after church because I am talking so much to my friends.”

These days, Kirk is able to pursue his passion working with sound equipment as a volunteer while he makes his living in property management. If working behind the scenes on sound or screen is something you would like to do, find out more about it at bloomingdalechurch.org/creative. Kirk encourages anyone to try something new like this if you have the interest. Kirk did and has found it very satisfying.

Kirk and Amy Jo live in Addison, IL.