There is a good chance your church sanctuary was not built with sound in mind. Or, maybe you rent a gym, warehouse or some other type of building that is not sound-friendly. Either way, sound absorbing panels will definitely improve the sound at your church.
My church once met in a former grocery store. Every surface in the room is hard and flat: drywall, concrete floors and plastic chairs. On top of this, the sanctuary is about twice as long as it is wide, giving it a hall-like effect.
As you can imagine, this made for a sound nightmare.
If you clapped your hands, the sound would continue for about 2-3 seconds. There is also a frequency range in the room that reverberates 6-9dB louder than the rest of the frequency spectrum - feedback breeding grounds if the EQ isn't just right.
Shortly after we moved into this building, I began the journey of making our room sound better. After hours of working to get the EQ just right and days building and hanging sound absorbing panels, the room actually sounded pretty good.
To get your EQ just right, be sure to check out this post: How to Set EQ with iPhone Sound Frequency Analyzer. To learn how to make sound absorbing panels, keep reading.
Disclaimer: Always check your local building and fire codes to make sure these materials meet their standards. If you are using a rented facility, always obtain permission before hanging sound panels.
Want a printable PDF with materials and instructions? Get it here
The amount of sound absorption needed is different for every room. ATS Acoustics offers a Free Online Room Acoustics Analysis to help you determine how much acoustic treatment is needed in your room. It analyzes the aspects of the acoustics in your room using the readily available dimensions and surface information you provide.
I estimate the cost of a 2' x 2' panel to be around $13 (compared to $32 +shipping when you buy them already made). A 2' x 4' panel would be about $26 (compared to $55 + shipping when you buy them already made).