Between my first two years in college, I spent three years on the road with a band as the sound technician. The mid 80’s were the heyday of “Christian rock” and I can’t count the number of times that someone snarled and told me that the sound system was just too loud.
Even though I didn't like the band, I longed to be bold enough to buy the Kiss tour t-shirt that said, “If it’s too loud, you’re too old” across the back. I knew that a Kiss shirt would be a worse idea than the backside message, so I never did it – but I thought it often.
The reality is that in today’s churches, it’s often too loud, but not just for the congregation. It’s most often too loud on the platform or stage which forces poor quality sound and higher-than-necessary sound levels for everyone else.
One of the primary issues affecting sound quality in churches is the volume wars between the platform musicians. More bass, more guitar, requiring more bass, which makes the drummer play louder, which requires more guitar and then more vocals.
If you’re having issues with the volume being too loud for the congregation, the worship musicians and tech team have to find a solution because it’s certainly not the congregation’s problem.