easter tired

Here’s a quick encouragement from a leader of my church, that I think can apply to all of you who are killing it this weekend:

You guys have a heavy lift and make it look easy to the rest of us who get to simply enjoy it. What you guys do contributes so critically to how people experience church and therefore often how they experience God. Big responsibility, and thank you for stewarding it so well!

That feeling of tired means that you are making the powerful message of the Gospel available to countless people who need it.

Way to go.

say thanks

I was at a rehearsal for Easter the other night, and noticed that there was a meeting happening in a room near by.  Without staring through the window in the door, I could tell that it was our Elder board meeting.  Throughout the night, I kept passing this room and they were still in there, meeting.

4759535970_a0d6f918df_bNot unlike the volunteers in produciton, here are a group of people that are volunteering their time and are staying late and missing time with their families. Yet I was struck by the intensity of this kind of volunteering,  to help guide and direct our church, as well as the time and mental commitment it requires of the people who take on this task.

I am pretty sure that I have never thanked any of our elders for what they do.  If I think I’m behind the scenes, this group is probably even more so.  And different from volunteering in production, where you are changing batteries in the wireless mics, these people are responsible for the spiritual health of our congregation.  Whoa!

Many times, the nitty gritty parts of leadership are thankless.

When was the last time you thanked someone in leadership at your church?

During the run up to Easter, take a few minutes to thank someone in leadership for all they do.



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martin luther and the perfect mix

The cobbler praises God every time he makes a decent pair of shoes.

I read this quote a few weeks ago.  It is attributed to Martin Luther…you know, the guy who helped kickstart the reformation.  Using the interweb, I went looking to see if he actually said this, and I only found anecdotal evidence.  Instead of spending any more time looking, it seemed like it was time to just write what I was thinking about it, since it is a great idea, whether or not Martin Luther said it or not.

As a technical artist in the local church, it is real easy to lose sight of the fact that what I do matters.  And it doesn’t just matter from the standpoint of executing a service flawlessly, or helping to create an environment where people can experience God.

The reality of Herr Luther’s statement is that doing what God created me to do and doing it well, is an act of worship.  My personal act of worship.  Martin Luther talked about a guy making shoes.  I’m talking about those of us behind the sound board, or backstage, or editing videos.

God doesn’t create all of us to be on stage leading people in worship, or teaching God’s word for our congregations.  Most of you who read this blog are behind the scenes.  For most of us, it is easy to assume that we do all this work for the sake of other people, so they won’t be distracted and can worship freely.

While true, it is just a shadow of the truth.  So many times, technical artists that I talk to end up worshipping excellence or the perfect mix; the goal of their art form is the art or the technology itself.  There is so much more to what we are doing.

God created us as technical artists to worship him.  By practicing our art with excellence, by creating the perfect mix, when editing the next video we were designed for  worshiping God.

What motivates you?  Is it the technology?  Is it facilitating worship for others?  Is it using how God has made you to return worship to him?

what works today may not work tomorrow

OK, I promise this is the last post about 37signals.com’s values, mostly because it is their last value…long-term contracts are obscene.  Check this out:

No one likes being locked into something they don’t want anymore. Our customers can cancel at any time, no questions asked. No setup/termination fees either.

5553480697_bc32ed241b_bWhile those of us involved in the technical arts in the local church don’t really deal with contracts in the same way, I love the heart behind this value.  It doesn’t make any sense to develop a system or a process or a product, and then make people use it, even when it ceases to meet the needs of the moment.

As the person that needs to figure out how to get ideas turned into actual things, it can be really easy to want to lock in that idea early, so that I can have time to get it done.  Over the years, I have gotten so attached to something I have been working on, that I will hang on to it even after it has ceased to be useful.

Whether it is a meeting schedule or a process for getting ideas brainstormed or how our production meetings are structured, I have noticed that it is very easy to get attached to these things.  Not because they are useful anymore, but because that is how we do things.  This gets us into having a “contract” that we’ve locked our “customers” into, even though it doesn’t serve their current needs anymore.

We always do it that way. 

Does anyone know why we do that?  Is it time to re-examine some of the “givens” that we have been working under?  It might turn out that there are great reasons for some of what we do.  It might also uncover the fact that we have a process that is outdated and needs to be re-imagined.

At the baseline, production exists in the local church to support the ideas of the service creators.  Are we set up to support these ideas or are we set up to support the ideas of another era?

If our processes and “contracts” aren’t what people need any more, why still doing them?  When was the last time you looked at how you are doing things and really evaluated their effectiveness?


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