the ghost of productions past

I had the privilege to work with the stage team at Willow Creek this past week. As the weekend unfolded, it occurred to me that I’ve been serving with many of the same people for over 10 years. I never like to admit that I’m getting older, but there was also someone on the team that I’ve been working with for 20 years almost exactly. Yikes!

Taco Bell Drive Thru SignNow for those of you who are still young, you don’t know what its like to start saying a sentence like “Remember that time in 1994 when we…” It is difficult to come to grips with the passage of time.

On the other hand, to able to get to work with great people for long stretches of time is pretty incredible. As I think about the production teams I been able to serve with, it is truly amazing how long we’ve been able to work together.

You can imagine that much of the conversation from this weekend was about reliving some memory of a crazy event from the past. That one Christmas with the creepy puppet. Or that time we drove the 48” trailer through the Taco Bell Drive-Thu. Or when we fly a drone around the auditorium.

As we were laughing or cringing at something we’d done together, I realized that most of what we talked about was made more amazing because we had done them together. Thinking back on some of my most favorite moments as a church production person, it has been about who I was doing it with, not necessarily the thing itself.

Whether it was a great memory, or a not so pleasant one, they were all made more sweet because of the people I’ve been able to share them with.

There is no question to me that calling people to something bigger than themselves is super important in what we do. If we didn’t, there would be no reason for us to be together; we wouldn’t need all of us to accomplish something simple and easy. But once you get past this fact, it becomes about how we treat each other, and the investments we make in each other, and how we honor volunteers in the process of creating something huge together.

Building into relationships matters. Creating an environment where people can serve long term is, I think what God had in mind.

A place where people can invest in others and feel invested in; all while doing some amazing production together. Amazing production is cool, but doing it with people you love to be with makes the amazing productions worth doing for the long haul.

For those of you reading this who’ve shared some of these memories with me, I’m so grateful for the way God has been able to us our gifts and talents together in community for the sake of the local church. I’m looking forward to even more opportunities in the future.

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