Church Production

Confessions of a Tech Director

By Travis Paulding
April 2, 2010 3:42 pm EST

Topics: Technically Worship

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I wear a lot of hats here at St. Simons Community Church. My job title is Technology Director. My role is WAY more complicated, as are most of our jobs. I am involved with everything audio, video, lighting, IT, software, graphic design, video production, event production, service planning, content planning, and a few other things I am missing. I like the multitasking, I like that every-day-is-different, I like the freedom & responsibility. What I don't like is how it has fostered a critical nature in me that can creep to the surface if I don't make effort to prevent it.

I am responsible for what happens in our services. So whether I am running front of house, producing, or making sure that our awesome volunteers are taken care of, I still find myself generally somewhere in the back of the room or video booth, critiquing. It seems that without it being specified in my job description anywhere, I am constantly identifying problems, errors, oversights and just things we could have done better. This is dangerous for people in my postion or similar ones because we can become generally negative very quickly. It is the nature of the beast I think. We just have to tame it.

I don't want to be the guy that only points out the bad things and neither should you. People will quickly discount what we say if all we ever have is a bad thing to say. Even worse probably, it will frustrate us quickly. If all we do is focus on the bad stuff we will stop seeing any good stuff. I had a real gut check recently when running sound at a youth event in our community. We have had some technically frustrating nights and followed that up with a few nights that SEEMED spiritually frustrating as well. At this event in particular everything went pretty smoothly, which is nice, but the big thing for me was SEEING life change. People responded to a clear message and call from God through our speaker. I stood at the console in the back of the room while two people behind me wept and prayed out loud.

There are about 1000 students a week there and lives have been being changed all the time, I just hadn't really even attempted to put myself in a place to notice. Actually, lives have been being changed by God long before I offered Him my amazing services. Lives were being changed before you jumped on board at your place too. Here is the kicker, God doesn't need perfect pitch, flawless transitions, a good room EQ, the right SPL and hyped up videos to move. He USES them to move and thankfully He allows us to be a part of that. We need to remind ourselves of that constantly.

In the long run we need to pray that God allows us to have a healthy viewpoint. A great help for me is John 3:30, it says "He must increase, and I must decrease." (Paraphrased.) The bottom line is that it isn't about you or me anyway. It's about honoring God. A day-to-day method for me is the good old compliment sandwich. You should try one, they are delectable. KEEP CRITIQUING. You have to be willing and able to evaluate honestly. It is important to always work to honor God by doing the best you can with what He has given you. However, every time you notice a negative, find two positive things about the event, service or whatever to report on as well. Sandwich that criticism between some positive review. Trust me, the people you work closely with will greatly appreciate it and they will PROBABLY start listening to what you have to say more often too.


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