This morning I came across a wonderful essay from Mike Sessler, ‘the Godfather’ of church-tech podcasting and blogging, entitled “Only People Last.”
Mike eloquently describes the feelings of frustration he had when he found out that much of the hard work he and his team put in at a church has now fallen into disrepair and neglect. Mike reminds us that in church tech it is the relationships that matter. And it is the impact from those relationships which can last decades, or eternity, if we choose to use our influence to help or pour into others. Have you read Mike’s blog post? If not, click on the link and read it. It’s worth it.
I would add to Mike’s statements that if our goal is to pour into the people we serve with, that can be done equally effectively volunteering at the church food pantry, crisis pregnancy ministry, missions team, Sunday school classroom, or nursery, etc. The only difference is that we may come across different people than we do in church tech, but none the less we will come across people who could benefit from our sphere of influence.
If we accept the propositional statement above, then it may be logical to ask, “why then work or volunteer in church tech as opposed to another area?”
We who work in church tech have the unique opportunity to create art in the service of God.
Our role should not, is not merely utilitarian: make it louder, make it brighter, make it bigger; but rather to convey a message and meaning to an audience who will be more profoundly impacted by the message as a result of our craft, or our skillset being deployed artistically.
Some of us who work or volunteer in church tech have the benefit of working in mediums that last and will be viewed long after we are gone. YouTube videos, radio programs, broadcast television, and music recording, not unlike the arts of poetry (found in print), sculpture and paintings impact an audience even when we are not aware and well into the future for decades to come. Other mediums like sound reinforcement music mixing are more temporal, but no more temporal than an actor’s or musician’s performance on-stage before a live audience. And these temporal artistic impressions can impact someone for decades too!
I clearly remember my first Genesis (the band) concert, and my first Kansas (the band also) concert, and others. These events had a lasting affect on me not only due to the musician’s performance on stage, but the artistic skills being deployed by many craftsman who helped make the performance meaningful.
Mike, is spot on correct regarding relationships! 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.” True love does not exist apart from relationship.
However it is equally true that if we see our role as being a creator or craftsman of art, the impact from our sphere of influence will be greater and may last longer than it would otherwise, to be used for good (or evil).
I was recently reading in Revelation 18 where it describes the destruction of Babylon. One of the signs of Babylon’s destruction is “the sound of harpists, musicians, flutists, and trumpeters shall not be heard in you anymore. No craftsman of any craft shall be found in you anymore…”
Wow. Art and the people who create can have great influence and a important responsibility.
“Do you see a man who excels in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before unknown men.” – Proverbs 22:29
Photo attribution MjZ Photography