When I was younger, I wanted to be involved in ministry. I felt called. I wanted to give back and do something great for this new faith I had found. I wanted to respond to this great love from God that now made sense. Like most ambitious young men, I assumed that preaching and full time ministry was the road to choose.
From my past articles, you know that I didn’t grow up in church. We went when I was a kid, then we were asked to leave. Literally. They didn’t know what to do with my mom. That was around eight years old. The same church where I prayed the vacation bible school salvation prayer at about seven. Never knew what to do with it afterwards. Not a very spiritual bunch, very traditional.
We bounced in and out of a few small churches for a few weeks at a time. When I was fifteen, I followed some girls to church for most of a summer. Then I didn’t go back until a crazy preacher from North Carolina knocked at my door.
We had been in that house for a few months. Most of the local ministers had come by and dropped off church stuff. Most left quickly, after meeting me. Scruffy looking, long haired, skinny pot head. Yep. That was me. I didn’t seem very approachable. Go figure. Most practically dropped their brochures. None actually wanted to talk to me.
This guy wouldn’t leave until I agreed to come see his church.
We ended up in a little storefront church that Sunday. No sound system. No piano. Nothing. About 24 metal folding chairs, five other people and the pastor’s family. Nothing else in the room.
We show up like a hillbilly rock band. Me, my beautiful wife and a baby girl, my brother who looked as ragged as me and a huge biker. That was our contribution.
We all got saved in there. The pastor, Ed Wilson and his wife Cindy, spent the next several months teaching us that God loved us. “Preacher Ed” poured himself into us and laid a pretty solid foundation. His family and mine, ended up needing to move the same month. He went back to North Carolina, we went to Atlanta. Haven’t seen him since.
His influence, along with the other great men I have know, motivated me towards ministry. Again, I assumed preaching and full time ministry was the only way to do it.
In 1996, two different people changed my mind.
First was my pastor. He taught a sermon that challenged me to intentionally narrow my interests and master something. I was already heavy into the sound work by then. I was working with Larry Howard, assisting him in the studio and on the road. I wanted to be more valuable and qualified. I felt like I should go to school and master this audio stuff.
While discussing that decision with some missionary friends, the wife rang my bell. “Any jackass can preach, the kingdom needs men of skill.” Those were her words to me. So, exactly one year after that sermon, I started in recording school. The rest is history.
Actually, it was just part of the story, but that line sounded pretty cool right there.
The point of this ramble? The majority of church techs I know, don’t see their work as ministry. They want to believe their work matters. But, they don’t really see it that way. Trust me, it is.
When I was training techs, I made it very clear what their job was.
We are a support ministry for the church. Our job is about allowing the pastor and worship leader to walk up, do what God has sent them to do, and make it happen. The worship and message is to be delivered to that congregation without distraction and with precision. We rehearse and we prepare. We don’t make excuses, we produce excellence. Feedback, missed cues, silence, dead microphones, popping, interference, etc. Those are all things that can distract your church and interfere with the delivery of those messages. Once is a mistake, twice is not. Don’t allow the same problems to happen twice.
You are not using this ministry as a stepping stone to the better ministry or the real one. This is your ministry. Be where you are. Learn your system. Master this thing. Do it with excellence. If God moves you into something else, fine. But while you are here, be all in. Treat it like a ministry and it will be.