I could feel the tension. There was a tech war going on. This rehearsal in a new church had frustrated musicians demanding EQ settings, monitor level changes and lighting fast reaction from the audio engineer. The stage was barking back at the booth. The booth was scowling at the stage. The “us and them” mentality was clearly present and one thing I knew I had to tackle as soon as possible. A full on Tech War was in place.
The Sound and Tech Team are Worship Leaders in my opinion as much as anyone else leading on the platform just as the architect who designed your church building makes a theological statement about your values. The leadership of Tech and Audio is a spiritual leadership.
We seem to value the visible and “above line” ministry functions far more than the ones these are built upon. There is certainly a myth that in telling our story the context of the setting is incidental rather than foundational. The partnership of technology to our ministry purpose means leading tech in this context is leading ministry.
Now, it is true that there is nothing inherently spiritual about a microphone, a mixing console, a sub woofer or the red LED lights that display on the amplifiers when the sound input is too loud. The same is true of the worship leader’s guitar or of the paper and ink the preacher’s bible.
I argue that the people who design the thickness of the Bible pages or the consistency of the ink are in a spiritual leading role. What they do allows a Bible to be held and used in a certain way. It still requires one to read it to be fully led into a spiritual activity, but with no Bible in the first place something greatly is lacking. With no sound reinforcement, the message is not heard.
We need leaders of innovation and leaders of technology to help tell the story of Jesus. Gear itself is just gear. Sound waves are just sound waves. But, a sermon delivered well from the study and heart of a godly preacher clearly makes those sound waves a ministry. The skill and heart of a worship leader on his guitar through a well-tuned PA can give hundreds a chance to offer their worship.
The partnership of technology to ministry is nothing new. Did you know that papyrus and ink are technologies? Or, have you thought of the fact that the Apostle Paul hired ships to take him on his mission journeys? Alone, tech is just tech. But, partnered with called people and a heavenly purpose tech is ministry.
This leads us to a simple questions here on Worship MythBusters: What do the people “below the line” do to lead worship and lead spiritually? Often, as a worship leader the main thing measured and judged is simply what is seen on the platform. The double whammy is that you as the worship leader are actually on the platform. However, there are those who serve along side of you who have as their main role to literally be invisible while you are visible. While the response to worship is credited to the worship leader, the best an audio person can get is to not be noticed.
So, how does the audio and visual tech team lead worship?
Host – Rich Kirkpatrick
Guest – Jeremy Blasongame
Clip HT: www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4JYM67IIUc
Jeremy’s Blog: Church Audio Blog