AV Techs Are Worship Leaders Too
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As I fly home from the National Worship Leader Conference in Kansas City, I'm reflecting on many conversations had over 4 days with old friends and new. CCI Solutions was honored to be a sponsor for this conference, getting the opportunity to meet many of the people we serve and try to help them be more effective with technology. I LOVE spending time with those who are charged with leading our congregations in worship! So many of these people are incredible musicians, singers and song writers, but it was exciting to me to see how many attendees were technical artists trying to learn how to better lead people in worship from a console or computer.
One discussion with a few leaders really struck me this week, and it started with a simple question: "How do we get the men in black to realize they are not just behind the scenes, but are as much a worship leader as those of us on stage?" I've long believed that every tech in the booth plays a key part in helping a congregation engage in worship, but this is one of the first times I've had a Worship Pastor attempt to convince me that the tech teams lead worship as much as he does. Little did he know I already agreed with him, I was just gathering some intel for a Worship Tools newsletter.
Pleading The Case
As I meet with churches, I often make the case that technical artists have just as much influence over the atmosphere of a worship service as anyone else in the church. Traditionally, musical worship leaders have been the main curator of the worship environment, but I think the day has come where the environment receives more impact from the techs than it does the music. I'm not saying one is more important than the other, but we've grown accustomed to calling the musicians and singers the worship leaders without including those who serve in the roles of tech. The artists who operate the sound, lighting and video control some of the biggest and most powerful elements in a worship service. We must begin to approach these roles as having the influence on our worship that they do. They also have the biggest potential for distraction; a critical reason to take their roles as worship leaders seriously.
The argument that gets made by some of my Worship Pastor friends is these artists aren't really worship leaders because THEY don't treat their role that way. Those Pastors are absolutely right! Traditionally, these roles have not been given the respect and attention they deserve, and it often starts at the source: the artist. Many technical artists today still mistakenly believe their role is to push some buttons for a few hours and go home, letting whatever happens happen. We need this mentality to shift in our technical artists. We need our artists to approach what they do from the perspective of leading people into worship.
Simply being a Christian artist doesn't make you a leader of worship. So how do you as a technical artist know if you are treating your role as a button pusher as opposed to leader of worship?
You are a leader of worship if:
- You approach serving with love and adoration for God and hone your craft in order to help bring others to the feet of Jesus.
- You care more about engaging an audience in worship with your mix than making it sound like a CD.
- You are passionate about getting the right words up on time to make it easier for every one to be able to follow along as the congregation sings to the Lord.
- You diligently work to create a visual environment that helps create moments of awe and wonder in our Creator.
- One of your goals is to do your best to minimize any distractions from worship.
It Starts With Me
As the role of technology in our worship services continues to have a bigger presence, we need technological artists who are willing to step up and become leaders of worship. The difference between being a role-filler and a worship leader is all about the heart. It starts with preparing your heart for worship, which prepares the way for others to join you. It continues by intentionally planning how you carry out your role, taking great care to choose methods that will invite your congregation to participate. It involves rehearsing your role in a way that will help more people engage with the Creator of the universe; and culminates when your worship, planning and preparation leads to the moment of a room full of people joining with you to love the Lord our God.
There is nothing wrong with being a button pusher. We certainly need people who want to fill a role behind the scenes and go unnoticed. But I promise you, the extra work as a technical artist is worth the planning and preparation time when, as you're worshipping our God, hundreds of people sing out to Him around you and you realize that you're helping those people connect to our Father. It's an incredible feeling to help lead people to that place, and it's yours to partake in. So as one of the men and women in black, you have a choice: help lead people to Jesus in worship or simply push buttons? Your congregation needs you to start looking at your role differently. It's time to be a leader.
Church Relations Director
Duke has over 14 years of experience as a technical artist, trainer and collaborator for ministries. Duke travels around the country for CCI Solutions and is available to help your ministry. Join Duke on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ccisolutions