The new year is a time for reflection. What's working in our tech ministry? What's not?
I started doing church production when I was 11 years old. At that age, I wasn't sure what I would be when I grew up. As I progressed through different production environments, I found myself changing roles. I started out in audio, moving to audio and lighting, and eventually, I gained video knowledge. Then I utilized all these skills to become a production manager. Depending on the situation, I would morph into the role that was required. At first, everything seemed random, but then I realized I was following a model my parents had taught me. It was clear because it was a part of me. I was listening to the Holy Spirit.
Once I realized this, I decided to be intentional about it. I came up with a pattern to follow. I knew when I got older and started to settle into life, the challenges that naturally spurred me to seek guidance would start to dissolve. I would gravitate toward the easy and comfortable. I needed to guard against that for myself and teach my team how to utilize the amazing guidance God gives us.
How does this apply to being on a tech team and operating gear? You can apply this to every tech-related decision. Hear what the Holy Spirit is saying in everything you do: how you mix, what tech decisions you make, how to converse with your manager and what technical standards and protocols you set. Most importantly, listen to the Spirit for ideas and unique approaches to problems.
Every year, I ask God, "Is this where You want me to be?" Inside this question is a pattern. First, I pause, disconnect and listen. When pondering such major questions, it's best to find a quiet place, disconnect from all devices and tune in to God. It doesn't have to be a weeklong process, but the more time you put into it, the better. Daily is best, but life happens.
Make every effort to do this at least once a week. Set aside at least one or two days annually to put more energy and effort into the process. Enter into this time listening with your heart, your ears and your eyes. Sometimes what I see happening around me speaks to me just as much as what I feel. Reading the Bible is a part of listening to God.
Remember, everything happens for a reason. Take interruptions, for example. I used to get frustrated by interruptions to my quiet time. Then I realized they could be the exact answer I was seeking. Once I was looking to God for direction about our Christmas production. I was frustrated because things weren't going as planned. My stress level was building. In the middle of my quiet time, my son burst into the room and announced he wanted to go get a Christmas tree. I was frustrated by the interruption, and I started thinking about all the work involved with a tree, the decorations and, oh yes, the dreaded lights.
My son sensed this. He said it was not about the hard work of putting on the decorations but about being with me, his daddy. He didn't even care what the tree looked like when we finished. He just wanted to spend time with me. That interruption was exactly the perspective I needed for the Christmas production. God spoke through my little boy and changed my perspective.
Next, use your quiet time to establish a vision. This is a high-level, God-given guiding light for now and the coming year. Look for words that allow you to lock onto a mission to accomplish. You should have many missions throughout the year. All of them should facilitate the grand vision the Lord has given you. This doesn't only apply to your spiritual walk but also to everyday needs, work issues and church challenges. Many times, I have run this process and come up with helpful new ideas.
Finally, in running this process, there have been times I've come up with two missions and didn't know which was best. But I learned that almost every time, the most trying mission was the one I need to take. When I choose the hard route, I'm tested more and I learn more. This actually makes the next choice easier to discern.
God gave us a guide. He allows us to have a personal relationship with this guide, the Holy Spirit. He knows our every step now and in the future. Put the Holy Spirit on your schedule. You won't regret it.
David Leuschner is associate senior director of technology and technical arts at Gateway Church in Dallas-Fort Worth. He directs more than 500 volunteers and staff to facilitate several hundred events a month for Gateway's seven venues. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram (both @davidleuschner).
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