Ask Me Anything!



Most of you probably know this by now, but in case you missed it, in about a week, I will be leaving Sunny California and moving to Nashville. Now that our girls are out on their own, my wife and I decided to head back east, a bit closer to home. We're very excited about the change and can't wait to see what God has for us on this next adventure. 

Van offered to drive out there with me and as we considered the possibilities of 22 hours in the car, it occurred to us that we should do something fun. Besides a road trip together. Something fun for all of you. So what we have for you is a chance for audience participation. 

You've probably heard of Ask Me Anything, something Reddit does with famous people. We thought it would be fun to do an AMA, or in this case a AMaVA (Ask Mike and Van Anything). Not only are we going to do an AMA, we're going to record it while we're driving. 

This is your chance to ask us questions. Collectively, Van and I have about 60 years of live production experience and 25 years on church staffs. It's safe to say we have learned a thing or two. Moreover, we know a lot of people, so we may even phone a friend, just to make it even more fun. 

Now here is where you come in. Go to our ask me anything page and submit your question(s). We already have quite a few, but remember we have 22 hours in the car. 

This is time-sensitive; we leave on May 28, so you're going to want to have those questions in by the 27th. Depending on how many questions we have and how long we talk, you'll be hearing the answers on ChurchTechWeekly in June. Maybe even into July... 

Thanks for reading, and don't forget,

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Mike Has a New Job!

Image courtesy of Mike Licht

Image courtesy of Mike Licht

Last Friday I told you I was about to make a pretty significant change in my work status. A year ago, I left the church staff job I had been working for five years and signed on with Flexstage, a small AVL integrator owned by Visioneering Studios (an architect firm). That year was everything rolled into one; good, challenging, educational, hard, long and exciting. And while I wasn’t looking to leave, when a great opportunity presents itself, I’ve learned to at least have the conversation. Or several.

The Big News

As of today, I’m excited to announce that I am now a Project Lead for CCI Solutions of Olympia, WA. If you’ve never heard of CCI, you clearly haven’t been reading this blog or listening to the podcast very long. I’ve worked with CCI as a client for many years, and they were an early sponsor of this website. Duke DeJong, a regular co-host on ChurchTechWeekly, has been crisscrossing the country for the last four years spreading the word about CCI. Duke and I have been friends for several years and have talked and dreamed about working together for almost that whole time. The stars have all aligned and we’re excited to see what is in store. 

My Role

As Project Lead, my role will be to own the project from the time it’s sold to the time it’s commissioned. That means system design, product specification, drawings, coordinating with the install and construction crews, commissioning the systems and training. Along the way, we have some great ideas for creating additional video content for both this and the CCI website, as well as covering trade shows just like we always have—and are doing this week at NAB. 

Not much will change here at CTA; I will still be posting on my usual schedule, and expect to have even better access to new products for testing and review. CCI has great vendor relationships and I hope to leverage that to help you make even more informed decisions on gear. 

My Location

While CCI is located in the Pacific Northwest, I will live in Nashville come June. We have so many projects throughout the midwest that it makes sense to have someone stationed there for better client service. So, come the end of May, we’ll be packing up the truck and moving to our new home just outside of Nashville. Once in the new house, I’ll be setting up the Palatial Studio 3.0; and it will actually be palatial this time. It will also include an espresso machine. 

The Upshot

So, if you have a project or equipment purchase need, feel free to reach out and I will do everything I can to help you out. If you need advice or a shoulder to cry on, I remain available to help as much as I can. My hope is that in this new role I will have even greater capacity to help churches better serve their congregations and communities. And, I want to continue to serve the technical community which has really become like an extended family to me. 

Again, I thank you for reading and look forward to another eight years of CTA. Oh yeah, CTA turned 8 last month. I sort of blew right by that as I was busy buying a new house. But yeah, 8 years. Wow!


Change is in the Air

Photo courtesy of Jeff Kubina

Photo courtesy of Jeff Kubina

I think by now most of you know that for the last year or so I’ve been helping churches in a different way than I had in the past. I left church staff last May and have been working for an AVL integration company called Flexstage. Flexstage is part of Visioneering, which is a cool architecture firm that primarily designs and builds churches. I was attracted to this company because I’ve felt for a long time that many of the problems we see in the architectural design of churches could be avoided if the AV guys were involved earlier in the process. Being the AV guy across the hall from the architects seemed like a great way to do that. 

And it has been. It’s been a great year. I’ve learned a ton, installed over a dozen systems, and helped a lot of churches do ministry better. I’m very grateful for the opportunity and really enjoyed most of the time there (hey, we all have bad days no matter where we are). 

As much as I’ve enjoyed my time there, a new opportunity has presented itself which I simply couldn’t pass up. Making a change again so soon was a hard decision as I don’t really want to be the guy who jumps from job to job trying to climb the ladder. But in this case, it was pretty clear that God was moving and things that we’ve been dreaming about for a long time were coming to fruition. 

So, as you read this, I’m wrapping up my time at Flexstage and preparing to move on to my next Kingdom assignment. I feel like this next opportunity will allow me to get even more focused on what I’m really good at, while taking some of the pressure off the stuff that I’m not as well equipped for. And if all goes well, I’ll have more time to develop new content for this site. We have a lot of ideas and I think you’ll be seeing some cool stuff in the coming months. 

Watch the blog next Monday for the official announcement of where I’m off to next. For some of you it won’t be a surprise at all. But it is going to be fun. Thanks for reading!

Today's post is brought to you by Elite Core Audio. Elite Core Audio features a premium USA built 16 channel personal monitor mixing system built for the rigors of the road. For Personal Mixing Systems, Snakes, and Cases, visit Elite Core Audio.

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