I started this in March of 2007 as a way to chronicle my journey and experiences as a technical director of a mid-sized church in Western New York. I had no idea I would write over 1,500 posts that have been read by people all over the country and the world. The fact that people read this at all is both humbling and gratifying.
Today, I am a Project Lead at CCI Solutions in Olympia, WA, though I live in Nashville, TN. It is a rare privilege when one gets to live their passion, and I am blessed to be able to do this. By working alongside a team of incredibly talented designers and engineers, I get to help churches with their AVL needs all the way through a project.
From 2006-2014, I was a Technical Arts Director, most recently at Coast Hills Community Church in Southern California. Like this blog, I had no idea I would end up here when I started running sound for the small church I was a part of in Ohio in 1989. Over the last 20+ years, I’ve had the great privilege to serve at six great churches, providing excellence in sound, lighting and video production.
My professional career took a parallel track, first in producing and running large-scale sales meetings for Fortune 500 and 1000 companies, then in the video production business I launched with a friend. We had the immense pleasure of traveling the country documenting the stories of God moving in churches, mission agencies and para-church groups.
My “two worlds” collided in 2006 when I was asked to join the staff of the church I was volunteering for. That was the beginning of my journey as a full-time technical director. Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to design systems, engineer and create content for those and many other churches. There are few things I enjoy more than helping churches maximize the use of technology to accomplish their mission, training other technical artists and encouraging my fellow TDs.
I have had the opportunity to speak at conferences, write for magazines and talk to experts in our field on our podcast, ChurchTechWeekly. God has had me on an amazing journey these last 25 years or so, and I’m grateful or the opportunity to share what I’ve learned with you.
**Important Safety Tip: Even though Mike is currently on staff at CCI Solutions, the views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the firm, though hopefully they will line up more often than not...**
To have Mike speak at your conference, church or local coffee shop, contact him here:
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Like many techs, I cut my teeth on live production in high school. From running mic cables in my freshman year to working behind the sound console on choir tours in my senior year, I caught the tech bug early. Out of high school some friend’s band got a record contract and asked me to help them get their shows to sound better. I spent the next six years mixing, booking, road managing and bus repairing. I also got the chance to mix for many other bands and events.
Starting a family and winding down my touring days, I took a job with my friend Pete Tessitore at his fledgling installation and live production company, PT Pro Sound. Those six years were a unique blend AVL system design-installation for churches, schools, and municipalities as well as countless live events and everything in between. PT closed its doors after Pete’s untimely death.
In 1996 I was asked to become part of the tech staff at Saddleback Church by then tech director Ken Robertson. I continued with live events and install work outside of my duties at Saddleback as well. After five years of services, conferences, and events, Ken and I headed over to Mariners Church as they were ramping up to expand the main Irvine campus. After building a 3000 seat worship center, an amazing kids building and starting preparations for a chapel, student building, and full campus renovation, I was called to South Hills Church. South Hills was, at the time, two campuses and in the seven years I was on staff grew to seven campuses and multiple affiliate churches across the country. In 2013 I was asked to become the first full time technical director at Magnolia Church. Magnolia was embarking on a full remodel of their worship center building.
During my time at Mariners Church the church tech community was just in its infancy. Dabbling in podcasting and blogging I started to connect with people like Mike Sessler and with the premier of Twitter the church tech community really started to form. As a charter member of both the Church Tech Director’s Round Table (CTDRT) and the Church Technical Arts Network (CTAN), now known as Church Technical Leaders (CTLN), I was able to meet so many amazing church techs from around the country. Since then I co-host the Church Tech Weekly Podcast with Mike and hosted the Church Tech Profiles Podcast. I am also a frequent contributor to SundayMag.tv and other publications.
As of January 2016 I am the Church Relations guy at CCI Solutions. My relationship with CCI started all the way back in 1996 and I have had the pleasure of working with this amazing team on many projects over the last 19 years and now am part of that team.
**Important Safety Tip: Even though Van is currently on staff at CCI Solutions, the views expressed herein are not necessarily those of the firm, though hopefully they will line up more often than not...**
Matt Lewis is the Pastor of Worship and the Arts at Beachpoint Church. Beachpoint is a multi-campus church and currently has two locations in Fountain Valley and Huntington Beach, CA with a vision to continue to multiply. With nearly twenty years of experience ranging from working in the entertainment business as an audio engineer, project manager and designer to a pastor in the church. Matt has a huge heart for developing and equipping artists in the local church to lead effectively, skillfully and creatively.