This post is the first in a 4 part series. Last month, I was privildeged to speak at the Gurus of Tech conference. They shot the talk on video, but it seems they are just as busy as we are and it's not yet available. While we wait patiently for that to go online, I am going to re-publish most of the text of the messgae God gave me for that conference. I'm editing out the parts that only made sense when delivered live.
I would like to start off today by saying thank you to you! You are the ones who show up early every weekend and are still there cleaning up long after everyone else at church has been seated at Chili's. You serve in the shadows, often without recognition.
Too often, when you—the church tech—is noticed it is only to bring criticism. It doesn't seem to matter if it's
too loud, or too soft,
too bright, or too dim,
too hot or too cold,
too country, or too rock n roll;
you will most likely be the one who takes the heat.
Oh and when things go smoothly, it's the band who gets the credit.
But I know what you do. I know the dedication, the hours you put in and the effort you expend every weekend to create an environment where people can connect with God. I know you do it not for money or fame (I mean, come on, you work at a church!), you don't do it to be recognized, you do it because you love Jesus and want to use your gifts to serve him.
More importantly, God knows what you do. He sees your service, He sees your heart. And someday, He will reward your faithful service.
So thank you! Really, thank you!
Being a church tech is hard work and the truth is, very few people can do it. Even fewer do it well. When you serve the church with your unique skill set, it is a sweet offering to God. He is pleased with what you do and He is pleased with you.
A few weeks ago, I was introduced to a character in the Bible I've never noticed before. Has anyone ever heard of Bezalel? If I could, I would make him the patron saint of church tech. Like most of us, he was not well known, and only got two paragraphs in the whole Bible. But check out what God says about him.
Moses told the Israelites, "See, God has selected Bezalel son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah. He's filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and know-how for making all sorts of things, to design and work in gold, silver, and bronze; to carve stones and set them; to carve wood, working in every kind of skilled craft. And he's also made him a teacher, he and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He's gifted them with the know-how needed for carving, designing, weaving, and embroidering in blue, purple, and scarlet fabrics, and in fine linen. They can make anything and design anything.
"Bezalel and Oholiab, along with everyone whom God has given the skill and know-how for making everything involved in the worship of the Sanctuary as commanded by God, are to start to work." Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab along with all whom God had gifted with the ability to work skillfully with their hands. The men were eager to get started and engage in the work. They took from Moses all the offerings that the Israelites had brought for the work of constructing the Sanctuary. The people kept on bringing in their freewill offerings, morning after morning. All the artisans who were at work making everything involved in constructing the Sanctuary came, one after another, (Exodus 35:30-36:4 MSG)
I talk a lot about creating environments for worship; that's one of the cornerstones of our mission as church techs. And what do we see Bazalel and Oholiab doing? Creating an environment for worship! These are the guys who built the temple, the sanctuary where God's people could come meet with Him and worship Him. That's a pretty big deal, right?
It's not that different from what we do today. We may not be the ones who are physically crafting the building, but we certainly help create the environment. From getting the sound right to creating engaging lighting to making sure the right words are on the screen at the right time; all of those elements combine to create an environment where people can worship and meet with God. That's a pretty big deal, right?
If I were translating the Bible into a modern vernacular that reflected our current state of the church and its use of technology, I might write that paragraph something like this:
Rick told the church, "See, God has selected Chuck. He's filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability, and know-how for making all sorts of things, to design and work in sound, lighting and video; to build sets and arrange the stage; to edit video, working in every kind of technical capacity. And he's also made him a teacher, he and Larry, that other guy. He's gifted them with the know-how needed for mixing, designing, installing, and keeping equipment running way past it's useful service life. They can make anything and design anything.”
You are the Bazalels of the modern church! You are the ones called by God to make possible all those crazy, creative ideas you pastors, worship leaders and program directors come up with. You do it well, you do it with grace. God notices and is pleased by that.
It’s important that you realize that we are accomplishing one of the greatest missions ever. God is allowing us to be part of the life-change that happens every week in our churches.