This post is the second in a series based on the talk I gave at the Gurus of Tech conference in October.
As humans, we were created in God's image, to worship our God. Each weekend, we get to be part of the team that helps create an atmosphere in which people can connect with their creator.
Have you ever thought about it that way before?
What you do helps bring people into a closer relationship with the God of the Universe. That is a special and sacred calling; and not everyone gets to do that.
When we exercise our collective gifts and abilities, God takes it and does something extraordinary. He meets with his people and changes lives.
That guy who heard the message on forgiveness and decided not to leave his wife and family; you were part of that! The girl who saw the video from the mission trip to Africa and decided not to go to law school but head to the mission field; you were part of that! The woman who broke down during the worship time, realizing that she does indeed need to surrender all to Jesus; you were part of that! The family that came forward to give their lives to Christ and be baptized together; you were part of that!
How amazing is that!? Things like that happen every single weekend in our churches! Realize that God doesn't need to use us to accomplish His purpose—rather He allows us to participate in what He's already doing. It's like getting writing credit on a song; we may have only added one word, but we still get the royalty checks. That is our God! He lets us be part of this.
Our role is not at all unlike what Aaron and Hur did for Moses during the battle with the Amalek. Do you remember that story? It's found in Exodus 17.
Joshua did what Moses ordered—in order to fight Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. It turned out that whenever Moses raised his hands, Israel was winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, Amalek was winning. But Moses' hands got tired. So they got a stone and set it under him. He sat on it and Aaron and Hur held up his hands, one on each side. So his hands remained steady until the sun went down. Joshua defeated Amalek and its army in battle. (Exodus 17:10-13 MSG)
If the Pastor and Worship Leader are Moses and Joshua, we are Aaron and Hur. Without them, the church would not even be in the battle. Without us supporting them, they would grow weary and the mission of the church would falter.
Be encouraged! Don't ever consider yourself "just the sound guy," or "just the TD." You play a vitally important role in the mission of the modern church. Like Bazalel and Oholiab, you will probably not get a lot of credit. Like Aaron and Hur, you are there to support someone else's mission. But your role is vital—don't ever forget that.
Now I know what we do can be exhausting. Working in a church is tough, not only because of the long hours, the people challenges and unusual schedule, but also because of the constant spiritual attack we are under. The irony is that the better we are doing our job, the greater the attack. But Jesus said,
I've told you all this so that trusting me, you will be unshakable and assured, deeply at peace. In this godless world you will continue to experience difficulties. But take heart! I've conquered the world." (John 16:33 MSG)
We really do get to do this! But we can't do it alone.
I have a good friend who has been helping me hear from God much more clearly. We've been getting to know each other over the past 2 years, and have been in a more intentional mentoring relationship for about 8 months. When we started, he said, "Just so you know how I do this, we're not going to study a book, or even go through a chapter of the Bible. I usually just ask God, 'What do you want me to say to Mike today?' and go with that."
To tell you the truth, I was a little freaked out at first, but I can't tell you how many times he has exactly the words I need to hear. A few months ago, we were hanging out and in the middle of a discussion on guitar pedals, he pulled out the verse, "Where your treasure is, your heart will be also," and talked about how applicable that is to marriage.
Now, we've never talked about my marriage, or anything that's going on in it. But at that moment, that was a powerful word picture that I needed to hear.
I have no doubt that God prompted him to quote that verse, and follow up with some amazingly applicable comments.
Over the past 25 years of serving the church in technical roles, both on staff and off, I've learned many things. One lesson learned is that I am incapable of working on a church staff on my own. But with the help of the Spirit, somehow, in a miraculous and mysterious way, it works.
John 16:24 says, "Ask in my name, according to my will, and he'll most certainly give it to you. Your joy will be a river overflowing its banks!" (John 16:24 MSG)
We read that verse and tend to think it only applies to getting stuff. Stuff that God wants us to have, of course, but stuff nonetheless. But in context, Jesus was telling the disciples that if they have questions, ask. If you’re struggling to follow Jesus, ask! If you don’t know what to do next, ask.
Sadly, few churches expect or even desire their techs to be growing spiritually. They expect us to be masters of technology and capable of training volunteers with no prior experience to do incredibly complex and demanding jobs. But growing spiritually and in touch with what the Holy Spirit is doing? Not so much.
What I've found though, is that apart from the Spirit I can do nothing.
At least not of any significance. I am really good at developing processes and procedures, designing and installing systems, and using and training on all sorts of AVL equipment. I can do that. And that would be fine if that's all I was called to do.