Did you know that the first mention of a church technical director is in the book of Exodus? That’s right, some 4,000 years before the first mega-church, we meet the first TD. You can find the story in Exodus 35, right as the Israelites were about to embark on a pretty large building project.
Starting in verse 30, Moses announced that God had selected a guy named Bezalel to lead the building. Here is his introduction;
“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.”
At first blush, he sounds a lot like a modern technical director, right? He was able to build things (sets, stages, tech booths…); work in multiple media (audio, lighting, video…); and work in every skilled craft (this probably relates to VBS…). It would be easy to draw a number of parallels between Bezalel and his team and what we do today. However, if we did that, I think we would miss the most important point. In fact, you probably skipped right over it when you first read that passage. I did.
“[God has] filled him with the Spirit of God…”
Before talking about all the mad skills Bezalel possessed, the first thing the writer wanted us to know is that the Lord had filled him with the Spirit of God. And while there may have been a number of highly competent builders and craftsman available at the time, God filled and chose Bezalel.
I find myself convicted every time I read that passage. On more than one occasion, I find myself behaving in a manner that would not likely be described as “filled with the Spirit of God.” I can come up with all kinds of excuse for it, but the reality is, I’m too often too busy with my current circumstances to be aware that the Spirit has better plans for me.
It’s easy for us technical artists to focus a lot of time and effort on developing our technical/artistic skills. It is our job after all, and given our collective personality, we have a drive to continually get better at it. But how much time do we spend cultivating the spiritual side of what we do?
Would people look at us and describe us first as “filled with the Spirit of God,” or would they first describe how gifted and talented we are a sound, lighting or video? As much as I want to be known for being an excellent technical artist, I think I would rather be known as someone who God has filled with His Spirit.
I’m writing this as much to myself as anyone else. I get up early, work hard and long, all to develop my technical/artistic skill set. But I often (far too often, if I’m honest) skip out on spending time with the One who makes this all worthwhile. I bail on spending time with God because I’m too busy working “for” Him.
The longer I do this, the more I realize this is a mistake. God doesn’t need me to work for Him, He wants me to work with Him; and the only way I can do that is to spend time with Him.
A few years ago, someone asked me, “What would happen if the tech department became known as the most spiritual department in the church?” It’s a valid question. What would happen? What could God do through us if that were true? What would happen to the church? What would happen to us?
It’s worth considering.