A few years back, I wrote a post about being a life long learner. This has always been a driving force in my life. I want to learn something new every day. My favorite days are when I have the opportunity to solve hard problems as well as learn something new. I know that seems like a very lofty goal, but it doesn’t have to be something big, it just needs to be something. We are not trying to prove one of Einstein’s theories each day, it could be as simple as a new keyboard shortcut that makes things easier.
I spent the first part of my professional career in the IT world, which provided lots of opportunities to learn and grow, but eventually I felt that I hit a point where my growth was getting limited. About twelve years ago, I left the IT world and started serving on a church staff. That role also provided many opportunities to learn and the amount of growth I experienced was immeasurable. While the growth in live production came quickly and easily at first, as my time in that field lengthened, the opportunities for growth became harder and tended to be more focused on leadership. Leadership is definitely an area where I had room to grow and didn’t have a lot of experience. However, you can’t really accelerate learning and growing in leadership by just working harder. Leadership growth takes time and patience and surrender.
For about the past year and a half I have been in a time of evaluation. When you go through that process you have things that you have to let go of and new directions get set. If I’m honest with myself, I have been battling letting go of my opportunities to grow technically and embracing a leadership focused direction. On top of that, I have been noticing the loss of talent and experince in the church production community and I didn’t want to contribute to that. However as I continued to evaluate, I realized that my efectiveness had been diminished and I was not going to be able to take my church to the next level. A change was needed.
Looking back, I realize that this road I have been on is a path that many church production guys end up walking. I know in my case I have such a heart for the Church, but found myself in a place where I felt that I was unable to improve myself or my church. I would bet that many of my fellow church techs have felt the same at some point. As I learn more about how God has made me, I realize that I was not done growing technically. I just needed to pass on my old dream to someone else and embrace a new one. One of my beliefs is that change is not hard, but I’m learning that change requires releasing a dream. This has not been an easy road, but I know all will be better in the long run.
Are you struggling through a dream that might be ending?
Where did the dream come from? I believe that God creates dreams and he will end them if they are to end. You shouldn’t blame those that are around you or have played a part in what’s leading you to think that it is ending. God gives and takes away.
Is it really over? If He is ending one dream I believe that he will bring a new one. If you have not received a new dream then the current situation might just be a road block that he will clear. No dream worth dreaming is ever going to be easy or a direct path.
So how do you work through it? Seek God and be open to his still small promptings. Continue to pursue the current dream until He has solidified your new dream. We are people who need dreams, never give up on dreaming!
It has been a little over four years that my family and I have lived in Texas. We moved here from Charlotte to work with a great team at Sugar Creek Baptist Church. It has been a great experience, but God is calling us on to a new opportunity. At the end of June we will be packing up the house and heading to Mount Pleasant, SC (a suburb of Charleston) where I will be joining Seacoast Church as the AV Systems Director.
I’m excited to see what God has in store for me at Seacoast. I’ve only spent a short amount of time with the staff, but I can already tell that it is going to be a great team to work with. Lots of new challenges lie ahead, but I’m looking forward to applying my technical and creative gifts.
We are really going to miss our family at Sugar Creek. What a great team of volunteers and staff to work with. God put it on my heart to work in technical ministry full time and SCBC gave me that opportunity. We have been so blessed to have had this season of life and pray that they continue to have a big impact on Sugar Land and the world.
When God leads, you go; to the ends of the Earth if that is his will is for your life. As it says in Joshua 24:15 “…But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”
Surprisingly this was the second hardest week I have had in this job and I really can’t tell you why. But God is good and services today were busy but encouraging. It is so easy in this job to get wrapped up in the technology and the issues and loose focus on what it is really about. I did a lot of work on technology this week, but none of that was very interesting or fulfilling. The trials of this week really help to bring focus to what I really enjoy: investing in people and being creative with in the limits that are in place.
We did make some technology changes this week:
- Added a dual 18″ sub. Our 15″ drivers are still being re-coned. I was surprised on how hard this sub could kick. It was not enough for the big room, but it was better than nothing.
- We upgraded from revision one Avioms to the newer version two systems. Wow what an improvement in sound quality.
- Refocused all of the stage lighting for the minor stage reset that we did.
- Finally got the lamp for the OS 600 light.
This is a big Sunday for the tech ministry at Sugar Creek. We are going digital. The Digico is installed and this will be the first Sunday running it for the services. All is tested and ready to go and John is charged with making sure all works correctly. Over the next few weeks we will train the volunteers on the job. I think that they will be back running the shows soon as they become comfortable. We have had two rehearsal with the digital system and both were successful and the musician said they can hear a difference in the monitors. We have not even installed the version 2 Avioms yet. More to come on that next week.
We have a new (at least new since I have been producing) CG operator for the Edge service…welcome Janet. The Digico took up a lot of time this week, but I did get to add some curtian slashes behind the drums. I’m really looking forward to hearing the difference in sound quality over the next few weeks as well as how the A1 take to the new system.
- Temporarily installed a 5000 lumen project on the ledge above door five. This projector had a long throw lens and I focused it on the baptistry wall, just for some more stage color. It looked pretty cool; I guess that it is called architectural projection. Have a look at the pictures linked below. I did get one complaint from the choir – that it shined in their eyes being that it was mounted right below the confidence monitor.
- Installed the cable for the switch to the Digital console. We planned on pulling it through the conduit under the floor but it was full of water. Ended up bringing in Vincent and his crew to walk the iron.
Here is a link to this Sundays pictures
Over the next two weeks we are greatly reducing production at SCBC getting back to the basics of worship. Because of that, I had time to focus on some office items I have neglected. But here is the changes for this week:
- Updated to ProPresenter 3.3
- Installed Leopard on both of the CG machines.
- Setup the Avolite software on my laptop and did a good part of the programming for this week at home.
Here is the list for this week…
- Moved the catwalk color scrollers to the down stage pipe adding a color wash to the stage extension.
- Hung the seventh scroller in the down pipe focused on the stage extension center.
- Moved the old back lighting back to the black curtains as architectural down light and gelled them blue.
- Started programming the Avolite Pearl using Theatre Stack mode and cues.
- Added new lighting in the drum shield. Two par 38 did the trick and I hope will not add too much heat.
- Thanks to the help of facilities we moved camera 2 to just right of center aisle. This will get us a much better back drop for video when Pastor is near center stage.
Tomorrow is light programming day.
One of my goals as a technical producer is to make weekly improvements to my ministry. So I figured that I would keep a log of what is going on. These will be short posts of changes. Might be interesting to look back over the year and see how for we have come. Right now I have been really be focused on getting the lighting in a better place. Here are the improvements for this week.
- Added pipes going from down stage to upstage just behind the front truss and going just past the first cloud
- Hung six source fours on the new pipe as backlighting for the praise singers and pasto
- Refocused all of the front of house lecos cross lighting for better coverage for pastor and praise team.
- Brought in a video engineer to review the system and he did some quick tuning. All of the cameras are much better balanced.