I wear a lot of hats here at St. Simons Community Church and at the Gathering Place where I volunteer regularly. My job title is Technology Director. My role is WAY more complicated. I am involved with everything audio, video, lighting, IT, software, graphic design, video production, event production, service planning, content planning, and a few other things I am missing. I like the multitasking, I like the every-day-is-different, I like the freedom & responsibility. What I don’t like is how it has fostered a critical nature in me.
For instance, I am responsible for what happens in our live services. So whether I am running front of house, producing, or making sure that our awesome volunteers are taken care of, I still find myself generally somewhere in the back of the room or video booth critiquing. It seems that without it being specified in my job description anywhere, I am constantly identifying problems, errors, oversights and just things we could have done better. This is bad for people in my position or similar ones because we will become generally negative pretty quickly. It is the nature of the beast I think. We just have to tame that.
I don’t want to be the guy that only points out the bad things and neither should you. People will quickly discount what we say if all we ever have is a bad thing to say. Even worse probably, it will frustrate us quickly. If all we do is focus on the bad stuff we will stop seeing any good stuff. I had a real gut check this past week when running sound at a youth event in our community. We have had some technically frustrating nights this summer and followed that up with a few nights that SEEMED spiritually frustrating as well. This past week everything went pretty smoothly, which is nice, but the big thing for me was SEEING life change. People responded to a clear message and call from God through our speaker. I stood at the console in the back of the room while two people behind me wept and prayed out loud.
There are about 1000 students a week there and lives have been being changed all summer, I just hadn’t really even attempted to put myself in a place to notice. Actually, lives have been being changed by God long before I offered Him my amazing services. Lives were being changed before you jumped on board at your place too. Here is the kicker, God doesn’t need perfect pitch, flawless transitions, the right SPL and hyped up videos to move. He uses them to move and thankfully allows us to be a part of that. We need to remind ourselves of that fact.
So here is the take home on this, and yes, it will be on the test. Have you heard of a compliment sandwich? You should try one, they are delectable. I must confess that Stewie Griffin set the example for me. Anyway, KEEP CRITIQUING. It is important to always work to honor God by doing the best you can with what He has given you. However, every time you notice a negative, find two positive things about the event, service or whatever to report on as well. Sandwich that criticism between some positive review. Trust me, the people you work closely with will greatly appreciate it and they will PROBABLY start listening to what you have to say too.
So, anyone else feel me? Chime in with your thoughts and experiences.
Almost 6 Years later Travis Paulding is still the Director of Tech at St. Simons Community Church working week in and week out with the leadership and volunteer teams to craft worshipful environments.