tech team job description

Posted: December 29, 2013 in Uncategorized

The Sundays when G and I serve as a sound/video tech team at church are some of my favorite.  Though we have to be at church at 8:30 instead of 11, the benefits outweigh that:  a whole extra round of worship music during practice time and a primo seat for watching and praying for everyone through the service.  

To me, serving on video tech is more than just showing up to run some Pro Presenter slides during the service.  To me, the job starts way before the service – before practice, even – and encompasses things far more important than tapping on the keyboard. 

It starts with time in prayer before I ever leave home – entering into worship before I walk in the church door.  It starts with getting there early enough that I don’t have to hustle into “work mode” – early enough for unhurried prayer once I’m inside the door.  It starts with praying through the sanctuary before it has begun to fill with people – with bathing the space and the time in intimate prayer. 

I am pretty careful to take notes during practice about the way the songs will be played.  But my job is more important than only taking and following through on those notes – there is the matter of praying for those who will be up front, leading.  Watching folks as they come in and praying.  Staying off my phone, staying in the moment, staying engaged as I invite and entreat the Holy Spirit to move, to heal, to blow through the place, to wreck people for boredom or even for just the ordinary. 

During the service, clicking through the slides is my job.  I want to do it in a way that doesn’t distract or hinder people – so that the words on the monitors flow in right time, so that no one stands, frustrated, wishing they could sing along if only they knew the words.  There has to be a balance there, for me – it’s easy to fall into perfectionism.  Take this morning, for instance – the heel of my hand bumped the laptop’s mouse pad and changed the screen from the song’s chorus to the first set of scripture for the sermon.  Perfectionist Karen would have been derailed by this – a whole room full of people just saw me screw up! – but a more balanced Karen only just does her best, and lets the rest go.  I saw the error, fixed it, and stayed in worship.  That’s what we’re there for, right?

Video and sound tech are members of the worship team, grouped in with those who are up front.  My prayer, when I get to serve, is that as a team we will enter in so completely before the service even starts that we are positioned to “open the door” for intimate spaces of worship for those who might not get there without a bit of leading.  Our job, I think, is to assume that others may well come distracted and hindered, harassed by the crazy things that happened on the way to church, sleepy, carrying the baggage of the week, wound tightly enough that they don’t quite know how to turn off the inner noise and hear from God.  So it seems to me that prayer should be no less a priority for me when I’m at the laptop in the back than on the other weeks when I’m serving on the prayer team.

Here’s a really fun challenge:  actually, ALL of us who know Christ are called to be “ministers of the gospel.”  That means whether or not I am serving on a team, I do well to show up already prayed up, already worshiping, already mindful of the opportunity to pray for and/or minister to others around me in the service.  Where this is a consistent practice, aren’t we all a little better off on those weeks when we get to take a turn at falling apart, getting trapped in a whirl of distraction, or just generally falling short?  Aren’t our churches safer and more welcoming?   

Just something to ponder, as we say goodbye to 2013 and invite 2014 to knock our socks off!

  1. Cindy Maynard says:

    Oh my! Well this brought me to my humble knees! I gave up the Video Tech position at church a few months back because I really wasn’t feeling “in it”. Wish I had had your words when I began the Video Tech team several years ago……should have been in prayer for myself, others, the congregation, the worship team, the pastor way more than I ever was. Maybe then it wouldn’t have become such a burden. 😦 I am sad that I didn’t see prayer as my source of power to do that job and do it well. Thank you for the lesson.

    • karen says:

      The awesome thing, Cindy, is that you can still cover your church in that level of prayer, no matter what “official” role you are or aren’t playing! Love the grace in that.

  2. Thank you for sharing this Lee, I just recently started up a video tech team at the church and this will definitely come as great help to them

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