Since my life seems to be in constant state of flux the last couple of months then why shouldn’t my blog as well? The blog at this location will cease to exist soon. You will now find the blog at www.mediaministry.org/blog It may not be pretty right now. I’m working on it when I get some free time but that is not very often these days. This will probably be my last post at this WordPress hosted location. See you over there!
What an awesome day! I learned a great deal on the equipment side of things today. I had a nice conversation with Karen Russell with inside sales for TRG. I learned something new from a Leviton representative about adjustable ellipsoidal fixtures and what they have to offer in dimmer packs and controls. I think I was finally sold on digital consoles today as well. I had been thrust onto a M7CL console last spring and pretty much was able to use it like an analog board but Daniel Craik, Product Manager for Yamaha, took the time to show exactly what this baby was capable of doing. I was hooked. I know that my church is not ready for this kind of commitment but a LS9 is not out of the question.
Two sessions really stand out today. The first was the technical general session in which the speaker was Chuck Walthall who is a consultant, a professor and the author of Sound Made Simple. Chuck spoke on the difference of hearing and listening. To hear, all you need is ears but to listen you need the ear connected to the brain. This session also covered the ground of listening to complaints about sound instead of dismissing them and listening to what vocalist, musicians and worship leaders are saying instead of not coming to a common ground of understanding. He also used the scripture of James 1:19-20 which says that we should be quick to listen and slow to speak or become angry. We’ve all been there. That disconnect between the sound guy and the worship leader. The sound guy not understanding why the worship leader can’t be more organized and the worship leader not understanding why the sound guy can’t be more flexible. In all actuality the worship leader could be more organized and the sound guy could be more flexible. It all boils down to communications and building a relationship. First of all, both need to come to the realization that they want the same thing and that is a worship service void of distractions and purveys the message to the congregation. Secondly, worship leaders need to understand the limitations of the gear you have and they won’t know until you tell them and the sound guy needs to understand the creativity of worship leaders doesn’t just turn off like a switch. It is an “always on” setting. When you understand what each other is capable of, then you can work together to make worship as near perfect as can be achieved on this earth. All of this was manifested in the joint session led by worship leader Eric Hamsho and technical director David Burton in which they spoke about how they accomplish this at Providence Baptist Church.
Speaking of Providence Baptist Church. They were the host church for this conference. They are the epitome of getting in done with what you have. What an awesome media team that has been assembled. They were not hesitant at all to open up and show you what they got and what they do. You tech guys know we are somewhat territorial by nature so I really appreciate this team sharing their space with us. I want to thank David Burton, Tim Haas, Neil Harrington, Phil the cameraman and the rest of the media ministry at Providence Baptist for their hospitality, conversation, fellowship, sharing and their servant’s heart.
Last but not least and I’m not sure if it was impromptu or not but we had one last worship set from Travis Cottrell and friends that left the place in total silence, heart bare before the Lord and wanting to stay in that moment forever. Awesome!
Lastly was the big prize giveaway and there was some nice gear that went out the door. Man, Midway Baptist in Raleigh really cleaned up. I think they had three individual winners and all of them got something for having the most attendees. Congratulations to them, really, I mean it.
Very small conference but I think I prefer that to the huge events. I know the vendors and manufacturer reps are not that thrilled but the sessions are better and the worship sets are that much more intimate. I had a great time. I wonder if my church would spring for a trip to Clearwater, FL for the next one? And since I’m dreaming, how about our whole media ministry team going? It could happen.
I just realized after posting that this is my 2nd anniversary of blogging! WOW! Time flies when you are having fun. I look forward to many more years of blogging on that for which I am called and that would be using the mediums of audio, video, lighting, publications, web and any other technology that may arise to make Jesus known and make disciples of Him.
The Fusion conferences are designed to bring a worship conference and a technical conference and fuse them together. Very similiar to what Seminars 4 Worship is now doing with there technical track. Which I believe is the way it should be. Too often technical directors and worship leaders are at odds at each other and never take the time to see where the other is coming from. Conferences like this expose this dilemma and take it head on. Your toes are not only stepped on, they are stomped all over. The highlights of the day were Travis Cottrell, Travis Cottrell and Travis Cottrell. Travis leading opening worship. Travis as keynote speaker. Travis in concert. Travis Cottrell hails from Boone, NC but has a very classical voice. If you like performances from vocalist such as Josh Groban or Andrea Bocelli then you will love to hear Travis lift praise and worship to the only One worthy of worship and praise. Actually the ladies have probably known about Travis for some time since he has been worship leader for Beth Moore conferences for 10 years. I had the privilege of mixing for Travis a couple of years ago and I learned of this very special servant of God. For a sample of Travis Cottrell music visit his website at http://www.traviscottrell.com/main.html Opening worship for the conference and the concert tonight were an awesome time of lifting our hands and voices in praise to our Almighty God. Travis is first and foremost a worship leader. You can’t help but feel in the presence of God with Travis letting God’s message flow through him. That is not just in song either. The keynote address this morning carried this very important message from God to me. Serve each other in love! This is a message that has been given to me before but I needed it again. Travis struck a chord when he said, “It is hard to stay angry with someone when you are praying for them.” I know many of you technical directors, media ministers, sound guys and gals or whatever it may be that you do need to get in the presence of God right now and pray for your worship leader, your choir director, your senior pastor, or whoever it may be that just doesn’t seem to get it. Another great point that was made today is that we should moreover be humble servants than to seek recognition or seek to be justified in our position. I know! I have been there! You want to prove that you are right! Jesus was right but said not a word when taking on our sins. Jesus said that He had come to serve! We also should seek to serve others in love. Thank you Travis for being a vessel.
I recently visited Texas but have not really had a chance to break in down into something of use for this blog since the trip was for my day job. But I do have a few thoughts to share:
- Southern hospitality is not dead in Austin, TX. I was pleasantly suprised at how friendly everyone was with which we came into contact. It use to be like that in the Charlotte area but not so much anymore. Changing that starts with me.
- I didn’t realize that one of my favorite production houses, eleven72, was out of Austin until I got back home. I would have loved to get into contact with them.
- I met this big star while I was there.
One of the things that really grabbed me had nothing to do with Texas but with the hotel in which I was staying. I kept seeing “Everything for a Reason”. What an awesome philosophy for running business but also applies to ministry. Our purpose in ministry is to bring glory to God first and foremost and fulfill the great commission of making disciples. How often do you go through your procedures or ministries in the church as a whole and ask what reason do we have of doing this? If the reason does not fit the vision of your leadership, bring glory to God and foster discipleship then it should be eliminated.
Everything for a reason; think about it.
Over a year ago I was talking to some of you about a complete new web site for our church. Due to my plate being full to overflowing I turned over the design and implementation of our new church web site to others. It still falls under the umbrella of media & technology for which I’m responsible. So, what I would like to hear from you is a brutally honest assessment of this new web site. Check it out at http://www.firstbaptistclover.org/
You know how Tony Morgan periodically does a post on his blog called “That’s Quotable”? Well, I’m going to rip that off but only because it is Tony Morgan that is quotable. Here is what he had to say about the Dynamic Church Conference and technology in the church.
Bottom line? It’s good to be in an environment with a bunch of folks that recognize that technology is critical for the Church at this moment in time. We can’t reach today’s culture without maximizing the use of technology. It intersects everyone’s lives. The Church is impotent without it. There was a day when the Church embraced the printing press to reach people for Jesus. That’s what technology including the Internet is for the Church today. We have to embrace it. We have to leverage it. And, because of that, I can’t wait to see what results from this gathering in the days to come.
A dear friend was buried yesterday. I’m glad the funeral was not until I got back from Texas. The funeral contained a long section of testimony about my friend Mack. At one point Mack’s wife stood up and talked about her husband. She talked about how she never doubted his love or faithfulness. She said that people always say that you don’t know what you got until its gone but for her she knew what she had. She knew that Mack was a good man.
Mack’s father talked about how he knew his son from birth until 3 years old and then left. The man talked about recently being ordained a deacon and his son not knowing. He talked of regret of how he did not know this good man everyone was talking about.
Many, many testimonies on how Mack helped them or how Mack was always available to talk. Many talked of Mack’s encouragement and being a friend. All said how good a man Mack was. All said how much Mack loved his family.
Although all said what a good man Mack was, do you know what I did not hear? I did not hear that Mack was a godly man. Although all said that Mack loved his family, do you know what I did not hear? I did not hear that Mack loved Jesus.
Without Jesus Christ all that we do is for naught. We can’t earn our way into heaven. There is nothing that we can possibly do in and of ourselves to merit the favor of God. Only through the blameless, perfect sacrifice of Jesus for our sins can we gain righteousness.
Mack died sitting in his easy chair doing one of the things he loved best and that was watching the NBA playoffs. Mack is evidence that we don’t know if we have the next 20 years or the next 20 minutes. The pastor who gave the message was a former SpecOp soldier and gave the analogy of, “soldier, you need to get squared away”. If you ever served in the military then you know what that means. We were always on 24-hour standby meaning that we had 24 hours to get to wherever the mission called. Squared away meant you were ready to deploy at any moment. Our mission is reconciliation with a God that loves us and made a way for us to be with him for eternity. You may not have 24 hours prior notice. Are you ready to deploy?
I had the opportunity to finally listen to the Creative Synergy Podcast Episode 5 on Church Copyright on my flight from Charlotte to Dallas today.
This podcast was full of great information. I realize now that I need to make some changes in the way I handle video clips.
What I found to be disturbing is that apparently that there are many pastors out there that have no problem breaking the law or having their media minsters break the law for an illustration. I’m thankful that when I know something is not covered under our license then my pastor finds another legal way to get his point across or uses another illustration.
Anthony Coppedge and Greg Atkinson are doing an excellent job with this production. I highly recommend downloading this podcast or if you detest iTunes like I do then they have an alternate download feed here.
Do you ever feel like your life is a roller coaster? Up one day and down the next? It has been like that for me lately. After riding this roller coaster for a while I just feel sick. There has been no relief since this ride goes through church, family and work.
With church it is the age old battle of those that want to serve and further the kingdom of God and those that want to just sit back and do nothing. There are those that want to change to reach the community and those that resist change no matter what.
With family it has been the threat of cancer and then the relief that it was not.
With work it has been the struggles of a very demanding field engulfed in politics and the reward that you are doing something of significance.
But in my work world all things were put into a new perspective today when a dear friend and fellow supervisor did not show up for work and the worst was true when the director told me that he had died in his sleep.
I often regret that I do not have the gift of evangelism especially when an acquaintance, co-worker, family member or friend dies. Did I share Christ enough? Did exhibit the character of Jesus enough? With this particular friend I had shared the gospel a few times in the most straightforward manner I could muster. All his questions were answered by the Holy Spirit through me. I was amazed at how the words flowed out of my mouth because I’m not well with speech. The Lord blesses me often with the ability to write but speech is not always given. Now I can only hope that those words fell on fertile ground.
Unfortunately I was told that I still must make a trip that has been planned so in the morning I will be flying to Austin, TX. If I have any readers in that area I would love to have a meal or even a cup of coffee with you. Drop me a comment or send me an e-mail from my profile.
I’m seeing this trip as a stop to the roller coaster so I can have a couple of nights away from the amusement park.