After a recent conversation, it occurred to me that God made me a tech guy for a reason. Sadly I am beginning to think the reason is cause I am hard headed and if I don’t listen to a message 4 times I am not going to get anything out of it.
Archives For Church Tech
So I guess I am going to be making this an annual thing. Things that have changed since last year; the multiplexed feed last year was done on a miranda kieldo alto attached to our FSR Eagle 300. We don’t use either of those pieces of gear anymore.
On a totally unrelated note I have some surplus video equipment for sale.
We are using a Ross Carbonite, to handle our video switching, the cameras 1&2 are Panasonic AG HPX-500, camera 3,4,&6 are Panasonic AG HPX 370. BGBC and BGBL background center and left off a mac pro running propresenter with the multi-screen module (awesome FYI) on a triple head to go. This generates center and lower lyrics at the same time. BGA is… you guessed it background A. Also the real geeks out there will notice that camera 3&4 are frame synced, that was because their genlock cables both broke over the course of the weekend and rather then try and get that fixed during service I just headed that problem off at the pass. Lesson learned from Reason #372 I love my Ross Carbonite.
My latest article for Church Production Magazine- about how to mentally prepare for big weekends like Easter.
This weekend someone fed the gremlins after midnight and they pretty much ravaged our technology all weekend long.
Got my hands on the smallHD AC7 this week for a review. My initial thought is it is an awesome piece of gear. The only thing I don’t like is that it’s so awesome that I am having a hard time getting it away from the rest of the video team so I can really test it.
Check it out here
Latest tech review from Church Production Magazine
Our set for Easter was a little different this year. Our TD wanted to reuse some lighting design elements that we haven’t used in 3 or 4 years. This got me excited because we never used them as projection surfaces so I was really looking forward to this project. One of the challenges we knew up front was the mask for this one was going to be a pain. It may not have been the worst one have ever done, but it was one of the more difficult, but I am getting ahead of myself. Lets start with the stage.
A guy I know tweeted something the today that has kinda been sticking with me. I met Anthony Coppege a few years back at WFX, years later I presented with him at the same conference. I would pretty much just go to a conference to hear him because he has such an awesome heart for God, a wealth of knowledge and experience and is just an all around awesome guy. One of the things I always love about listening to Anthony is one the same things I about Mike Lee. There are times he says things that I am pretty sure were just for me.
So when he tweets something like “I think today’s church tech arts is in greater need of leaders than skilled technicians. The focus must shift from the gear to the people.” That gets my attention.
He qualified it later with “In my opinion…because church leaders have been satisfied with tech = support instead of tech = ministry.”
I would really love to say he is wrong here, but I can’t tell you how often I hear about tech guys getting burned out of have bad experiences. I have seen lots of TD’s quit their jobs and lots of churches posting open TD positions and it really saddens me. I think a big part of it is because the people they work for see them as providing a service not as working in a ministry. Yes, I absolutely think Church leaders need to treat their tech team the way they treat other ministries. They need to be casting vision to, praying with, worshiping with, doing Church with their tech teams. I think that would be a great start halting the steady decline I see in tech ministry as a whole.
But, where this gets me is if we want to be treated like a ministry we need to act like a ministry. I wish I could remember who it was I read this from, but somebody once said a good TD is 1/3 tech geek 1/3 cheerleader, and 1/3 pastor. Two of those I am really good at, that last one, not so much. I am not going to make excuses about it, I am just flat out not good at that side of it.
So I am going to place this challenge to TD’s (myself included) work harder at the ministering side of the job, focus on the people.
If you read part 2 of this post, then you have prolly figured out why I do what I do. That said it’s not always like that. First service yesterday was a perfect example. We had a lot of little failures, stuff most people prolly didn’t see or notice. But I did, and my team did. Those little failures clung to me throughout the worship set. I can feel the energy draining from my team like a balloon with a hole in it. Most of these could have been overcome easily before service, however during service … not so much. When things are going good I think I have the best job in the world, when things like yesterday happen I feel like I totally failed my people.
Mistakes tend to breed more mistakes and the more “moving parts” you have the more likely you are to get mistakes. Lets face it, having tech adds an exponential number of literal and figurative “moving parts”
Against: Beyond power and technical failures, humans are involved so perfection WILL NOT be achieved.
So for the second post in my closer look at why do churches have tech I want to take slightly different approach. One that I am most familiar with. At the same time I hope to better explain another argument FOR tech that some people may not have considered. While a little (little might be an understatement) egoistical it still true… the way I serve on the weekends is for me the most pure form of worship I have ever experienced.
How so? Well let me dig into this a little more. As the video director at my church during worship I am calling camera shots directing camera operators. To me I feel trying to facilitate the movement and direction of this living breathing thing that just wants to run wild and free and I am trying to help it get where it wants to go. Also I am white and I am a recovering southern baptist… so when I direct, I dance. I don’t mean a little foot taping… I mean if our church released a video game knock off of DDR it would be called “Video Director Hero” When I am working it is as close to David bringing back the Arc as I think I can get
I will celebrate before the LORD. 2 Samuel 6:21 NIV
Read 2 Samuel 6 and listen to the descriptions of what David was doing and celebrating….THAT is how I feel.
With that said I know our church didn’t put in all this tech just so I can worship, that would be crazy. However IF this is what it is like for me, and IF this is what it is like for the worship team, and we can encourage everyone involved, and everyone watching to have that and express it …. THOSE times it is awesome.
Not to say you can’t have that experience without tech because you absolutely can, but I think the more people that are involved that are having THAT same experience, like a fire in dry grass, it just spreads.
FOR: You don’t have tech just so the techies can worship, because not all of them worship like that. However, it is a excellent perk for them if they do.